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June 2005

Dietary intake of conjugated linoleic acids and risk of premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer Study (WEB Study).

Specific fatty acids may have differential effects on breast cancer etiology. Animal studies have suggested that conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), a group of fatty acids found predominantly in dairy products and the meat of ruminants, have potent anticarcinogenic properties. We examined breast cancer risk and dietary CLA intake among 1,122 women with primary, incident, histologically confirmed breast cancer and 2,036 controls frequency matched to cases by age, race, and county of residence. Diet was assessed with a self-administered 104-item food frequency questionnaire and other relevant data were collected by detailed in-person interviews. We examined risk with intake of total CLAs and the 9c,11t-18:2 isomer of CLA (9,11 CLA). Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for age, the residual of fat adjusted for energy, and other breast cancer risk factors. No association was observed between intakes of total CLA or 9,11 CLA and overall risk of premenopausal or postmenopausal breast cancer. We observed little association between CLA intakes and risk of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative or ER-positive tumors, although, compared with premenopausal women in the lowest quartile of 9,11 CLA intake, those in the highest quartile had a marginally significant reduction in risk of having an ER-negative tumor (odds ratio, 0.40; 95% confidence interval, 0.16-1.01). Our findings suggest that, although CLA intake was not related to overall breast cancer risk, there may be associations with tumor biology at least among premenopausal women.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Sep;13(9):1480-4

An overview of the effect of linoleic and conjugated-linoleic acids on the growth of several human tumor cell lines.

Both n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are dietary fats important for cell function, being involved in several physiologic and pathologic processes, such as tumorigenesis. Linoleic acid and conjugated linoleic acid, its geometrical and positional stereoisomer, were tested on several human tumor cell lines originating from different tissues and with different degrees of malignancy. This was to provide the widest possible view of the impact of dietary lipids on tumor development. While linoleic acid exerted different effects, ranging from inhibitory to neutral, even promoting growth, conjugated linoleic acid inhibited growth in all lines tested and was particularly effective against the more malignant cells, with the exception of mammary tumor cells, in which behavior was the opposite, the more malignant cell line being less affected. The inhibitory effect of conjugated linoleic acid on growth may be accompanied by different contributions from apoptosis and necrosis. The effects of conjugated linoleic acid on growth or death involved positive or negative variations in PPARs. The important observation is that a big increase of PPARalpha protein occurred in cells undergoing strong induc-tion of apoptosis, whereas PPARbeta/delta protein decreased. Although PPARalpha and PPARbeta/delta seem to be correlated to execution of the apoptotic program, the modulation of PPARgamma appears to depend on the type of tumor cell, increasing as protein content, when inhibition of cell proliferation occurred. In conclusion, CLA may be regarded as a component of the diet that exerts antineoplastic activity and its effect may be antiproliferative or pro-apoptotic.

Int J Cancer. 2004 Dec 20;112(6):909-19