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Can This Dietary Staple Help You Dodge Pancreatic Cancer?


Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest types of malignancies, with only 3 percent of patients surviving more than five years. Dietary intervention may improve this dire prognostic, as a study finds that the risk of this disease may be cut significantly by eating oily fish and non-fried fish.

A research team led by Dr. Ka He from the School of Public Health at Indiana University Bloomington discovered an inverse relationship between this food and pancreatic cancer. The link was found after analyzing data from more than 66,000 adults between the ages of 50 to 76 years. Dietary data was collected through a food tabulation questionnaire, and pancreatic cancer cases were pinpointed through a cancer registry.

The results published in in the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that those who ate the most oily fish and non-fried fish had a 38 percent and 45 percent lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer, respectively, than those who ate the least amount. Shellfish and fried fish did not appear to lower the risk of this cancer.

Oily fish such as salmon is healthful, as it contains omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs). Of the LC-PUFAs, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) showed a stronger preventive effect than eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

Earlier study suggests certain foods may dramatically cut pancreatic cancer risk.

Another study, published in July of 2012 in the journal Gut, also discovered that certain foods appear to substantially cut the risk of pancreatic cancer. Scientists from the University of East Anglia found people who consumed large quantities of vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium had a 67 percent lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer than those who ate the lowest amounts.

The group of participants in the study was comprised of 24,000 men and women between the ages of 40 and 74, who provided data on food they ate during a week and the method by which it was prepared. Those who consumed foods containing the most selenium had only half the risk of developing pancreatic cancer than those who consumed the least. The most striking difference was found in those who ate the most foods containing all three antioxidants – vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium.

Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamin C, while nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and egg yolks are good sources of vitamin E. Nuts, fish and cereals contain selenium.

The authors suggest that if further studies provide conclusive proof that these antioxidant foods are responsible for the protective effect, dietary recommendations could prevent one of every 12 cases of pancreatic cancer. Both these studies add to the accumulating evidence indicating that diet may play an important role in disease prevention.


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.

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