The effects of fish oil, olive oil, oleic acid and linoleic acid on colorectal neoplastic processes

X. Llor, E. Pons, A. Roca, M. Àlvarez, J. Mañé, F. Ferná;ndez-Bañares, M. A. Gassull

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151 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims: Several nutrients play a significant role in colorectal cancer development, and fats could be among the most determinant. While several studies have shown that the n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic and its main dietary source, fish oil could exert important antineoplastic effects, much less is known about the effects of olive oil and its main fatty acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid. The aim of these studies is to assess the role of these nutrients in crucial processes involved in colorectal carcinogenesis. Methods: Caco-2 and HT-29 colorectal cancer cells were supplemented with different fats and their role in apoptosis induction, cell proliferation, and differentiation was studied. COX-2 and Bcl-2 expressions were also assessed. Results: Supplementation with fish oil or olive oil results in an induction of apoptosis and cell differentiation. The latest effect was also induced by oleic and linoleic acid. Fish oil diminishes significantly cell proliferation. Supplementation with fish oil and olive oil results in an early downregulation of COX-2 followed by a decrease in Bcl-2 expression. Conclusions: Fish oil and olive oil are capable of influencing crucial processes responsible for colorectal cancer development. COX-2 and Bcl-2 may be important mediators of some of these effects. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Fish oil
  • Linoleic acid
  • Oleic acid
  • Olive oil


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