Fish oil and prostate cancer risk

A new study has shown than men who take fish oil supplements or who eat fatty fish may be more likely to get prostate cancer. The study found that men who consume omega-3 fatty acids regularly increased their risk of prostate cancer by 71 per cent.

Scientists have not yet been able to explain the connection, but the findings are in line with a 2011 study which linked high blood concentrate of the anti-inflammatory fatty acid DHA, to a doubled risk of high-grade prostate cancer. Some findings also indicate that omega-3s are involved in the formation of tumours.

The study brings up the question of risk assessment – fish oil has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, cognitive performance and reduce inflammation. The Heart Foundation recommends that adults consume at least 500 mg of omega-3 every day.

So should you be taking fish oil supplements or not?

Pros:

  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reduces diabetes risk
  • Can help with cognition

Cons:

  • Can increase risk of bleeding
  • Can cause a rise in blood glucose levels
  • Increases LDL cholesterol
  • According to the new research, it may also increase the risk of prostate cancer in men

If you are concerned about fish oil, it is best to discuss the pros and cons with your doctor, as the benefits may outweigh the risks (or vice versa).



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