Should I Stop Taking Fish Oil?

Friday, 13 Sep 2013 07:42 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I heard a TV news story recently that cited a recent study indicating that men who take daily fish oil supplements are more likely to get prostate cancer than men who do not take fish oil supplements. Is this something that I should be concerned about?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
No. I take fish oil supplements and believe positively in their protection against heart disease. I am not persuaded by the study you mention that there is any association of prostate cancer with fish oil intake. But you should be using high quality fish oil or prescription Lovaza, and you can be assured of no mercurial or other contamination.
The study you refer to was published in July 2013 and is felt by many experts to be a flawed study. It did not prove a cause and effect between fish oil and cancer. By the way, Japanese men have the highest levels of EPA and DHA (fatty acids felt to be beneficial from fish consumption), and have the lowest rates of prostate cancer. So my advice is go with fish oil, but buy wisely. 

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