n-3 PUFA can reduce IL-6 and TNF levels in patients with cancer

Br J Nutr. 2023 Jan 14;129(1):54-65. doi: 10.1017/S0007114522000575. Epub 2022 Mar 7.

Abstract

Current studies on inhibitory effects of n-3 PUFA on pro-inflammatory cytokines have inconsistent results. Thus, a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials was conducted to identify the effects of n-3 PUFA administration on circulating IL-6 and TNF in patients with cancer. Studies that examined the effects of n-3 PUFA administration on circulating IL-6 and TNF in patients with cancer were identified by searching PubMed and EMBASE from January 1975 to February 2021. Differences in n-3 PUFA administration and control conditions were determined by calculating standardised mean differences (SMD) with 95 % CI. Twenty studies involving 971 patients met the inclusion criteria. The overall SMD were 0·485 (95 % CI 0·087, 0·883) for IL-6 and 0·712 (95 % CI 0·461, 0·962) for TNF between n-3 PUFA administration and control conditions. Sources of heterogeneity were not found through subgroup and meta-regression analyses. Publication bias was observed in TNF with a slight contribution to the effect size. n-3 PUFA can reduce circulating IL-6 and TNF levels in patients with cancer. Results supported the recommendation of n-3 PUFA as adjuvant therapy for patients with cancer, possibly excluding head and neck cancer, owing to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Keywords: Cancer; IL-6; Meta-analysis; PUFA; TNF.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3* / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6
  • Neoplasms*

Substances

  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Interleukin-6
  • Cytokines
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents