Fish oils can increase prostate cancer risk
A new report published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute may throw some cold water on all of the studies regarding the health benefits of fish oil. This new research found that consuming too much omega-3 may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men. The results found that men with the highest blood concentrations of fatty acids had a 71 percent higher risk of developing high-grade prostate cancers and a 43 percent increased risk for all prostate cancers.
Normally associated with heart-healthy benefits, the results of this study surprised the researchers. But higher concentrations of EPA, DHA and DPA – all fatty acids – were found to be potentially harmful. The study compared the blood level concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in 834 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer with the data from 1,393 men who had not. The lowest risk group for developing prostate cancer had a 3.2 percent blood level concentration, while the highest risk group had a 5.7 percent concentration.
Despite the findings, the researchers noted that further research is required before they can fully understand the risks of a diet rich in omega-3s and its effects on a man's health. They also pointed out that the heart-healthy benefits may outweigh the cancer risk, though this, too, is something that will require further investigation.