Effects of dietary primrose oil on mammary tumorigenesis induced by 7,12-dimethylbenz(a) anthracene

Soad H. Abou El-Ela, Keith W. Prasse, Richard Carroll, Opal R. Bunce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The mammary tumor-promoting effect of a high-fat diet containing 20% evening primrose oil (PO) was compared to that of a 20% corn oil (CO) diet. Mammary tumors were induced in female Sprague-Dawley rats using 10 mg (Study 1) and 5 mg (Study 2) 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA). The 10 mg dose of DMBA gave a total mammary tumor incidence of 47% in rats fed the PO diet and 80% for those fed the CO diet. When only adenocarcinomas were counted, the malignant mammary tumor incidences were 41% in rats fed the PO diet and 73% in rats fed the CO diet. In a second study using 5 mg DMBA to induce mammary tumors, total tumor incidences were 50% for PO-fed rats and 63% for those receiving a CO diet. Again, when only adenocarcinomas were counted, tumor incidences were 27% for PO- and 63% for CO-dieted rats. Analysis of plasma fatty acid profiles indicated that animals fed a 20% PO diet showed significant increases in 18:3 and 20:4 fatty acids and significant decreases in 16:0 and 18:1 compared to animals fed a 20% CO diet. These results indicate that the mammary tumor promoting effect of a diet containing 20% fat can be diminished by substituting PO for CO. Moreover, the promoting effect on mammary cancer by a high-fat diet could be depressed by feeding a source of γ-linolenic acid (GLA).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1044
Number of pages4
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology


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