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Fish Oil Study Linked To Prostate Cancer: omega 3 fatty acids may increase cancer risks



Fish Oil Study Linked To Prostate Cancer Finds New Study

[caption id="attachment_67619" align="aligncenter" width="599"]Fish Oil Study Linked To Prostate Cancer Finds New Study Fish Oil Study Linked To Prostate Cancer Finds New Study[/caption]Fish Oil Study Linked To Cancer

For years, consumers have been hearing about the benefits of fish oil, from increasing brain power to improving bone and muscle health. However, a recent study released by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle has suggested that the omega 3 fatty acids in fish oils may be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.

"In today's fast-paced society, stress is as certain as death and taxes," study researcher Jason Carter, a researcher at the university, said in a statement. "Moreover, our eating habits have deteriorated. This study reinforces that fish oils may be beneficial for cardiovascular health, particularly when we are exposed to stressful conditions."

The study, published in the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology, included 67 people without hypertension who were assigned to take either 9 grams of a fish oil supplement for eight weeks, or a placebo of olive oil for eight weeks

According to the report, men who regularly consumed fish oil supplements had an 71% increased risk of developing prostate cancer. This is one of the first studies to look at the effects of taking omega 3 supplements.

"These fish oil supplements in which some men are getting mega, mega doses … in our opinion that is probably a little bit dangerous," said Theodore Brasky of Ohio State University Medical Center, who worked on the study with a team from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

The fish oil study was done using 2100 participants of whom 843 had already been diagnosed with some for of prostate cancer. The study, however, did not differentiate between whether or not the men were receiving their intake of omega 3s from fish oil supplements or simply from eating large quantities of omega 3 fatty fish.

"A 70 percent increased risk in high-grade prostate cancer, given it's the No. 1 cancer in men and fish is a commonly consumed thing and is thought to be a healthy food, I think it'd be a concern for people," Brasky said in a telephone interview With The Irsh Times.

The fish oil study also doesn't say anything about the effects of fish oil on men who already have cancer. "This study is not about men with prostate cancer," Brasky said, noting that some studies have suggested fish oil might be beneficial in men who already have cancer.

It is recommended that an adult consumes at least 500 milligrams of omega 3 fatty acids a day, however, the effects of taking additional omega 3 supplements are still being researched. In the meantime, some consumers are voicing concerns about whether or not they should continue to take this supplement.

According to Stats Canada, despite only occurring in the male population, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada: 23,231 new cases were reported in 2007, or 142.3 cases per 100,000 men.

In 2007, 3,632 deaths were caused by prostate cancer in Canada, resulting in a mortality rate of 22.2 per 100,000 men. Prostate cancer accounts for 5.2% of all cancer-related deaths (9.9% of all male cancer deaths) and 1.5% of all mortality (3.1% of all male mortality). Although prostate cancer is the third-most common cause of cancer-related death in Canadian men, mortality caused by prostate cancer has been declining since 1993. These decreases are most likely because of earlier diagnosis and better treatment for prostate cancer

On The Web:

Fish Oil Study Linked To Cancer

Study linking fish oil supplements and cancer causes consumer fears

Cancer Statisitcs Canada

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