Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the most common omega-3 fatty acid in the Western diet. The relation of dietary intake of ALA to prostate cancer risk remains unresolved.
We prospectively evaluated total ALA and ALA from specific food sources including animal, fish, and plant sources in relation to prostate cancer risk.
A cohort of 29,592 male participants (age 55–74 years) in the screening arm of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial was followed for an average of 5.1 years.
We ascertained 1,898 cases of total prostate cancer, of which 1,631 were organ-confined cases (stage T1b to T3a and N0M0) and 285 were advanced stage cases (stage≥T3b, N1, or M1). We found no association between total ALA intake and overall prostate cancer (multivariate RR comparing extreme quintiles=0.94; 95% CI=0.81–1.09; P for trend=0.76). The corresponding RRs for organ-confined and advanced prostate cancer were 0.94 (95% CI=0.80–1.10; P for trend=0.80) and 0.83 (95% CI=0.58–1.19; P for trend=0.34), respectively. In addition, no relations were observed between ALA intake from any specific food source and the risks of total, organ-confined, or advanced prostate cancer. ALA intake also showed no association with low grade (Gleason sum<7; 1,221 cases) tumors (P for trend=0.23) or high grade (Gleason sum≥7; n=677 cases) tumors (P for trend=0.26).
In this prospective study of predominantly Caucasian men who were screened annually for newly incident prostate cancer, dietary intake of total ALA and ALA from specific food sources was not associated with risk of total prostate cancer or prostate tumors that were defined by stage and grade.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
E De Stefani H Deneo-Pellegrini P Boffetta A Ronco M Mendilaharsu (2000) ArticleTitleAlpha-linolenic acid and risk of prostate cancer: a case-control study in Uruguay Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 9 335–338 Occurrence Handle10750674 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3c3ht1OisA%3D%3D
MF Leitzmann MJ Stampfer DS Michaud K Augustsson GC Colditz WC Willett EL Giovannucci (2004) ArticleTitleDietary intake of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and the risk of prostate cancer Am J Clin Nutr 80 204–216 Occurrence Handle15213050 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2cXltlKltLk%3D
E Giovannucci EB Rimm GA Colditz MJ Stampfer A Ascherio CC Chute WC Willett (1993) ArticleTitleA prospective study of dietary fat and risk of prostate cancer J Natl Cancer Inst 85 1571–1579 Occurrence Handle8105097 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK2cXhtlaqu7w%3D
S Harvei KS Bjerve S Tretli E Jellum TE Robsahm L Vatten (1997) ArticleTitlePrediagnostic level of fatty acids in serum phospholipids: omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and the risk of prostate cancer Int J Cancer 71 545–551 Occurrence Handle9178806 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DyaK2szit1WmsA%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19970516)71:4<545::AID-IJC7>3.0.CO;2-U
PH Gann CH Hennekens FM Sacks F Grodstein EL Giovannucci MJ Stampfer (1994) ArticleTitleProspective study of plasma fatty acids and risk of prostate cancer J Natl Cancer Inst 86 281–286 Occurrence Handle8158682 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DyaK2c3htVGgsg%3D%3D
JM Ramon R Bou S Romea ME Alkiza M Jacas J Ribes J Oromi (2000) ArticleTitleDietary fat intake and prostate cancer risk: a case-control study in Spain Cancer Causes Control 11 679–685 Occurrence Handle11065004 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3crhtVGmuw%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1023/A:1008924116552
YJ Yang SH Lee SJ Hong BC Chung (1999) ArticleTitleComparison of fatty acid profiles in the serum of patients with prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia Clin Biochem 32 405–409 Occurrence Handle10667474 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXnvFylsrs%3D Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0009-9120(99)00036-3
LM Newcomer IB King KG Wicklund JL Stanford (2001) ArticleTitleThe association of fatty acids with prostate cancer risk Prostate 47 262–268 Occurrence Handle11398173 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3MXltV2rsbo%3D Occurrence Handle10.1002/pros.1070
PA Godley MK Campbell P Gallagher FE Martinson JL Mohler RS Sandler (1996) ArticleTitleBiomarkers of essential fatty acid consumption and risk of prostatic carcinoma Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 5 889–895 Occurrence Handle8922296 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK2sXjs1amtA%3D%3D
