March 27, 2019©
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Fish Oil Cures Leukemia
A compound found in fish oil, which apparently kills leukemia stem cells may lead to the cure of the disease according to a new study published in Blood in 2018.
Research on fatty acids has shown the health benefits of fatty acids on cardiovascular system and brain development, particularly in infants, but some metabolites of Omega-3 have the ability to selectively kill the leukemia-causing stem cells in mice. The important thing is that the mice were completely cured of leukemia with no relapse.
Penn State researchers said that the compound kills cancer-causing stem cells in the spleen and bone marrow. It activates a gene p53 in the leukemia stem cell that programs the cell’s own death. p53 is a tumor suppressor gene that regulates the response to DNA damage and maintains genomic stability.
Killing leukemia stem cells is important because the stem cells in leukemia can divide and produce more cancer cells.
Current therapy for leukemia extends the patient’s life by keeping the number of leukemia cells low but drugs fail to completely cure the disease because they do not target leukemia stem cells.
Tests showed that the mice were completely cured of the disease. The blood count was normal, and the spleen returned to normal size. The disease did not relapse.
Human Studies Show Survival Rate Is Higher In Leukemia And Lymphoma Patients Taking Fish Oil
Previous studies on fish oil and leukemia found that the ingestion of fish oil, a source of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), can reduce the dangerous side-effects of chemotherapy. The aim of the randomized clinical trial was to evaluate the effect of supplementation with oral fish oil for 9 weeks on nutritional parameters and inflammatory nutritional risk in patients with malignancies during the beginning of chemotherapy.
Twenty-two patients with leukemia or lymphoma were randomized and the supplemented group received 2 g/day of fish oil for 9 weeks.
The supplemented group showed an increased plasma proportion of EPA and DHA. C-reactive protein and CRP/albumin ratio showed larger reductions in the supplemented group. Overall long-term survival in both groups showed that 465 days after the start of the chemotherapy survival rate was higher in the group ingesting fish oil.
Cancer Fighting Abilities of HAMLET and BAMLET For Leukemia And Other Cancers
A serendipitous observation in the year 1995 that a casein fraction from
human milk blocked the binding of bacteria to epithelial cell and was
selectively toxic to a lung cancer cell line, evoked tremendous interest in
the characterization of the tumoricidal molecule. The active fraction was
soon traced to the casein fraction of human milk, obtained by acid
precipitation and was subsequently identified as oleic acid (OA)-bound
partially unfolded α-lactalbumin (α-LA). The complex was given the acronym HAMLET (Human α- lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells). HAMLET exhibited broad tumoricidal activity against carcinomas, melanomas, glioblastomas and leukemias derived from human and various non-human sources. Other studies showed that HAMLET like complexes with OA can also be prepared from bovine α-LA, which was designated as BAMLET, as well as from the protein derived from the milk of several other mammals. The tumoricidal effect of HAMLET and BAMLET has been observed also in vivo, in animal models and in a clinical investigation.
An exhaustive review provides arguments to show that OA (oleic acid) can exert nearly all cytotoxic effects reported for HAMLET/BAMLET-like complexes and leans to conclude that the protein does not possess toxic effect on its own. It is likely that OA facilitates the entry of α-LA (alpha- lactalbumin) in to the cells which after attaining a specific conformation may act to enhance the tumoricidal action.
The exact mechanisms of HAMLET/BAMLET have yet to be discovered despite exhaustive worldwide research efforts.
Many fish oils are high in oleic acid.
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