COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

A maternal high n-6 fat diet with fish oil supplementation during pregnancy and lactation in rats decreases breast cancer risk in the female offspring

Hui-Min Su, Pei-Hsuan Hsieh, Hui-Feng Chen
Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2010, 21 (11): 1033-7
19954943
The timing of dietary fat intake may modify breast cancer risk. In addition, n-3 fatty acids reduce, and n-6 fatty acids increase, the risk of breast cancer and a maternal high n-6 fat diet results in a greater risk of breast cancer in the female offspring. We hypothesized that the timing of n-3 fatty acid-enriched fish oil supplementation would be important for reducing the risk of breast cancer. Female rats were fed to a high n-6 fat diet containing 20% of the sunflower oil by weight during pregnancy and lactation, and the female offspring were exposed to fish oil by oral gavage either during the perinatal period via maternal intake or during puberty or adulthood. Exposure during the perinatal period to a maternal high n-6 fat diet with fish oil supplementation significantly reduced the incidence of carcinogen-induced mammary tumors in the female offspring compared to a maternal high n-6 fat diet with no fish oil supplementation or fish oil supplementation later in life (P=.0228 by Cox proportional hazards model). We found that a maternal high n-6 fat diet during pregnancy is more important in increasing the risk of mammary tumors in the female offspring than a maternal high n-6 fat diet during lactation. This study suggests that fish oil supplementation during the perinatal period decreases the effect of a maternal high n-6 fat diet on subsequent carcinogen-induced mammary tumor risk, whereas fish oil supplementation during puberty or adulthood does not.

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