New studies reveal a definite link between Omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer, and it’s a scary find for many. A supplement, which is commonly taken by both men and women for it’s ability to prevent cardiovascular disease, may be the catalyst that triggers a lethal and aggressive type of prostate cancer.
The supplement, Omega-3 fatty acids that is made from fish oils has been long recommended because of the anti-inflammatory properties. Now, studies find that it can increase the risk for high-grade prostate cancer by as much as 71 percent.
The news, unfortunately, gets worse. The study also found that taking Omega-3 was also linked to a 44 percent increase in developing low-grade prostate cancer. It was found that in general, the popular supplement increased risk for all types of prostate cancers by 43 percent. That’s a significant increase in risk, and something that many should be aware of.
The study found that high levels of all three types of the Omega-3 fatty acids that are commonly used in supplements, DHA, DPA and EPA, were linked to the results.
In the study, scientists compared samples of blood from over 830 men that had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. They also had over 1390 participants that did not have prostate cancer. In 2011, the same team of US researchers published findings that high concentrations of DHA in the blood tended to double the risk for high-grade prostate cancer.
Dr. Brasky, with Ohio State University said that the main thing is that the team was able to duplicate their findings from 2011, and they have been able to confirm that Omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources play a significant role in the development of prostate cancer.
The troubling thing is that so many people are currently taking Omega-3 fish oils. Most of the time, they are taken to help with joint stiffness, but studies that link this supplement to heart health have more people than ever taking them, and now the potential risks should be examined. Global Omega-3 sales run into the billions each year, and these new findings could cause a hit to those sales.
The studies found that men who had the highest levels of Omega-3 in the blood were much more likely to develop prostate cancer than those that had the lowest levels of it. In other words, the difference was like taking supplements daily, and eating salmon twice weekly. While it isn’t clear how Omega-3 causes prostate cancer, it is thought that it might have something to do with the way that Omega-3 converts into compounds that tend to damage DNA and cells. It is also thought that the fatty acids in Omega-3 contribute to the immune system becoming suppressed.