Despite data favouring a role of dietary fat in colonic carcinogenesis, no study has focused on tissue n3 and n6 fatty acid (FA) status in human colon adenoma-carcinoma sequence. Thus, FA profile was measured in plasma phospholipids of patients with colorectal cancer (n = 22), sporadic adenoma (n = 27), and normal colon (n = 12) (control group). Additionally, mucosal FAs were assessed in both diseased and normal mucosa of cancer (n = 15) and adenoma (n = 21) patients, and from normal mucosa of controls (n = 8). There were no differences in FA profile of both plasma phospholipids and normal mucosa, between adenoma and control patients. There were considerable differences, however, in FAs between diseased and paired normal mucosa of adenoma patients, with increases of linoleic (p = 0.02), dihomogammalinolenic (p = 0.014), and eicosapentaenoic (p = 0.012) acids, and decreases of alpha linolenic (p = 0.001) and arachidonic (p = 0.02) acids in diseased mucosa. A stepwise reduction of eicosapentaenoic acid concentrations in diseased mucosa from benign adenoma to the most advanced colon cancer was seen (p = 0.009). Cancer patients showed lower alpha linolenate (p = 0.002) and higher dihomogammalinolenate (p = 0.003) in diseased than in paired normal mucosa. In conclusion changes in tissue n3 and n6 FA status might participate in the early phases of the human colorectal carcinogenesis.
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