Omega-3s May Improve Chemo Outcomes
Women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer may improve their chances of survival by taking supplements of the omega-3 essential fatty acid DHA. Every year approximately 1.3 million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer, and nearly half a million die from the disease.
The study was conducted by researchers from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in France. Their findings were published in the February 2010 issue of the British Journal of Cancer.
The researchers recruited 25 women with breast cancer for their study. In addition to their chemotherapy regimen, all the participants were also given 1.8 grams of DHA daily for 2-6 months.
The researchers found that women with the highest blood levels of DHA had a 34 month survival rate compared to just 22 months for women with the lowest levels.
These results are especially impressive because the women partaking in the study had particularly bad prognoses at the beginning of the study. In 68% of them, the cancer had spread to the liver, which lowers the median overall survival rate to 14 months.
In addition, there were no negative side effects associated with the DHA supplementation.
The researchers note that the study suggests DHA may improve cancer survival rates by sensitizing tumors to chemotherapy. Additional research is planned to support this finding.
Taking a high quality supplement high in the omega-3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA is one way to up your omega-3 intake and enjoy the many benefits associated with these essential fatty acids. Some of these benefits include improvements in heart health, cognitive function and reductions in cancer risk.
You can also get your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids by eating more oily fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna.