Dietary Fatty Acids and Cancer

Howard P. Glauert1, *
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.

Keywords: Fat, Cancer, Carcinogenesis, Epidemiological studies, Correlational studies, Dietary fat.

Abstract Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2019
Volume: 13
Publisher Item Identifier: EA-TONUTRJ-2019-3

Article History:

Received Date: 01/06/2019
Revision Received Date: 27/08/2019
Acceptance Date: 01/10/2019
Electronic publication date: 25/10/2019
Collection year: 2019

© 2019 Howard P. Glauert.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Kentucky, 521 CTW, 900 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40536-0200, USA; Tel: +1-859-257-7789; Fax: 84 2273 847509; E-mail: