High dietary omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids drastically increase the formation of etheno-DNA base adducts in white blood cells of female subjects

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1997 Aug;6(8):597-601.


Lipid peroxidation generates reactive aldehydes such as trans-4-hydroxy-2-nonenal and malonaldehyde, which form promutagenic exocyclic DNA adducts in human cells and may contribute to diet-related cancers. Using ultrasensitive detection methods, analysis of WBC DNA from volunteers in a dietary study revealed that high intake of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids increased malonaldehyde-derived adducts in male and female subjects. In contrast, etheno adducts (1,N6-ethenodeoxyadenosine; 3,N4-ethenodeoxycytidine) were not elevated in males but were, on average, 40 times higher in females, displaying a huge intersubject variation in lipid peroxidation-derived DNA damage. Exocyclic DNA adducts are promising biomarkers for examining the hypothesis of possible links between increased intake of dietary omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, DNA damage, and elevated cancer risk for breast, colon, and prostate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • DNA Adducts / blood*
  • Deoxyadenosines / blood*
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / blood
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / adverse effects*
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / adverse effects*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / blood
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Sunflower Oil


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA Adducts
  • Deoxyadenosines
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Plant Oils
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Deoxycytidine
  • 1,N(6)-ethenodeoxyadenosine
  • 3,N(4)-ethenodeoxycytidine