Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Cancer

There have been a number of studies that have reported possible anti-cancer effects of omega-3 fatty acids, including a reduction of tumour growth, a delay of metastasis (spread), and increased survival. It is thought that omega-3 can help to prevent normal cells from becoming malignant, and may also induce suicide in cancerous cells.

Breast Cancer

Although much more research need to be carried out to find out the true relationship between omega 3 fatty acids and breast cancer, several researchers have postulated that omega-3 may be of particular value in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer when combined with other nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, selenium, and coenzyme Q10.

Colon Cancer

Animal studies have indicated that the intake of omega 3 fatty acids can prevent the progression of colon cancer, with some studies even showing a reduction or reversal in the progression of colon cancer with daily consumption of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These two fatty acids help to reduce inflammation in the colon, which can go some way in explaining the positive link between consuming fish oil and reducing colon cancer. However, one study in rats metastic colon cancer has shown that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) may in fact promote the growth of cancer cells in the liver.

Prostate Cancer

Clinical and population studies have indicated that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (specifically DHA and EPA)may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. However, some studies have shown that ALA has been seen in higher levels of individuals with prostate cancer.