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Does Fish Oil Increase Risk Of Prostate Cancer

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Why You Should Take Krill Oil

Prostate cancer and Fish oil: Truth or fiction

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Purpose Of This Summary

This PDQ cancer information summary has current information about the use of nutrition and dietary supplements for reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer or for treating prostate cancer. It is meant to inform and help patients, families, and caregivers. It does not give formal guidelines or recommendations for making decisions about health care.

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What The Research Says

The jury is still out on whether fish oil is beneficial for prostate cancer prevention and treatment. In fact, some research suggests it could be a factor of increasing risk when it comes to the prostate.

A 2014 study found a link between consuming omega-3 fatty acids and a higher risk of prostate cancer, but the findings are still preliminary. More research is needed to determine the possible connection between prostate cancer and omega-3s.

Overall, doctors recommend adding fish oil and other omega-3 fatty acids to your diet because of its effects on heart health and other types of cancer. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and have been thought to ward off certain diseases.

As with any medication or supplement, fish oil isnt for everyone. You shouldnt add fish oil to your diet if youre taking:

  • certain chemotherapy drugs, including ones that are platinum-based
  • glucocorticoids, a type of steroid hormones
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Fish oil may affect how these medications work and cause more side effects.

Most people can take fish oil without having any side effects, though side effects are possible. You may experience loose stools and nausea after ingesting large amounts of fish oil.

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Effects Of Increasing Ala

Increasing ALA probably has little or no effect on risk of cancer death and may slightly increase the risk of prostate cancer diagnosis . Data on any cancer diagnoses, breast cancer diagnoses, breast or prostate cancer deaths and breast density were too limited to provide useful information, so effects were unclear.

Two trials provided data on 123 cancer deaths and meta-analysis suggested little or no effect , which did not alter in sensitivity analyses. The same two trials reported 46 prostate cancer diagnoses in 4010 male participants . This increased risk was consistent across all sensitivity analyses and supported by a rise in PSA in those taking more ALA in the single large trial .

Systematic Review Of Prostate Cancer Risk And Association With Consumption Of Fish And Fish

Does Fish Oil Cause Prostate Cancer?

MRC Centre for Transplantation, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, King’s Health Partners, King’s College London, London, UK

Correspondence to:

Kamran Ahmed, MRC Centre for Transplantation, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, King’s College London, London SE1 9RT, UK

Tel.: +020 7188 5669

MRC Centre for Transplantation, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, King’s Health Partners, King’s College London, London, UK

Correspondence to:

Kamran Ahmed, MRC Centre for Transplantation, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, King’s College London, London SE1 9RT, UK

Tel.: +020 7188 5669

Disclosures

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Further Clarification Is Needed

Papers published since the Brasky study question the message promoted by media. First, correlation does not necessarily mean cause-and-effect. Second, omega-3 fatty acids have 3 components: eicosapentaenoic acid , docosapentaenoic acid , and docosahexaenoic acid if analyzed separately, there seems to be a greater correlation with DHA than the other two. Many have pointed out that more research is needed on whether the source makes a difference. Others have demonstrated a lower risk of PCa among men with higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. More research is needed to ultimately clarify whether fish oil supplements pose a PCa protection or hazard.

Study Subjects Do Not Appear To Have Taken Fish Oil Supplements

Life Extension scientists repeatedly reached out to the authors of the negative report, but did not receive a response as to whether any attempt was made to ascertain the source of the omega-3 in the study subjects blood. We wanted to know if these men regularly ate cold-water fish or took at least some fish oil supplements.

Despite our requests, no clarification was made available by study authors as to the level of dietary supplementation with fish oil, and if so, the source of fish oil used in the study.

Based upon the very low plasma percentage levels of omega-3 fatty acids detected in the study, the implication is that dietary supplementation with fish oil likely did not occur. Instead, based upon the low levels of omega-3 plasma phospholipids detected, the source appears to have been primarily diet only. As we will show soon, it appears that none of the men in this study consumed much in the way of cold-water fish either.

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Lets Look At The Study

This will get science-heavy. If itâs too heavy for you, just skip to the next section.

