Dietary fish oil inhibits human breast carcinoma growth: a function of increased lipid peroxidation

Lipids. 1993 Sep;28(9):827-32. doi: 10.1007/BF02536237.


Female athymic nude mice were implanted subcutaneously with human breast carcinoma MDA-MB231. Seven to ten days later, the mice were divided into groups and fed a purified diet containing the following types of fat (% of diet): (i) 20% corn oil (CO); (ii) 15% CO:5% fish (menhaden) oil (FO); (iii) 10% CO:10% FO; (iv) 5% CO:15% FO; (v) 1% CO:19% FO; and (vi) 1% CO:19% FO plus antioxidants (alpha-tocopherol acetate, 2000 IU/kg diet and tertiary butyl-hydroquinone, 2% of total fat). The linoleic acid levels (% of diet) of the groups were 12.0, 9.1, 6.2, 3.3, 0.9 and 0.9%, respectively. After 6-8 wk, the carcinomas were assessed for tumor volume (cm3) and assayed for thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). Human breast carcinoma growth was suppressed in mice consuming FO diets without antioxidants as compared to mice fed CO; the greater the amount of dietary FO fed, the greater the carcinoma growth suppression (P < 0.05). The addition of antioxidants to the FO diet significantly (P < 0.05) reversed the FO-induced carcinoma growth suppression. Concentrations of TBARS in the human breast carcinomas were increased in all the FO (without antioxidants) fed mice, compared to mice fed CO; the level of increase in TBARS was directly related to the increase in the level of FO fed (P < 0.05). The addition of antioxidants to the FO diet significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the concentration of TBARS in the breast carcinomas.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Thiobarbiturates / analysis


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fish Oils
  • Thiobarbiturates
  • thiobarbituric acid