Purpose Several studies have examined the association between polyunsaturated fatty acids and prostate cancer risk. We evaluated the evidence on the association between the essential polyunsaturated fatty acid, known as α-linolenic acid, and the risk of prostate cancer in humans. Materials and Methods We comprehensively reviewed published studies on the association between α-linolenic acid and the risk of prostate cancer using MEDLINE. Results A number of studies have shown a positive association between dietary, plasma or red blood cell levels of α-linolenic acid and prostate cancer. Other studies have demonstrated either no association or a negative association. The limitations of these studies include the assumption that dietary or plasma α-linolenic acid levels are positively associated with prostate tissue α-linolenic acid levels, and measurement errors of dietary, plasma and red blood cell α-linolenic acid levels. Conclusions More research is needed in this area before it can be concluded that there is an association between α-linolenic acid and prostate cancer.
Field of Research
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified