Menhaden oil administration to dogs treated with radiation for nasal tumors demonstrates lower levels of tissue eicosanoids

Nutr Res. 2011 Dec;31(12):929-36. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2011.09.018.


Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or menhaden oil may reduce inflammatory eicosanoids (prostaglandin E₂, thromboxane B₂, leukotriene B₄, and 11-dehydro thromboxane B₂), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and blood lactate in dogs with nasal carcinomas receiving radiation therapy. We hypothesized that menhaden oil would reduce inflammation from radiation damage and lower blood lactate levels in dogs with nasal carcinoma. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, 12 dogs with malignant carcinomas of the nasal cavity were given dietary menhaden oil (DHA and EPA) or soybean oil (control) and then received radiation therapy. Megavoltage radiation was delivered in 18 fractions to a total dose of 56 Gy. Blood levels of DHA, EPA, insulin, glucose, lactic acid, and MMPs 2 and 9; resting energy expenditure; and inflammatory eicosanoids from nasal biopsies were measured throughout radiation therapy. Samples were obtained from each patient 1 week before the start of radiation therapy, at start of radiation, and 7, 18 (end of radiation therapy), and 42 days after radiation was initiated. Dogs that are fed with menhaden oil had significantly (P < .05) higher plasma concentration of DHA by 500% and EPA by 200% and had significantly lower tissue inflammatory eicosanoids and decreased resting energy expenditure by 20% when compared with controls. Increased plasma DHA was significantly associated (P < .05) with decreased plasma lactic acid and MMPs. These data may suggest that dietary fish oil could reduce some detrimental inflammatory eicosanoids and metabolic consequences of radiation therapy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma / veterinary
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dogs
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eicosanoids / metabolism*
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Fish Oils / pharmacology
  • Fish Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Inflammation / veterinary*
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / blood
  • Nose Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Nose Neoplasms / veterinary*
  • Radiation Injuries / metabolism
  • Radiation Injuries / veterinary*
  • Radiotherapy, High-Energy / adverse effects
  • Radiotherapy, High-Energy / veterinary
  • Soybean Oil / pharmacology


  • Dietary Fats
  • Eicosanoids
  • Fish Oils
  • Menhaden oil
  • Lactic Acid
  • Soybean Oil
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases