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Omega-3/6 Fats, Skin, and Skin Cancer

“In other words, UV-induced cancer increased in proportion to the linoleic acid content of the diet, because linoleic acid suppresses the immune system’s cancer-fighting ability! …It doesn’t end at skin cancer. In animal models, a number of cancers are highly sensitive to the amount of linoleic acid in the diet, including breast cancer. Once again, butter beats margarine and vegetable oils….”

http://wholehealthsource….ietary-fat.html

Interesting stuff from Stephen at Whole Health Source on Thai skin being observed as nice, and inferring that the type of fats Thais eat (High saturated – coconut oil and lard) being the predominant reason. Stephen goes on to look at studies into linoleic acid (Omega-6, high amounts found in vegetable oils) and the anti-inflammatory/anti-cancer properties of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Some good stuff at WHS, per usual.

A series of semi-purified diets containing 20% fat by weight, of increasing proportions (0, 5%, 10%, 15% or 20%) of polyunsaturated sunflower oil mixed with hydrogenated saturated cottonseed oil, was fed to groups of Skh:HR-1 hairless mice during induction and promotion of photocarcinogenesis. The photocarcinogenic response was of increasing severity as the polyunsaturated content of the mixed dietary fat was increased, whether measured as tumour incidence, tumour multiplicity, progression of benign tumours to squamous cell carcinoma, or reduced survival… These results suggest that the enhancement of photocarcinogenesis by the dietary polyunsaturated fat component is mediated by an induced predisposition to persistent immunosuppression caused by the chronic UV irradiation, and supports the evidence for an immunological role in dietary fat modulation of photocarcinogenesis in mice.

In other words, UV-induced cancer increased in proportion to the linoleic acid content of the diet, because linoleic acid suppresses the immune system’s cancer-fighting ability! …

It doesn’t end at skin cancer. In animal models, a number of cancers are highly sensitive to the amount of linoleic acid in the diet, including breast cancer. Once again, butter beats margarine and vegetable oils….

Conversely, omega-3 fish oil protects against skin cancer in the hairless mouse, even in large amounts. In another study, not only did fish oil protect against skin cancer, it doubled the amount of time researchers had to expose the mice to UV light to cause sunburn!

2 replies on “Omega-3/6 Fats, Skin, and Skin Cancer”

Hi Justin, In my opinion you have misinterpreted the results above when you state “UV-induced cancer increased in proportion to the linoleic acid content of the diet, because linoleic acid suppresses the immune system’s cancer-fighting ability!”.
The diet in question was “polyunsaturated sunflower oil mixed with hydrogenated saturated cottonseed oil”. What if it’s the “hydrogenated saturated” fats that cause the problem? Check work of Budwig, Peskin and others.

As regards Omega-3 – which is the main driver behind fish oil… Under its Evidence-based Practice Program, the U.S Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) performed an exhaustive search and analysis of the Omega-3 related research papers in 3 of the top medical databases over 30 years and came to the conclusion that “omega-3 fatty acids do not appear to decrease overall cancer risk.” (http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/epcsums/o3cansum.htm)

Further – skin contains near ZERO omega 3 fats and almost exclusively Omega 6 fats – so it’s not logical that additional Omega 3 would be good for skin, especially when fish oil dramatically overloads the system with EPA and DHA, at many times times our body’s requirements per dose.

At best I believe that the world research on oils is hazardous to interpret. All oils and fats behavior is entirely based on “freshness and quality”. Rancid or oxidized (or hydrogenated) oil will cause the exact opposite effect of its fresh equivalent.

Distilled refined fish oils are notoriously unstable. It’s widely recognized that fish oil supplementation lowers blood concentrations of vitamin E. One reason may be that the Vitamin E is being used up to combat its immediate oxidation in your system.

In my opinion, Fish Oil, suppresses the immune system and reduces inflammation in the short run – but may be found to be extremely hazardous long-term. Reader do your own research.

The way to go is quality fresh oils and fats in the ratio your body needs… and knock out the damaged stuff.

Thanks Justin!
Paul

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