Tags: fish | oil | study | prostate | cancer

Fish Oil Study Links Increased Prostate Cancer Risk Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 06:04 PM

By Morgan Chilson

A new fish oil study has found a link between fish oils – omega-3 fatty acids – and prostate cancer, raising concerns that people with elevated fish oil levels may have a higher risk for developing the cancer, CTV News reports.

The article cautioned that the study, published this week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, does not find a “cause-and-effect” relationship between taking fish oil and prostate cancer.

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Dr. Arthur Grabowski, a Canadian urologist, told CTV News that the results of this study conflict with findings in other studies.

“This is not the final word on whether omega 3 fatty acids put patients at higher risk for prostate cancer,” he told CTV News.

About $1 billion a year is spent in the U.S. to buy Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements, according to the Columbus Post-Dispatch.

The study’s authors did another study and found about the same results, and they recommend that men don’t take the supplements, the newspaper reported. But other experts agree with Grabowski and want a continued examination of the link between cancer and fatty acids.

The study found that not only did men with higher levels of long-chain fatty acids have a 43 percent increased risk of getting prostate cancer, but they had a 71 percent higher risk of getting more aggressive cancers, the Post-Dispatch said.

One of the study’s co-authors, Alan Kristal, a Seattle epidemiologist, spoke bluntly to the Post-Dispatch about his thoughts on supplements.

“Why would you do it? Americans have been sold a complete bill of goods on supplements,” he said. “I think the message increasingly is that these are not good for you.”

Forbes pointed out that the new study, while not talking particularly about people taking fish oil supplements, is just one of a few recent studies that bring into question the validity of taking fish oil supplements.

A Journal of the American Medical Association article reported last year that a study found no heart benefits to taking the fish oil supplements, Forbes reported.

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