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Omega-3s May Raise Risk of Prostate Cancer

By Staff

8/20/2013

US Pharm. 2013;38(8):6.

Seattle, WA—According to a recent study, men with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids had a 44% increased risk for developing low-grade prostate cancer and a 71% increased risk for high-grade cancer. In a nine-year prospective study, researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, analyzed blood sample data from 834 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1,393 men who were cancer free. They found an association with three different omega-3s—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)—all of which are found in fish and fish oil supplements. These findings do not imply causation, but according to the study’s lead author, omega-3s can affect gene expression and, in high doses, suppress immunity, which could potentially promote cancer.

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