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Omega-3 May Slow Prostate Cancer Growth

A preliminary study from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that fish oil supplements seem to inhibit the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells. The research was published on October 25, 2011, in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

Study participants included 48 men who were in advanced stages of prostate cancer, resulting in the removal of the prostate gland and some surrounding tissue; an operation known as a radical prostatectomy.

The men were split into two groups and over the course of 4 to 6 weeks before the operation, one group consumed a Western diet with a 15:1 omega-6:omega-3 ratio and one group received a low-fat diet and 5 grams of fish oil in a 2:1 omega-6:omega-3 ratio.

The researchers noted no change in serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) or prostate prostaglandin E2 levels, which are biomarkers of prostate cancer. They did, however, observe that both malignant and benign tissues were reduced in the fish oil group and that cell growth and proliferation was noticeably reduced. The lower the rate of proliferation, the lesser the chance the cancer will spread outside of the prostate.

Due to the small sample size and short duration of the study, the researchers stated that more trials need to be conducted before dietary recommendations can be made with regards to prostate cancer.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to a multitude of health benefits. These include combating diabetes, lowering cholesterol, improving vision, reducing the risk of dementia and relieving depression.

If you’re looking to increase your omega-3 intake, try adding darker fish, such as salmon or tuna, to your diet. If you don’t like the taste of fish or are just finding it hard to work it into your meal plans, consider taking a high quality supplement. Ensure you are getting the maximum benefits of omega 3 fatty acids by only buying high quality supplements that have been tested for purity and potency.

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