Omega-3 Fats from Fish Oil Found to Significantly Lower the Risk of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is among the most common forms of the disease among women, accounting for 23 percent of total cancer cases and 14 percent of cancer deaths in the US. So what can women do to improve their chances of dodging this devastating disease?
Many prior peer-reviewed research studies have shown that dietary and lifestyle interventions are most effective in preventing, and in some cases even treating breast cancer, and can provide similar degrees of protection against many cancer lines. The primary polyunsaturated omega-3 fats (n-3 PUFA’s), EPA and DHA, are known to be involved in chemical and electrical messaging in the brain, assist by regulating blood vessel activity and promote optimal functioning of the immune system.
Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Promote Natural Cancer Cell Death to Lower Disease Risk
A team of researchers based in China have published the results of their work on omega-3 fats and breast cancer risk in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), asserting that a high intake of fatty acids found in fish is associated with a 14 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer in later life. To conduct their study, scientists reviewed and analyzed a cohort of 26 studies from the United States, Europe and Asia involving over 800,000 participants and over 20,000 cases of breast cancer.
After breaking down all of the data points to determine the impact of the long-chain fats on breast cancer risk, the researchers determined the difference between the lowest and highest category of marine polyunsaturated fatty acid intake was associated with a fourteen percent reduced risk of disease. Further, for every 0.1 gram per day increase in the consumption of omega-3 fatty acid from fish, the risk of breast cancer decreased by five percent.
Eat Fish Regularly or Supplement Daily to Dramatically Lower Breast Cancer Risk
These results clearly demonstrate a significantly lowered risk that affects the development of breast cancer and future progression of the disease. The study authors concluded, “Our present study provides solid and robust evidence that marine n-3 PUFA are inversely associated with risk of breast cancer. The protective effect of fish or individual n-3 PUFA warrants further investigation of prospective studies.”, and went on to state that their findings “support a protective role of marine n-3 PUFA on the incidence of breast cancer.”
Scientists understand from past studies that the omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA, are preferentially accumulated in cell membranes, and help prevent cancer development by increasing the transfer of nutrients and oxygen to the cell nucleus. As DHA fats metabolize, toxic metabolites are produced that kill cancer cells. Researchers believe that this mechanism is responsible for the cancer risk reduction found in this study. Health conscious individuals will want to eat several servings of fatty fish each week or supplement (1,200 to 2,400 mg combined EPA/DHA) daily to lower the risk associated with breast cancer and other lines of the disease.
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John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and diet, health and nutrition researcher and author with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives. Discover the latest alternative health news concerning diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and weight loss at My Optimal Health Resource