The role of polyunsaturated fatty acids in cancer
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It has been shown in many studies that life style and high-fat diets can contribute to the risk of development of cancer. Arachidonic acid (AA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are fatty acids that are abundantly present in foods, mainly in meat and fish, and can also be produced by the body itself from essential fatty acids linoleic acid and alfa-linolenic acid. Biological active fatty acid-derivatives formed from AA and EPA, like prostaglandins, leukotrienes and thromboxanes, play important roles in the regulation of the immune response, platelet aggregation. However these fatty acids are also implicated in cancer progression. This review will discuss how fatty acids are produced, how they are excreted in the circulation and how they can be transported in the circulation. Furthermore, we will focus on possible routes that can be used to enter target cells, their functions and interactions, possible intermediate factors that determine their activity and their role in cancer.