S Mannisto P Pietinen MJ Virtanen I Salminen D Albanes E Giovannucci J Virtamo (2003) ArticleTitleFatty acids and risk of prostate cancer in a nested case-control study in male smokers Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 12 1422–1428 Occurrence Handle14693732
DE Laaksonen JA Laukkanen L Niskanen K Nyyssonen TH Rissanen S Voutilainen E Pukkala A Hakkarainen JT Salonen (2004) ArticleTitleSerum linoleic and total polyunsaturated fatty acids in relation to prostate and other cancers: a population-based cohort study Int J Cancer 111 444–450 Occurrence Handle15221975 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2cXmtlKlsrY%3D Occurrence Handle10.1002/ijc.11614
SO Andersson A Wolk R Bergstrom E Giovannucci C Lindgren J Baron HO Adami (1996) ArticleTitleEnergy, nutrient intake and prostate cancer risk: a population-based case-control study in Sweden Int J Cancer 68 716–722 Occurrence Handle8980172 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DyaK2s7jsVKisA%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19961211)68:6<716::AID-IJC4>3.0.CO;2-6
I Bairati F Meyer Y Fradet L Moore (1998) ArticleTitleDietary fat and advanced prostate cancer J Urol 159 1271–1275 Occurrence Handle9507851 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK1cXms1equrs%3D Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0022-5347(01)63579-1
F Meyer I Bairati Y Fradet L Moore (1997) ArticleTitleDietary energy and nutrients in relation to preclinical prostate cancer Nutr Cancer 29 120–126 Occurrence Handle9427974 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DyaK1c%2FovFCnsQ%3D%3D
G Mamalakis A Kafatos N Kalogeropoulos N Andrikopoulos G Daskalopulos A Kranidis (2002) ArticleTitleProstate cancer vs hyperplasia: relationships with prostatic and adipose tissue fatty acid composition Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 66 467–477 Occurrence Handle12144866 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XnvFCmu74%3D Occurrence Handle10.1054/plef.2002.0384
AG Schuurman PA Brandt Particlevan den E Dorant HA Brants RA Goldbohm (1999) ArticleTitleAssociation of energy and fat intake with prostate carcinoma risk: results from The Netherlands Cohort Study Cancer 86 1019–1027 Occurrence Handle10491529 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DyaK1MvitlGqug%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1002/(SICI)1097-0142(19990915)86:6<1019::AID-CNCR18>3.0.CO;2-H
VL Freeman M Meydani S Yong J Pyle RC Flanigan WB Waters EM Wojcik (2000) ArticleTitleProstatic levels of fatty acids and the histopathology of localized prostate cancer J Urol 164 2168–2172 Occurrence Handle11061949 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXos1ymt7Y%3D Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0022-5347(05)66991-1
NR Raper FJ Cronin J Exler (1992) ArticleTitleOmega-3 fatty acid content of the US food supply J Am Coll Nutr 11 304–308 Occurrence Handle1619182 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK38Xls12rt7g%3D
PM Kris-Etherton DS Taylor S Yu-Poth P Huth K Moriarty V Fishell RL Hargrove G Zhao TD Etherton (2000) ArticleTitlePolyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States Am J Clin Nutr 71 179S–188S Occurrence Handle10617969 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXlsFGrtA%3D%3D
H Sprecher (1996) ArticleTitleNew advances in fatty-acid biosynthesis Nutrition 12 S5–S7 Occurrence Handle8850211 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DyaK2s%2Fgt1yksA%3D%3D
M Saito K Kubo (2003) ArticleTitleRelationship between tissue lipid peroxidation and peroxidizability index after alpha-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, or docosahexaenoic acid intake in rats Br J Nutr 89 19–28 Occurrence Handle12568661 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXhsFWmu7w%3D Occurrence Handle10.1079/BJN2002731
DA Healy FA Wallace EA Miles PC Calder P Newsholm (2000) ArticleTitleEffect of low-to-moderate amounts of dietary fish oil on neutrophil lipid composition and function Lipids 35 763–768 Occurrence Handle10941877 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXlslCgt7o%3D
PC Calder (2001) ArticleTitleOmega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation and immunity World Rev Nutr Diet 88 109–116 Occurrence Handle11935943 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD383gtlKgtg%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1159/000059774
NM Attar-Bashi AG Frauman AJ Sinclair (2004) ArticleTitleAlpha-linolenic acid and the risk of prostate cancer. What is the evidence? J Urol 171 1402–1407 Occurrence Handle15017185 Occurrence Handle10.1097/01.ju.0000116544.09581.55
