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Anti-cancer agents in milkfat

Authors: Peter W. Parodi


A number of milkfat components have demonstrated anticancer potential in animal models of carcinogenesis. Conjugated linoleic acid and its natural isomer rumenic acid have multiple anti-tumorigenic effects and is a potent inhibitor of mammary tumour development. Vaccenic acid, the predominant trans-monounsaturated fatty acid in milkfat, can be converted endogenously to rumenic acid. Sphingomyelin and other sphingolipids suppressed colon tumour development in mice. Butyric acid, uniquely present in milk, can inhibit mammary tumour occurrence in rats, whereas 13- methyltetradecanoic acid suppressed cell growth in a number of human cancer cell lines and inhibited the growth of human prostate and liver cancer cells implanted in mice. Milk lipids also contain the common anticancer agents β-carotene and vitamin A. Pasture-derived components like β-ionone, phytol and gossypol may also help prevent cancer.

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