Omega-3s May Prevent Prostate Cancer From Becoming More Aggressive
Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among American men. A recent study suggests that eating a low-fat diet and consuming omega-3 fish oil supplements may lower the risk of prostate cancer becoming more aggressive.
For the study, researchers followed up with men who had participated in a previous study. In the initial study, the men were separated into two groups. Half ate a typical Western diet – which consists of 40% fat – and half were instructed to eat a low-fat diet (15% fat), supplemented with five grams of omega-3 rich fish oil daily.
The low-fat diet supplemented with fish oil supplements was found to slow the growth of cancer cells in prostate cancer tissue.
In this follow-up study, the researchers sought to identify the biological mechanisms affected by the low-fat fish oil diet that were responsible for the protection against the growth and spread of the cancer. They measured pro-inflammatory substances in the blood and examined the prostate cancer tissue to determine the cell cycle progression (CCP) score.
The CCP score is associated with a more aggressive cancer, and can be used to predict which patients will have a recurrence of the disease and potentially die.
They found that taking fish oil was associated with a lower CCP score as well as lower levels of pro-inflammatory substances associated with cancer. Closer examination of the pro-inflammatory substance LTB4 revealed that one of its receptors is found on the surface of the prostate cancer cells. They plan to do more research into that receptor in order to discover exactly how it effects the progression of prostate cancer.
Researchers from the University of Los Angeles conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 29, 2013, in Cancer Prevention Research.
Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.
Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s.