1 Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA
In this review, the influence of dietary fat on the development of cancer is discussed. In epidemiological studies, a relationship between dietary fat and breast cancer has been found in correlational studies, but prospective studies do not support a role for dietary fat. Prospective epidemiological studies examining the role of dietary fat in the development of colon, pancreatic, and prostate cancers have produced conflicting results. The Women’s Health Initiative intervention studies did not show any statistically significant effects of dietary fat on the development of either colon or breast cancer in women. In experimental studies, dietary fat generally enhances chemically-induced skin, liver, pancreatic, and mammary carcinogenesis, whereas conflicting results have been observed in colon carcinogenesis. Dietary fat appears to act primarily during the promotional stage of carcinogenesis in all of these models except the liver, where the effect of dietary fat is primarily on initiation.
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