The Sources of Essential Fatty Acids for Allergic and Cancer Patients; a Connection with Insight into Mammalian Target of Rapamycin: A Narrative Review

Document Type : Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


1 Department of Pathology of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Baku University of Medical Sciences, Baku, Azerbaijan.

2 Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran.

3 Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Urmia University of Medical Science, Urmia, Iran.

4 4Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Islamic Azad University, Shahreza Branch, Shahreza, Iran.


Background: Disturbance in essential fatty acids (EFA) metabolism plays a key role in autoimmune diseases, but
EFA supplementation with sources of borage, evening primrose, hemp seed and fish oils was not effective in atopic
and cancer diseases, as that seen in the case of multiple sclerosis. It seems that two complexes of the mammalian target
of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, mTORC1 and mTORC2, are congruent with the two bases of the Traditional Iranian
Medicine (TIM) therapy, Cold and Hot nature, which are essential for the efficacy of functional oils for controlling
immune responses in autoimmune diseases. Methods: We searched PubMed database, Web of Science (WOS), Google
Scholar, Scopus and selected studies by predefined eligibility criteria. We then assessed their quality and extracted data.
Results: The oils controlled by Cold or Hot nature may be helpful in maintaining homeostasis and preventing autoimmune
diseases. In summary, studies of randomized controlled trials for allergy and cancer patients found no improvement
in the signs or response to tests, despite a remarkable change in EFA fractions in the blood by supplementation with
sources of borage, evening primrose, hemp seed and fish oils. In contrast, portulaca oleracea oil exhibited protective
effects by anti-inflammatory properties via the PI3K/Akt/mTORC2 pathway with a deviation immune response to Th1
to treat atopic diseases and cancer. Conclusions: According to the concept of Traditional Iranian Medicine therapy, in
contrast to Cold-nature oils, EFA supplementation with the sources of Hot-nature oilsis not suitable for the treatment
of atopic and cancerous diseases.


Main Subjects