A new study suggests that Omega 3 causes prostate cancer. But is it proven?

In the past we’ve reported that studies suggesting that more omega 3 fish oil well be good for your prostate, either by helping reduce the risk of prostate cancer or possibly slowing the rate of prostate cancer growth.

And if you’d like to read more about the studies you can do so here.omega 3 and prostate cancer

Disconcertingly, new evidence is now suggesting the contrary, that higher levels of Omega 3 in your system may well increase the risk of prostate cancer.

There is an obvious contradiction there, and in fact the new studies have come under heavy criticism of late.

We are not medically qualified and so cannot discuss the specific scientific backgrounds of these new studies. What we can say is that there is significant criticism of the studies suggesting that whilst the studies found that men suffering from prostate cancer had higher levels of Omega3 in the blood they haven’t proven that it was the Omega3 which caused the prostate cancer.

And clearly if there is no link between the level of Omega 3 in the blood and the instance of prostate cancer than those who take omega 3 fish oil supplements do not need to worry that they are increasing their risk of prostate cancer.

Of course if there is a correlation between levels of Omega 3 in the blood and prostate cancer then further studies are needed to establish whether or not it was actually those levels of Omega 3 that caused the cancer.

So today we merely alerting you to the debate, so that you can, if you’re interested, follow along as the debate hots up.

You can read much more about the debate through the links below.




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More Omega 3 reduces fatigue from cancer according to study

Every now and then the results of a new Omega 3 study come out of left field. Here’s another one which is a little unexpected.

As people who have had, or who have, cancer will tell you, one of the more dreary side-effects of both the cancer, and/or the treatment for cancer, is fatigue. In many cases the cancer sufferer not only suffers fatigue during the duration of the cancer, but also well after the cancer itself and the cancer therapy has ended.

It is not entirely clear why cancer sufferers suffer from fatigue although there is some suggestion that a possible cause may be chronic inflammation in the body.

It is possibly this that prompted researchers to research the possibility that an increase in the dose of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, mainly found in oily fish, may well have some effect in reducing the fatigue suffered by cancer sufferers. Omega 3 and Cancer Related Fatigue

And in fact, in the results of a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, it does seem that there is a link between increasing Omega 3 intake and reducing cancer related fatigue.

The study was undertaken on 633 survivors of breast cancer. Of these, 42 percent considered themselves to be fatigued some 3 years after their diagnosis of breast cancer, and there was an increased likelihood of this amongst those who exhibited higher levels of a particular protein in their blood. This protein is linked to inflammation of the body.

And the study concluded that a higher level of Omega 3 intake was linked to a reduced level of fatigue. Participants were given Omega 3 supplements during the study.

Of course in any study like this there are other possible factors involved, and the researchers suggested that regular physical exercise might also be involved in this result. However it seemed from the study that there was a link between higher intake of this Omega 3 and lower levels of cancer related fatigue.

Researchers observed that the results of this study are preliminary and are probably insufficient, of their own, to suggest that people with fatigue related to cancer should start taking fish oil pills to help reduce that fatigue, however given the wide range of other health benefits that increasing your intake of Omega 3 fats can attract, it may well be that sufferers should be increasing their intake of the Omega 3 fats for other reasons anyway.

Which of course you can do by eating more oily fish regularly or by taking quality Omega 3 supplements.

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Omega 3 can reduce the risk of stroke by reducing the risk of Atrial Fibrillation

The role of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA in heart health has been established that some time, and the reason the American Heart Association tells us all to maintain a minimum level of intake of the Omega 3 fats.

More evidence is now emerging about the role of the Omega 3 fats in helping to prevent Atrial Fibrillation.

Atrial Fibrillation is a heart condition. It is often associated with chest discomfort including chest pain and palpitations, and is a form of cardiac arrhythmia, namely an irregular heartbeat.

Whilst Atrial Fibrillation may present no symptoms to the sufferer it has implications for their future health. For instance it can increase the risk of stroke in the presence of other risk factors like high blood pressure.

