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Fish Oil Supplements May Help Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle recently conducted a study which found that regular consumption of omega-3 rich fish oil supplements may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

They published the findings of their study in the July 2010 issue of the journal Cancer Epidimiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

For the study over 35,000 postmenopausal women filled out a 24 page questionnaire about their use of dietary supplements including fish oil. All of the women lived in Washington State, were between 50 and 76 years of age and had no history of breast cancer at the start of the study.

After 6 years of follow-up, 880 of the participants were diagnosed with breast cancer. When the researchers compared women that took fish oil supplements on a regular basis to those that did not they found a 32% decreased risk of breast cancer among women taking the supplements.

Many of the women reported taking supplements that are commonly used to treat menopause symptoms such as soy, St Johns Wort and black cohosh but none of those supplements appeared to have any effect on breast cancer risk.

This study did not look into the mechanism behind the findings but the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids likely play a large role according to the researchers.

These strong anti-inflammatory properties also play a role in the long list of other health benefits associated with omega-3's including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's and certain cancers.

Taking a high quality supplement is a good way to increase omega-3 intake, just be sure that the supplement you choose is certified for purity and high in DHA and EPA, the two most important omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna are also high in omega-3's.

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