Can fish oil tablets help prevent colon cancer?

The health benefits of Omega 3 essential fatty acids found in fish oil tablets are well documented, and studies are now showing a link between an increase in intake of Omega3 fats and preventing colorectal cancer.

Studies have shown that increasing your intake of Omega3 fats is a part of cancer prevention. There are studies showing a link between fish oil and breast cancer prevention and also between fish oil and prostate cancer prevention. Now studies also showing that increasing your intake of Omega 3 essential fats can help in preventing colon cancer.

A study undertaken in Scotland studied the effects of increasing the intake of Omega3 fatty acids on the risk of contracting colorectal cancer. The scientists undertaking the study found a significant relationship between increasing the dose of omega 3 fats DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and reducing the risk of colon cancer. As the intake of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids rose the risk of bowel cancer fell by up to 37 percent.

Interestingly the researchers also studied the effects of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) on the risks of contracting bowel cancer and found no relationship between increasing intake of ALA and the risk of colon cancer. ALA is an omega 3 fatty acid found in plants.
Fish oil and bowel cancer

Research has established that ALA can be converted into DHA and EPA in the body however this is only true to a limited degree, and the 2 important omega 3 fatty acids are DHA and EPA. Both of these are found in fish oil and the most convenient way to increase your intake of these essential fats is to take fish oil supplements

It was found that high intakes of EPA were associated with a reduction in the risk of cholera rectal cancer of up to 41 percent.

Because DHA and EPA are found primarily in fish oil the researchers examined the relationship between consumption of fish and the risk of colorectal cancer and concluded that those with the highest consumption of fish exhibited a 24 percent lower risk for developing colorectal cancer compared to those who ate the least fish.

It would seem from these results that there is a clear link between fish oil and preventing colon cancer. That is not to say at all that if you take fish oil tablets you will prevent bowel cancer. It is way more complicated than that however it would seem clear from this study that taking fish oil tablets containing DHA and EPA is an important part of an overall strategy to help prevent bowel cancer.

Of course there are many other things that you can do including examining your overall diet, examining your levels of exercise and more, however for the purposes of this website it would seem clear that increasing your consumption of fish oil is a valid part of an overall strategy to prevent cancer, including bowel cancer.

In another study in the Netherlands the authors conducted a review of a number of studies on the incidence of colo rectal cancer and the intake of fish oil. In all 14 studies were examined and the combined results show that the risk of cholera rectal cancer was 12 percent lower for those who consumed the highest level of fish compared to those who consumed the lowest.

In fact the authors calculated that for every meal of fish eaten per week the risk of bowel cancer was reduced by an estimated 4 percent. In other words those who ate 2 meals of fish per week had an estimated 8 percent reduction in the risk of bowel cancer.

Currently the average intake of fish in the US is way below that which would be adequate to achieve these results in helping to prevent bowel cancer.

The health benefits of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids were established initially around 40 years ago when observations were made that populations of people who ate high levels of fish and seafood generally seemed to have much better health, and in particular heart health, then populations of people who ate a diet low in fish. Studies commenced to determine whether there was a link between fish consumption and health, and in particular whether increased fish consumption reduced various health risks.

This was in fact found to be the case and there is now significant scientific evidence that increasing your intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids found in fish can reduce your risk of a wide range of health problems, and now that it can also help prevent cholera rectal cancer.

The authors of this website have personal experience with bowel cancer. We don’t have it ourselves, but a close personal friend of ours does, and has for some time.

It’s not been a pleasant experience watching a friend battle bowel cancer. It’s been an ongoing fight for some years and we’re not sure he’s winning.¬†And there’s been many unpleasant situations along the way.

The causes of bowel cancer are not fully established, only yesterday did we hear on the radio that a new study from the UK is showing that excess consumption of red meat may well have a role in causing bowel cancer.

But again, like all these things, who knows. All you can do is be sensible and follow the recommendations of the authorities. Eat sensibly, drink sensibly, exercise sensibly, don’t smoke and make sure you have an adequate intake of essential fatty acids.

It’s too late for our friend but it might not be too late for you. We certainly take our fish oil capsules every single day of the year.

To read more about this Scottish study about Omega 3 intake and bowel cancer click here.

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