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The effect of fish oil (FO, given in the form of MaxEPA) rich in n-3 fatty acids and evening primrose oil (EPO) rich in n-6 fatty acids on two-stage skin carcinogenesis in mice was studied. Both FO and EPO inhibited the papilloma formation to a significant degree only during the promotion stage which was associated with an increase in lipid peroxidation. Both FO and EPO inhibited the binding of benzo(a)-pyrene to skin cell DNA suggesting that this could be one of the mechanism(s) by which these oils could be preventing papilloma development. Neither EPO nor FO influenced epidermal cell proliferation. In the FO group, LA (linoleic acid), AA (arachidonic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) were increased, whereas in the EPO group a significant increase in the AA content was noted. No specific changes in the fatty acid pattern were observed in any of the groups that could be attributed to the papilloma incidence. These results suggest that FO and EPO can influence papilloma formation which can be attributed, at least in part, to their ability to prevent benzo(a)pyrene binding to DNA and to an increase the lipid peroxidation process.
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Accepted: December 23, 1997
Received: October 22, 1997
© 1998 Published by Elsevier Inc.