Breast Cancer and Evening Primrose Oil

While genetic research on cancer has yielded almost nothing, this can be counted as a rare exception: women who carry the genetic variant known as Her-2/neu have a dramatically increased risk of breast cancer, estimated to be as high as 80%, although it only accounts for 10% of breast cancer cases in the US.

Recent research indicates that fatty acids found in Evening Primrose Oil reduce expression of the Her-2/neu protein, which is what causes the high risk of cancer. Taking this oil can therefore both reduce the risk of contracting the disease and help improve treatment outcomes. In addition, taking this supplement at the same time as Herceptin, a medication often prescribed for women with this genetic trait, improved the effectiveness of the drug by 30 to 40% (J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Nov 2; 97 (21): 1611-5).

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