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Omega-3s and Vitamins May Slash Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Pancreatic cancer has a very high mortality rate, but to date little research has been conducted on the causes and potential preventions of the disease. Thanks to a recent study, we may now be closer to understanding how our diet can help prevent this deadly disease.

Researchers with the School of Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco published their findings in the January 2010 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data obtained from a large population-based case-control study in the San Francisco Bay area. They found that people with high intakes of omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamin C or vitamin E had a significantly reduced risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

High intakes of omega-3s were associated with a 53% decreased risk and vitamin C and E were linked to a 31% and 33% reduced risk respectively.

They also analyzed intakes of eight different saturated fatty acids and found that participants in the highest quartile had a 60%-160% increased risk of developing this deadly disease compared to those in the lowest quartile.

Finding ways to prevent pancreatic cancer is extremely important because once symptoms appear, it is often too late to stop the disease. That is why only 5% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live past five years. In the US alone, 40,000 people are diagnosed with the disease annually and 35,000 people die annually.

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