According to the British newspaper "Daily Mail", researchers from the University of Chicago studied hundreds of different nutrients that affected the growth of cancer cells, including vaxinic acid (TVA).
They found that cancer patients with higher levels of this acid in their blood responded better to treatment, suggesting that it could have significant benefits as a dietary supplement.
The scientists warned that although fatty acids are present in beef and milk, it is important not to oversaturate the diet with these products, as they can lead to dangerously high cholesterol levels and an increased risk of heart disease.
Fat cuts of meat are more likely to contain higher levels of TVA compared to lean meats, as well as whole milk and full-fat dairy products compared to low-fat, skimmed milk.
The anti-cancer power of dairy-derived fatty acids comes from their ability to stimulate certain immune cells known as T cells, which stimulate the immune system.
The researchers said eating foods rich in this compound or giving it to cancer patients as a supplement could have measurable benefits in reducing the size of tumors.
Jing Chen, senior author of the study, said: "By focusing on nutrients that can activate T cell responses, we found a substance that actually boosts antitumor immunity by activating an important immune pathway.
Patients with higher levels of TVA in their blood tend to respond better to treatment compared to those with lower levels.