PMID: 106196Feb 1, 1979

Dietary polyunsaturated fat versus saturated fat in relation to mammary carcinogenesis

K K Carroll, G J Hopkins


High levels of dietary fat have been shown to promote the development of mammary tumors induced in rats by 7,12-dimethylbenz(alpha)anthracene, and polyunsaturated fats were found to be more effective than saturated fats. In further studies it was found that diets containing 3% sunflowerseed oil (polyunsaturated fat) and 17% beef tallow or coconut oil (saturated fats) enhance tumorigenesis as much as a diet containing 20% sunflowerseed oil. Rats on these diets developed at least twice as many tumors as those fed diets containing either 3% sunflowerseed oil or 20% of the saturated fats alone. These results are in accord with human epidemiological data which show that breast cancer mortality in different countries is positively correlated with total fat intake but not with intake of polyunsaturated fat. Total fat intake varies greatly in different countries, but most human diets probably contain levels of polyunsaturated fat at least equivalent to 3% sunflowerseed oil.


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Related Concepts

Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental
Rats, Laboratory

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