Friday, December 18, 2009

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Cut Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and help prevent risk factors associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

Omega-3 fatty acids appear protective against advanced prostate cancer, and even in men who carry a particular variant in the COX-2 inflammatory gene that is known to raise the risk of the disease. Previous research has shown protection by omega-3 fatty acids against prostate cancer, but this study by John S. Witte et al (1) is one of the first studies to show protection against advanced prostate cancer and interaction with COX-2.

The researchers studied 466 men diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and 478 healthy age- and ethnicity-matched controls. Diet was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire and researchers genotyped nine COX-2 single nucleotide polymorphisms.

Men who consumed the highest amount of long chain omega-3 fatty acids had a 63 percent reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer compared to men with the lowest amount of long chain omega-3 fatty acids.

The researchers then assessed the effect of omega-3 fatty acid among men with the variant rs4647310 in COX-2, a known inflammatory gene. Men with low long chain omega-3 fatty acid intake and this variant had a more than five-fold increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. But men with high intake of omega-3 fatty acids had a substantially reduced risk, even if they carried the COX-2 variant.

"The COX-2 increased risk of disease was essentially reversed by increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake by a half a gram per day," said Witte. "If you want to think of the overall inverse association in terms of fish, where omega-3 fatty acids are commonly derived, the strongest effect was seen from eating dark fish such as salmon one or more times per week."

1. Vincent Fradet, Iona Cheng, Graham Casey and John S. Witte. Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Cyclooxygenase-2 Genetic Variation, and Aggressive Prostate Cancer Risk. Clinical Cancer Research April 2009 15; 2559

2. Hovid’s molecularly distilled fish oil contains 18% EPA and 12% DHA. Besides Hovid's, we also carry many other brands of Omega-3 capsules. Come in and talk to our pharmacists.

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