Study: Fish oil increases aggressive prostate cancer


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Study after study shows omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish oil, are great for the heart. But new research suggests the same may not be true for men’s prostates.


Researchers with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, said that their study found that men with the highest percentage of docosahexaenoic acid – an inflammation-lowering omega-3 fatty acid commonly found in fish – have two-and-a-half times the risk of developing aggressive, high-grade prostate cancer compared to men with the lowest DHA levels.

The researchers also found that men with the highest concentrations of trans-fatty acids, which are linked with heart disease, had a 50-percent reduction of high-grade prostate cancer.

Neither fats were associated with the risk of low-grade prostate cancer.

Lead researcher Theodore M. Brasky said in a statement that he and his colleagues “were stunned” by their findings,” and that they “spent a lot of time making sure the analyses were correct.”

“Our findings turn on what we know – or rather what we think we know – about diet, inflammation and the development of prostate cancer on its head and shine a light on the complexity of studying the association between nutrition and the risk of various chronic diseases.”

A full report on the study appears in the April 25 edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

RELATED: Lawsuit: Fish oil tablets contain toxic PCBs


5 Comments | Leave a comment


How does this relate to taking Flax seed oil or Chia seeds as a Vegan alternative. Do these have the same prostate cancer causing properties as Fish oil?


You read my mind!


This appears to be very complicated. Here's a study exonerating flax seed oil, although I would never use the oil. I eat the whole, ground seeds.

I also googled "ALA, prostate cancer", and found many good studies. It seems the ALA/cancer link may have come by association with the ALA in grilled red meat. So maybe something in the grilling process caused the cancer, not the ALA. Or, even if a human ate a lot of raw red meat, the cancer risk would go up.


I was unable to find the article cited in "the April 25 edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology." For one thing, this Journal is only published on the first and the fifteenth day of the month. And I found no article similar to this one for April or any other edition this year in that journal. I sure hope that this problem with fish oil doesn't apply to the DHA I take which comes from golden algae oil. Perhaps the problem is with pollutants in the fish oil such as pcb's, mercury, dioxins or pesticides which algae oil is said not to have. Or perhaps it's that the process of processing the fish oil changes it to an ethyl ester compound which, by the way, will dissolve the bottom of a styrofoam cup.


Here it is:

or an easier to read version:

It's not part of the hard circulation. It's in the free article section.

Unfortunately, DHA does seem to be implicated in increased cancer risk.

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