Atrial Fibrillation is quite common, and estimates are that it affects hundreds of millions of Americans and costs tens of $billions in health care costs. In particular its association with an increase in the risk of stroke is very serious. One of the major risk factors for Atrial Fibrillation is age, and as people pass the age of 40 their risk increases significantly, and this risk increases with advancing age.Omega 3 and Atrial Fibrillation

A study on Atrial Fibrillation, known as the “Framingham Heart Study“, observed that Atrial Fibrillation is now emerging as a major public health concern. That study examined the risks for developing Atrial Fibrillation, and concluded that the lifetime risk is one in 4 for men and women over the age of 40. That’s significant.

In a new study published in late 2011,  the role of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids in preventing or helping prevent Atrial Fibrillation was examined.

In the study over 3000 men and women above the age of 65, who were free of Atrial Fibrillation or heart failure, were studied over a period of 10 years. Part of the study included readings of their levels of the Omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (together with DPA).

The conclusion of the study was that “In older adults, higher circulating total long-chain n-3 PUFA and DHA levels were associated with lower risk of incident AF.” (where long-chain n-3 PUFA means Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and AF means Atrial Fibrillation).

In fact it would appear from the study that more DHA alone had some effect on helping reduce the risk of Atrial Fibrillation.

And of course further studies are required to confirm the results and also to investigate whether or not increasing the amount of Omega 3 fats in the diet could be a form of primary prevention of Atrial Fibrillation.

This is an extremely important result given the number of people who suffer from this heart condition and the cost in both dollar terms and human terms of the condition. In many cases it can lead to death.

Good news indeed, the role of the Omega 3 fats in heart health continues to amaze.

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Colon polyps can cause colon cancer, and Omega 3 can reduce the risk of polyps

New research is now showing the Omega 3 essential fatty acids may help reduce the risk of colon polyps in women, though it seems from the research that that protective mechanism doesn’t extend to men.

Colon polyps are growths on the interior surface of the large intestine. In some cases colon polyps are benign, meaning that they do not lead to any further health risks, particularly cancer, however in other cases colon polyps may lead to bowel cancer.

Generally people who have developed polyps in the intestine do not experience any particular pain or other symptoms, and so they may be difficult to detect. In some cases they may be associated with bleeding or some other mild symptoms, however generally they are not detected from physical symptoms.

However they can be detected through colonoscopy, if performed.Omega 3 for colon polyps

There’s a number of different types of colon polyps, some more dangerous than others.

One of the major risk factors of developing polyps is age, and it is estimated that anywhere up to half of people over the age of 60 will develop one or more.

Other inflammatory conditions of the colon, like Crohn’s disease, are also considered to increase your risk of colon cancer, as is a family history, obesity and smoking.

And, as noted, they do not always lead to colon cancer, they may do, and as colon cancer is the 2nd most common cause of death from cancer in the US, preventing or detecting polyps can be very important.

There has been a new study reported 3 weeks ago on the Vanderbilt University medical Centre’s website. The study was undertaken at the University’s Cancer Centre and has found that women who eat at least 3 servings of fish a week can reduce the risk of developing some types of colon polyps by around a 3rd. Or if you can’t afford fish you could take high quality Omega 3 capsules.

The most likely reason for this result is that it is considered that colon polyps can be a result of inflammation in the bowel, amongst other things, and that the Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish are very effective anti-inflammatories, as effective as aspirin at least, if not more.

In the study 5300 people were given food frequency questionnaires to determine how often they ate fish, and had urine samples taken to determine levels of inflammation from a biomarker found in the urine that can evidence levels of inflammation.

And participants also had a colonoscopy to detect the presence of polyps. Some participants began the study polyp free and others with polyps.

Surprisingly, the protective effect of the omega 3 fats in fish seems to extend to women, but not, according to the study, to men. Researchers commented that this may well be because men generally eat more of the Omega 6 fatty acids which may reduce the protective effect of the Omega 3’s.

A new study is now under way to see if these results can be duplicated using fish oil supplements.

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