Eating Fish May Help Lower Risk Of Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. These cancers can also be called colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start. According to a new study, regular consumption of fish may help decrease the risk of colorectal cancer.
Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer used data from the 10-country European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Study. The study ran from 1992 to 2000 and included 521,324 participants. The researchers used food frequency questionnaires to estimate dietary intake of total, fatty/oily, and lean/white fish and omega-3 fatty acids. They also drew blood samples to measure blood levels of fatty acids. Participants were followed for an average of 14.9 years and all cases of colorectal cancer were recorded.
In addition, the researchers compared plasma samples from 461 participants who developed colorectal cancer and 461 matched participants who did not develop colorectal cancer.
The researchers found that participants who consumed the most fish were 12% less likely to have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer compared to those who ate less than one portion. Participants who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids had a decreased risk of colorectal cancer. A higher dietary ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 was found to increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
The study was published online ahead of print on June 25, 2019 in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.