Omega-3 Fatty Acids Increase Risk of Aggresive Prostate Cancer – Study

By on Apr 27, 2011 in Health, Science, United States, World Comments

A high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood has been shown to increase the risk of aggresive prostate cancer, several international health news sites reported on Monday.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Supplement
An Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplement
Image Credit: Healthjockey.com

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reportedly found that men with the highest blood percentages of docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, have two-and-a-half-times the risk of developing aggresive, high-grade prostate cancer prostate cancer compared to men with the lowest DHA levels.

Surprisingly, the study also found that men with the highest blood ratios of trans-fatty acids had a 50 percent reduction in the risk of high-grade prostate cancer. Furthermore, researchers found that omega-6 fatty acids, which are linked to inflammation and heart disease, were not associated with prostate cancer risk.

The study was reportedly based on data from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. A subset of data from more than 3,400 men age 55 and older were analyzed, half of whom developed prostate cancer during the course of the study and half of whom did not.

“We were stunned to see these results and we spent a lot of time making sure the analyses were correct,” said Theodore Brasky, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in the Hutchinson Center‘s Cancer Prevention Program. “Our findings turn what we know — or rather what we think we know — about diet, inflammation and the development of prostate cancer on its head and shine a light on the complexity of studying the association between nutrition and the risk of various chronic diseases.”

According to Brasky and his colleagues, men concerned about heart disease should not stop consuming fish oil supplements or eating fish.

“Overall, the beneficial effects of eating fish to prevent heart disease outweigh any harm related to prostate cancer risk,” Brasky was quoted saying. “What this study shows is the complexity of nutrition and its impact on disease risk, and that we should study such associations rigorously rather than make assumptions,” Brasky said.



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