Fish oil supplements could increase risk of prostate cancer

11 July 2013

Fish oil supplements containing a high dose of omega-3 fatty acids have long been promoted as an effective way to reduce risk of heart attack, negate effects of arthritis and increase cognitive function. However, new healthcare research has revealed a downside to the supplements, saying fatty acids could raise risk of prostate cancer by as much as 71 per cent.

Based on their research, experts concluded that blood concentrations of the fatty acids determine men’s risk of prostate cancer. Low concentrations of omega-3s upped risk by 43 per cent, while those taking high-dose supplements were 71 per cent more likely to develop aggressive high-grade tumours.

In replacement of omega-3 supplements, experts recommend eating one or two meals of oily fish per week to get a healthy dose of the fatty acids. The NHS agrees, recommending salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and trout as good sources of the nutrient.

Researcher Dr Alan Kristal from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle said: “There are good things in fish, so the message is moderation.” Dr Kristal did advise against supplements, saying the amount of fatty acids present in them is excessive.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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