News / Health

Study Links Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Prostate Cancer

Salmon is a popular source of fish oil.Salmon is a popular source of fish oil.
x
Salmon is a popular source of fish oil.
Salmon is a popular source of fish oil.
VOA News
Fish oil supplements that are high in omega-3 fatty acids have been quite popular among people who take them to help with issues such as heart health.

Past research has indicated that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, fish oil and other foods such as wild rice and walnuts, can decrease the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.

But now new research released this week indicates that too much omega-3 could put men at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, especially a deadly form of the disease. The finding confirms similar conclusions made in several earlier studies.   
While some experts have expressed skepticism about the study’s findings, men taking the supplement may find themselves weighing the benefits fish oil capsules may provide for their heart health versus the possible harm and increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

The study, conducted by researchers at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, found that high concentrations of three anti-inflammatory and metabolically related fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid - EPA, eocosapentaenoic acid - DPA and docosahexaenoic acid – DHA that are found in fatty fish such as salmon as well as in fish-oil supplements, are linked with a 71 percent increased risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer, the kind that experts say are more likely to be fatal.

The Seattle study also revealed that too much of the fatty acids can also lead to a 44 percent increase in the risk of low-grade prostate cancer – which grows slowly - as well as an overall 43 percent increase in risk for all forms of prostate cancers.

Fish oil capsules are popular for heart health benefitsFish oil capsules are popular for heart health benefits
x
Fish oil capsules are popular for heart health benefits
Fish oil capsules are popular for heart health benefits
To reach their findings, the researchers studied a group of about 843 men who had prostate cancer and another group of 1,383 men who didn’t have the cancer. They found that the prostate cancer patients had higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids in their blood than those in the non-cancer group.

The researchers said that the consistency of their findings suggest that these fatty acids are connected with the development of prostate tumors. They also caution those who want to increase their dosage of omega-3 fatty acids to consider any potential risks.

The researchers said they’re unclear so far about why the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids would increase prostate cancer risk. They do point out that omega-3 fatty acids converting into compounds could damage cells and DNA, and their role in immunosuppression.  They said that they don’t know whether or not these effects can actually impact cancer risks and that further research into possible mechanisms will be needed.

These new findings, published July 11 in the online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, confirm those made in 2011 by the same Seattle researchers.

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 Million by January

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Amy from: Texas
July 13, 2013 9:46 PM
Correlation is not causation. People with heart disease typically have low iodine levels, which can be a main cause of breast and prostate cancers. Keep on looking.


by: Jolosturo from: Palm Caost, FL
July 13, 2013 4:57 PM
Two questions: is it possible that having prostate cancer retains and/or concentrates the fatty-acids in your blood, and did they test for any other factors that applied throughout the test subjects, or were they only looking for results of fatty acids?


by: Sylvester Ogbolu-Otutu from: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
July 13, 2013 2:05 PM
Long-term sustainable health can be gained from committing to a strict vegan diet, in which case, one would not need any Omega-3 supplements derived from fish oils, etc. With a proper vegan diet, animal fats from meat, butter, cheese, etc. are removed, and the overall risk of heart disease is lowered. In a nutshell, a vegan diet should help reduce the incidence of different diseases, including cancers, diabetes, etc.


by: Paula Wright-McCluskey from: Roseville, Minnesota
July 13, 2013 12:56 PM
Ever think it is the high levels of the anti-inflammatory, in the fish oil, along with the high amounts of over the counter anti -inflammatory one takes during the day.. as we age we hurt and every one pushes high amounts of anti-inflammatory drugs... just a thought


by: OpenEars
July 13, 2013 10:50 AM
Many Americans have Omega-3 acids present in their bodies; however the vast majority of people with health issues have an incorrect balance of Omega-3, 6 and 9 oils.

Its likely that many of these individuals that contracted the prostate cancer are now taking Omega-3 acids due to its reported health benefits. "The reseachers" conclusion that prostate cancer development is linked to Omega-3 acids should be accompanied by a simple poll; how many of the individuals in each group of the study take supplementary Omega-3 acids, and how often do they eat foods containing high amounts of Omega acids.


by: Bruce from: Blue Springs Mo
July 12, 2013 7:21 PM
I just heard the other day that milk cause's breast,prostrate,and some other kind of cancer.They need to tell us what doesn't cause cancer so we don't have to go at it blindly.

In Response

by: OpenEars
July 13, 2013 5:43 PM
Bruce,

According to Dr. Mercola: "dairy products from cows treated with Monsanto‘s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) could sharply increase your risk of cancer and other diseases, especially in children."

Also on milk pasteurization from Dr. Mercola's website: " one of the worst side effects of pasteurization is that it renders much of the calcium contained in raw milk insoluble… This can lead to rickets, bad teeth, and nervous troubles, for sufficient calcium content is vital to children. Additionally, with the loss of phosphorus also associated with calcium, bone and brain formation can suffer serious setbacks."


by: Anonymous
July 12, 2013 6:52 PM
Oil was found in my husbands bladder during a check for bladder cancer. Should this be drained?

In Response

by: Carl from: Arkansas
July 13, 2013 8:15 PM
Yes.....drain it every 3000 miles and change his filter. It should extend the life of his crankshaft by several years.

Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid