By Alex Glenn • 11 November 2021 • 8:24
Spanish blow to cancer. Researchers in Spain have identified dietary fats that accelerate the formation of metastases.
A group of Barcelona researchers have published a new study in Nature. The research has been led by Professor Salvador Aznar-Benitah, Senior Group Leader at IRB Barcelona and ICREA research professor. Scientists have discovered that certain types of fat, such as palmitic acid can affect how cancer spreads. They found that certain fats can alter the cancer genome.
Metastasis or the spread of cancer is said to be the leading cause of death in patients suffering from cancer.
Fatty acids are essential to maintain health. However, Spanish scientists have discovered that some of these nutrients or their excess could contribute to the spread of cancer.
The researchers so far have only been carrying out studies on mice. The research is promising though. As part of the study, researchers enriched the diet of mice with palmitic acid. This led to an increased rate of metastasis. The palmitic acid also affected the cancer genome.
The effects of the nutrient carried on even when the mice had stopped eating it.
Professor Aznar-Benitah and his colleagues believe that more research is needed to provide dietary advice to patients who already have cancer and metastases. They do believe though that the study proves that a diet low in palmitic acid could be beneficial for slowing down the formation of metastases.
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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