Study Shows Fish Oil’s Role in Preventing Lung Cancer in Ketogenic Diets

by Ella

A recent study published in Scientific Reports has unveiled the significant role of fish oil (FO) in preventing lung cancer within the framework of ketogenic diets (KDs). Conducted using murine models, the research compared the anti-cancer efficacy of various oils consumed as part of KDs, shedding light on the potential benefits of plant-based low-carbohydrate diets for weight management over the long term.

The study, led by researchers at an undisclosed institution, examined seven commonly consumed, fat-enriched KDs alongside Western-style diets and a 15% carbohydrate diet as controls. Results indicated that all KDs outperformed Western-style and 15% carbohydrate diets in preventing nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone (NNK)-induced lung cancer in mice.



The study underscores the anti-lung cancer potential of fish oils, which were found to increase plasma β-hydroxybutyrate (β-HB), reduce blood glucose, and attenuate fatty acid synthase (FAS) expression, thus metabolically arresting lung tumor nodule formation. Additionally, the research delved into the impacts of long-term ketogenic diets on lipid profiles and liver health, with FO-enhanced KDs demonstrating even less harm to liver and lipid profiles compared to standard KDs.


Understanding Ketogenic Diets and Their Benefits Against Cancer:
Ketogenic diets (KDs) were originally developed in the 1920s to treat intractable epilepsy. Characterized by very high-fat contents and low carbohydrates, KDs force the body to metabolize lipids for energy, relying on ketone bodies instead of glucose. Ketone bodies have garnered scientific attention due to their potential to starve cancerous tumors, making KDs a promising avenue for cancer prevention.


About the Study:

The study compared the anti-NKK-induced lung cancer efficacies of three dietary regimes: the Western-style diet (50% carbohydrates), the 15% amylose diet (50% fat-based), and seven KDs, each featuring a different fat source. Experiments were conducted on 12-week-old female A/J mice, with data collection including blood glucose levels, biochemical blood and plasma analyses, immunohistochemistry of lung and liver tissue, and microbiome analysis of fecal samples.


Key Findings:

Results revealed that all KDs, particularly FO-enriched KDs, performed better than Western-style and amylose diets in preventing lung cancer in mice. FO-KDs were found to produce more ketone bodies, downregulate FAS expression, and reduce inflammatory cytokine levels in mouse lungs. Importantly, FO-KDs were associated with less liver damage and altered lipid profiles compared to other KDs, highlighting their potential as future interventions against lung cancer.


The study underscores the efficacy of FO-KDs in preventing lung cancer in murine models, suggesting their promise as potential interventions against the disease. However, further research is needed to confirm their cardiovascular safety before implementation in clinical settings.



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