Williams Cancer Institute

Microbiome Supplements


It is a polyunsaturated fatty acid considered an immune nutrient and is used in the nutritional therapy of cancer patients due to its broad biological effects. It participates in the resolution of inflammation and has anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects. Mechanistic studies show that omega-3s may inhibit carcinogenesis by suppressing inflammation, cell proliferation, angiogenesis, or/and exerting ferroptosis of acidic cancer cells through lipid peroxidation, which affects the progression of cancer.

It activates two G-protein-coupled receptors, improving insulin sensibility, inducing adipose tissue browning, promoting analgesia by releasing endorphin, and controlling energy homeostasis.

A systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated that omega-3 could reduce thromboxane B2 blood levels in subjects with a high risk of cardiovascular diseases and decrease leukotriene b4 in the neutrophils of unhealthy patients. Also, in cancer patients who take this supplementation, it promotes beneficial effects due to cell membrane modulation.

Currently, omegas can b considered pharmaconutrients, acting as receptor agonists, modulating molecular pathways, reducing the inflammatory response, and increasing the chemotherapy efficacy, improving the overall survival of cancer patients.

It can also decrease the symptoms of fatigue and pain during chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy due to weight maintenance and reduce inflammatory status, according to a systematic review.

So far, there’s no conclusive evidence of whether it benefits patients with cancer. Still, so far, its been proven that it can modify the cell membrane, which can help fight cancer cells and be a helpful source for maintaining weight during chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

Reference: Raquel D. S. Freitas and Maria M. Campos, 2019 Apr 26, Protective Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Cancer-Related Complications, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31035457/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566772/

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