Certain Omega-3s May Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk

Certain Omega-3s May Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk

New research shows that certain omega-3s may reduce prostate cancer risk. BETHESDA, Md.–Men with high intakes of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may have a reduced risk of prostate cancer, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute (Am J Clin Nutr, 80, 1:204-16, 2004).

Increased dietary intake of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), however, may increase the risk of advanced prostate cancer.
Researchers evaluated the association between dietary intake of ALA, EPA, DHA, linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA) and prostate cancer risk in a cohort of 47,866 men between 40 and 75 years of age who were free from prostate cancer at the start of the study. After 14 years of follow-up, 2,965 subjects developed prostate cancer–448 of which developed advanced prostate cancer.

The researchers found men with the highest intake of EPA and DHA combined had an 11-percent reduced risk of developing prostate cancer and a 26-percent reduced risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. Therefore showing that omega-3s may reduce prostate cancer risk.

Researchers also found while dietary intake of ALA was unrelated to the total risk of prostate cancer, its consumption significantly increased the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. Specifically, non-animal ALA doubled the risk and ALA from meat and dairy sources increased the risk by approximately 50 percent.

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