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Fish Oils cut the risk of breast cancer

Dec 03, 2013

Fish Oils cut the risk of breast cancer

Breast cancer in women accounts for 23 percent of all cancer cases and 14 percent of cancer deaths in the US. There is good evidence that dietary factors and positive life style habits can decrease the occurrence of the disease. Fish oils do seem to have a protective impact.

A team of researchers centered in China recently analyzed 26 studies performed in the United States, Europe and Asia involving over 883,585 participants and 20,905 cases of breast cancer. According to the analysis high intake of Fish Oils decreases the risk of breast cancer by 14% compared to women with the lowest intake. This protection was only linked to omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources such as fish and not from vegetable source omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid). Convincingly the beneficial effect was linear meaning that for every 100mg increase in fish oils consumed daily there was a corresponding 5% drop in the risk of breast cancer. This doesn’t translate to 2 grams of fish oils blocking breast cancer occurrence by 100% but rather that there is a robust level of protection offered from fish oils evidenced from a large body of very convincing research.

The main author of the study, Dr Li and his team state that the finding, together with the evidence from previous publications, “supports a protective role of marine omega-3 PUFA on the incidence of breast cancer.” PUFA is the abbreviation for polyunsaturated fatty acids and in this case the relevant ones were the omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils. The results of their work on omega-3 fats and breast cancer risk was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on June 27th, 2013.