Image of a mouse.

New research from the University of Illinois finds products of omega-3 fatty acid metabolism show anti-cancer properties in mice.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain development. When the body metabolizes these fats, it creates a class of compounds that help reduce pain and inflammation. Known as endocannabinoids, the molecules behave similarly to compounds in marijuana, but without the psychotropic effects.

Aditi Das is a comparative biosciences professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In previous research, she found a class of oxidized endocannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects.

“We were very interested to know what other properties [it has],” she said.

So she teamed up with veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan to explore whether they play a role in cancer.


– Written by Illinois Public Radio