IA Brouwer MB Katan PL Zock (2004) ArticleTitleDietary alpha-linolenic acid is associated with reduced risk of fatal coronary heart disease, but increased prostate cancer risk: a meta-analysis J Nutr 134 919–922 Occurrence Handle15051847 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2cXjtFWmtbg%3D
DS Michaud K Augustsson EB Rimm MJ Stampfer WC Willet E Giovannucci (2001) ArticleTitleA prospective study on intake of animal products and risk of prostate cancer Cancer Causes Control 12 557–567 Occurrence Handle11519764 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3Mvns1Klsg%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1023/A:1011256201044
JK Gohagan PC Prorok RB Hayes BS Kramer (2000) ArticleTitleThe Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial of the National Cancer Institute: history, organization, and status Control Clin Trials 21 251S–272S Occurrence Handle11189683 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3M%2FpvV2ktQ%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0197-2456(00)00097-0
AF Subar D Midthune M Kulldorff CC Brown FE Thompson V Kipnis A Schatzkin (2000) ArticleTitleEvaluation of alternative approaches to assign nutrient values to food groups in food frequency questionnaires Am J Epidemiol 152 279–286 Occurrence Handle10933275 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3czpvFKnug%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1093/aje/152.3.279
AF Subar FE Thompson AF Smith JB Jobe RG Ziegler N Potischman A Schatzkin A Hartman C Swanson L Kruse et al. (1995) ArticleTitleImproving food frequency questionnaires: a qualitative approach using cognitive interviewing J Am Diet Assoc 95 781–788 Occurrence Handle7797809 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DyaK2MzhvVCiuw%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0002-8223(95)00217-0
FE Thompson AF Subar CC Brown AF Smith CO Sharbaugh JB Jobe B Mittl JT Gibson RG Ziegler (2002) ArticleTitleCognitive research enhances accuracy of food frequency questionnaire reports: results of an experimental validation study J Am Diet Assoc 102 212–225 Occurrence Handle11846115 Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0002-8223(02)90050-7
PC Prorok GL Andriole RS Bresalier SS Buys D Chia ED Crawford R Fogel EP Gelmann F Gilbert MA Hasson RB Hayes CC Johnson JS Mandel A Oberman B O’Brien MM Oken S Rafla D Reding W Rutt JL Weissfeld L Yokochi JK Gohagan (2000) ArticleTitleDesign of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial Control Clin Trials 21 273S–309S Occurrence Handle11189684 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3M%2FpvV2kug%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0197-2456(00)00098-2
AS Whittemore LN Kolonel AH Wu EM John RP Gallagher GR Howe JD Burch J Hankin DM Dreon DW West (1995) ArticleTitleProstate cancer in relation to diet, physical activity, and body size in blacks, whites, and Asians in the United States and Canada J Natl Cancer Inst 87 652–661 Occurrence Handle7752270 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DyaK2M3ntFKqug%3D%3D
AR Kristal JH Cohen P Qu JL Stanford (2002) ArticleTitleAssociations of energy, fat, calcium, and vitamin D with prostate cancer risk Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 11 719–725 Occurrence Handle12163324 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XmvVaqsL0%3D
P Terry P Lichtenstein M Feychting A Ahlbom A Wolk (2001) ArticleTitleFatty fish consumption and risk of prostate cancer Lancet 357 1764–1766 Occurrence Handle11403817 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3MXkt1Khsrk%3D Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0140-6736(00)04889-3
JT Dwyer (1997) ArticleTitleHuman studies on the effects of fatty acids on cancer: summary, gaps, and future research Am J Clin Nutr 66 1581S–1586S Occurrence Handle9394718 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK2sXnslSku7c%3D
DR Cox (1972) ArticleTitleRegression models and lifetables (with discussions) J R Stat Soc 34 187–220
EL Korn BI Graubard D Midthune (1997) ArticleTitleTime-to-event analysis of longitudinal follow-up of a survey: choice of the time-scale Am J Epidemiol 145 72–80 Occurrence Handle8982025 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DyaK2s7js1Knug%3D%3D
WC Willett (1998) Nutritional epidemiology Oxford University Press New York, NY
