Ian from Lisarow, New South Wales, Australia asked:

Is it true that men who take fish oil supplements or eat fatty fish are more likely to develop prostate cancer?

Fish Oil Tablet and cancer risks

What does this mean for men regularly taking fish oil tablets?

The source:
Our answer

Although a recent study found an association between consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and an increased risk of prostate cancer, there was no explanation about how this could occur. This early finding is not strong evidence, particularly as there are no other significant studies showing the same thing. The omega-3 fatty acids referred to in the study, which was reported in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, include salmon, trout and fresh tuna, and in fish oil supplements. The results are interesting because the study did not identify whether people obtained their omega-3 from fish or supplements and the authors were not able to explain the mechanism or reason why there could be a link. We are told that omega-3s from fish are beneficial for heart health, so these results need to be investigated more to understand their implications for our diet. At this stage, we advise people eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of vegetables, fruit and whole grains, as well as some fish, chicken, lean meats, nuts, seeds and reduced fat dairy foods. We know that this type of a diet helps prevent cancer. There should be no need for people to take supplements if they eat a variety of whole-foods and limit processed foods. If you have concerns you should talk with your doctor.

This page was last updated on: July 10, 2014
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