Long-chain (n-3) fatty acid intake and risk of cancers of the breast and the prostate: Recent epidemiological studies, biological mechanisms, and directions for future research

Paul D. Terry, Jennifer B. Terry, Thomas E. Rohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations


The association between dietary (n-3) fatty acids and hormone-responsive cancers continues to attract considerable attention in epidemiological, clinical, and experimental studies. We previously reviewed the epidemiological literature on the association between hormone-responsive cancers and the long-chain fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. We concluded that the compelling evidence from ecological studies, animal models, and mechanistic experiments in vitro was not supported clearly by the available epidemiological data. To various degrees, epidemiological studies published more recently attempted to address some of the methodological limitations plaguing earlier studies by using validated questionnaires, examining specific fatty acids and their interrelationships, and adjusting estimates for a wider range of potentially confounding factors than in previous studies. In this review, our aim was to update the previous review with the results of recent epidemiological studies and to discuss possible biological mechanisms and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3412S-3420S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number12 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004



  • (n-3)
  • (n-6)
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Hormone-dependent
  • Prostate neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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