PA Godley MK Campbell C Miller P Gallagher FE Martinson JL Mohler RS Sandler (1996) ArticleTitleCorrelation between biomarkers of omega-3 fatty acid consumption and questionnaire data in African American and Caucasian United States males with and without prostatic carcinoma Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 5 115–119 Occurrence Handle8850272 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DyaK2s%2Fgt12gsQ%3D%3D
W Demark-Wahnefried DT Price TJ Polascik CN Robertson EE Anderson DF Paulson PJ Walther M Gannon RT Vollmer (2001) ArticleTitlePilot study of dietary fat restriction and flaxseed supplementation in men with prostate cancer before surgery: exploring the effects on hormonal levels, prostate-specific antigen, and histopathologic features Urology 58 47–52 Occurrence Handle11445478 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DC%2BD3MzptFCrsg%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0090-4295(01)01014-7
LF Andersen K Solvoll LR Johansson I Salminen A Aro CA Drevon (1999) ArticleTitleEvaluation of a food frequency questionnaire with weighed records, fatty acids, and alpha-tocopherol in adipose tissue and serum Am J Epidemiol 150 75–87 Occurrence Handle10400557 Occurrence Handle1:STN:280:DyaK1MzhsV2gtg%3D%3D
SC Larsson M Kumlin M Ingelman-Sundberg A Wolk (2004) ArticleTitleDietary long-chain n-3 fatty acids for the prevention of cancer: a review of potential mechanisms Am J Clin Nutr 79 935–945 Occurrence Handle15159222 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2cXksVyqtLc%3D
JM Connolly M Coleman DP Rose (1997) ArticleTitleEffects of dietary fatty acids on DU145 human prostate cancer cell growth in athymic nude mice Nutr Cancer 29 114–119 Occurrence Handle9427973 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK1cXht1GltQ%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1080/01635589709514611
T Mori K Imaida S Tamano M Sano S Takahashi M Asamoto M Takeshita H Ueda T Shirai (2001) ArticleTitleBeef tallow, but not perilla or corn oil, promotion of rat prostate and intestinal carcinogenesis by 3,2’-dimethyl-4-aminobiphenyl Jpn J Cancer Res 92 1026–1033 Occurrence Handle11676852 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3MXptVGgurw%3D
DP Rose (1997) ArticleTitleEffects of dietary fatty acids on breast and prostate cancers: evidence from in vitro experiments and animal studies Am J Clin Nutr 66 1513S–1522S Occurrence Handle9394709 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK2sXnslSku74%3D
B Langelier JP Furet MH Perruchot JM Alessandri (2003) ArticleTitleDocosahexaenoic acid membrane content and mRNA expression of acyl-CoA oxidase and of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-delta are modulated in Y79 retinoblastoma cells differently by low and high doses of alpha-linolenic acid J Neurosci Res 74 134–141 Occurrence Handle13130515 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXnvVygsr0%3D Occurrence Handle10.1002/jnr.10714
PK Pandalai MJ Pilat K Yamazaki H Naik KJ Pienta (1996) ArticleTitleThe effects of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids on in vitro prostate cancer growth Anticancer Res 16 815–820 Occurrence Handle8687134 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK28Xkt1aqu74%3D
PJ du Toit CH Aswegen Particlevan DJ du Plessis (1996) ArticleTitleThe effect of essential fatty acids on growth and urokinase-type plasminogen activator production in human prostate DU-145 cells Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 55 173–177 Occurrence Handle8931115 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DyaK28XntVylsrY%3D Occurrence Handle10.1016/S0952-3278(96)90094-0
E Motaung SE Prinsloo CH Aswegen Particlevan PJ du Toit PJ Becker DJ du Plessis (1999) ArticleTitleCytotoxicity of combined essential fatty acids on a human prostate cancer cell line Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 61 331–337 Occurrence Handle10670696 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXltF2nsA%3D%3D Occurrence Handle10.1054/plef.1999.0107
SE Prinsloo CH Aswegen Particlevan (2002) ArticleTitleEffect of fatty acids on estradiol and testosterone binding to whole DU-145 prostate cells Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 66 419–425 Occurrence Handle12054912 Occurrence Handle1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XlsVGitrg%3D Occurrence Handle10.1054/plef.2002.0368
About this article
Cite this article
Koralek, D.O., Peters, U., Andriole, G. et al. A Prospective Study of Dietary Alpha-linolenic Acid and the Risk of Prostate Cancer (United States). Cancer Causes Control 17, 783 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-006-0014-x
- Prostatic neoplasms
- Alpha-linolenic acid
- Cohort studies