Omega-3 fatty acids, found in flaxseed, fish and other foods, may reduce the risk of getting colorectal cancer by two-thirds in men, a new study suggests. There is one caveat, though: the effect is seen in men who do not take aspirin.
What you need to know – Conventional View
- Some research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids prevent omega-6 arachidonic acids from promoting cancer in the body.
- Fatty acids make compounds called prostaglandins, which either become omega-3s or omega-6s. The omega-3 fatty acids suppress the inflammation of cancer, whereas omega-6 acids promote them.
- The study found that men with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had the lowest risk of colorectal cancer. The study looked at 178 men with colorectal cancer and 282 cancer-free controls.
- Omega-3 fatty acids also have been associated with protecting the heart and improving cognitive function.
- Colorectal cancer represents roughly one-tenth of all new cancer cases in the U.S., making it the third leading cause of death among Americans.
- The areas of the world with the lowest rates of colorectal cancer are Asia and Africa.
- The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.
- “Blood levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids were associated with decreased risk of colorectal cancer among men not using aspirin,” the researchers wrote.
What you need to know – Alternative View
- Omega-3 fatty acid is a healing nutrient that helps prevent heart disease, depression, strokes and cancers.
- Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are flaxseed, hemp seed, chia seed and, for non-vegetarians, oily fish.
Considerable health benefits have been found from eating the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed and fish, the most recent being a decrease in the risk of colorectal cancer.
M. T. Whitney