Low alpha-linolenic acid content of adipose breast tissue is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer

January 1, 2000 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Low alpha-linolenic acid content of adipose breast tissue is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer

Year: 2000
Authors: Klein, V., Chaj?s, V., Germain, E., Schulgen, G., Pinault, M., Malvy, D., Lefrancq, T., et al.
Publication Name: Eur. J. Cancer
Publication Details: Volume 36, Pages 335-340.


Data derived from experimental studies suggest that alpha-linolenic acid may have a protective effect in breast cancer. Observations obtained from epidemiological studies have not allowed conclusions to be drawn about a potential protective effect of dietary alpha-linolenic acid on breast cancer, possibly because of methodological issues. This case-control study conducted in an homogeneous population from a central area in France was designed to explore the hypothesis that alpha-linolenic acid inhibits breast cancer, using fatty acid levels in adipose breast tissue as a biomarker of past qualitative dietary intake of fatty acids. Biopsies of adipose breast tissue at the time of diagnosis were obtained from 123 women with invasive non-metastatic breast carcinoma. 59 women with benign breast disease served as controls. Individual fatty acids were analysed by capillary gas chromatography. An unconditional logistic regression model was used to obtain odds ratio estimates whilst adjusting for age, menopausal status and body mass index (BMI). No association was found between fatty acids (saturates, monounsaturates, long-chain polyunsaturates n-6 or n-3) and the disease, except for alpha-linolenic acid which showed an inverse association with the risk of breast cancer. The relative risk of breast cancer for women in the highest quartile of adipose breast tissue alpha-linolenic acid level was 0.36 (95% confidence interval=0.12-1.02) compared with those in the lowest quartile (P trend=0.026), suggesting a protective effect of alpha-linolenic acid in the risk of breast cancer. The effects of dietary alpha-linolenic on the risk of breast cancer warrant further study. Author's Abstract.

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