Skip to main content


Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Table 2 Effects of dietary fatty acids on breast cancer risk

From: Role of dietary fatty acids in mammary gland development and breast cancer

Fat type Effect Reference
SFA Increased risk of BC [13, 95]
  Compromise cell response to DNA damage [94]
TFA Positively associated with mammary tumors [14]
  Effect similar to cis fats on BC [96]
  Conjugated linoleic acid supplements inhibit cancer cell growth [97, 98]
MUFA Increased risk of BC [13]
  Oleic acid suppresses HER2 in BC cells [54]
n-6 PUFA Promote mammary tumor growth [13]
  Increased cell proliferation in mammary gland [16]
  Protumorigenic in mammary gland [16, 46]
  Increased circulating estrogenic compound levels [27]
  Promote tumorigenesis via inflammation [29, 56]
  Positively associated with HER2 oncogene [52, 57]
n-3 PUFA Decreased circulating estrogenic compound levels [27]
  Decreased mammary tumor incidence/growth rate (low-fat dose) [46]
  Increased tumor cell proliferation and growth rate (high-fat dose) [46]
  Decreased BC cell growth [5153]
  Inhibit HER2 expression [57]
  Inhibit mammary tumor growth [58, 59]
  Increased apoptosis [62]
  Decreased tumor growth rate [63]
  Decreased tumor cell proliferation; increased apoptosis [6770]
  Increased syndecan-1 synthesis [74]
  Decreased premenopausal/postmenopausal BC risk [80, 8589]
  Fish oil consumption decreased BC risk [86]
ALA Strongly suppresses HER2 and mammary carcinoma [52]
  Promotes regression of estrogen receptor+ MCF-7 cancer [60]
  Significantly slows tumor growth rate [61]
  Inversely associated with BC risk (natural sources) [99]
  Positively associated with BC risk (processed sources) [99]
EPA Slows mammary tumor growth rate [53]
  Inhibits lung metastases; decreased eicosanoids [64]
  Suppresses cell proliferation in MCF-7 cells [76]
DHA Enhances treatment effect of taxanes [51]
  Reduces cell viability in some cancer cell lines [51]
  Downregulation of HER2 [52]
  Higher tumor regression than other n-3 PUFA [77]
  1. ALA, α-linolenic acid; BC, breast cancer; DHA, docosahexaenoic acid; EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid; HER2, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2; MUFA, monounsaturated fatty acids; n-3 PUFA, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; n-6 PUFA, omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids; SFA, saturated fatty acids; TFA, trans fatty acids.