In short, this study initially looked at participants of the SELECT trial and got a sample of persons who were diagnosed with prostate cancer and made note of how many had advanced cancer , then 1393 persons from the SELECT study who did not have prostate cancer were selected for comparison. The researchers then measured serum omega-3 fatty acids and stratified the groups into quartiles to see if there was an association.

The results showed that persons who had prostate cancer were more likely to have higher circulating omega-3 fatty acid levels and that omega-6 was unrelated to prostate cancer. Trans fatty acids were mostly unrelated aside from a possible positive relationship with the 16:1 trans-fatty acids 16:1n9 and 16:1n7t. When comparing the quartiles against one another 1.00 as a reference), the highest levels of fish based omega-3 fatty acids were associated with increased risk as assessed by Hazard Ratio for total HR = 1.23 = 1.07-1.40), low-grade HR = 1.24 , and high grade HR = 1.24 prostate cancer. While DHA had an HR showing an association with total HR = 1.21 , low grade HR = 1.21 , and high grade HR = 1.26 prostate cancer, DPA was only associated with total HR = 1.23 and low grade HR = 1.30 while EPA was not significantly associated with an increased risk. Alpha-linolenic acid, omega-6 fatty acids, and trans fatty acids were not correlated with cancer risk.

Effects Of Increasing Long

Dr. David Samadi – Study: Fish oil linked to prostate cancer

Increasing LCn3 has little or no effect on risk of diagnosis of any cancer and probably has little or no effect on risk of cancer death . We meta-analysed 27 trials assessing effects of LCn3 on cancer diagnosis . This lack of effect was not altered in any sensitivity analysis. There was no suggestion of heterogeneity between trials and the funnel plot did not suggest small study bias . Subgrouping did not suggest effect differences by duration, dose, nutrients replaced, intervention type, age, sex or baseline cancer risk. Eighteen trials provided data on 2277 cancer deaths . This lack of effect did not alter in sensitivity analyses or subgrouping and there was no suggestion of small study bias or heterogeneity.

Fig. 1

Forest plot showing effects of increasing omega-3, omega-6 and total PUFA on any cancer diagnosis, using random-effects meta-analyses.

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Fish One Part Of The Whole

Again and again, research shows that people eating diets with a moderate amount of seafood have lower risk of cancer and other chronic diseases and longer lives.

This could be due to other parts of the diet. For example, if youre eating more fish for dinner, you may be eating less red and processed meats, which increase colorectal cancer risk. Fish is a staple of several dietary patterns also linked to lower cancer risk, such as the Mediterranean diet. People eating a Mediterranean diet are also eating plenty of beans, whole grains, vegetables and other plant foods, which all play a role in reducing cancer risk.

These healthy fish-containing dietary patterns are also low on sugary foods and drinks and refined grains. Taken together, these diets high in plant foods, moderate in fish and seafood and low in sugar can help people stay a healthy weight. Overweight and obesity is now linked to increased risk of 10 cancers, including postmenopausal breast, liver and colorectal.

For delicious fish and seafood recipes, check out AICRs Healthy Recipes.

AICR Impact

The American Institute for Cancer Research helps the public understand the relationship between lifestyle, nutrition and cancer risk. We work to prevent cancer through innovative research, community programs and impactful public health initiatives.

Baseline Psa Higher In Those Who Contracted Prostate Cancer

Prostate specific antigen is a blood marker of prostate disease.

Standard laboratory reference ranges often allow PSA to reach 4.0 ng/mL before flagging a potential problem. A more progressive view of the PSA is that any number over 2.4 ng/mL should be viewed with suspicion, with a digital rectal exam performed and a follow-up PSA blood test done in three months.

Life Extension has published comprehensive articles about how to properly interpret PSA results, but to state it succinctly: Aging men with PSA readings greater than 2.4 ng/mL are at higher risk for developing clinically relevant prostate cancer and should initiate aggressive steps to reverse the underlying process.

In the report that associated higher omega-3 blood levels with increased prostate cancer incidence, 41.1% of the men who went on to develop prostate cancer had baseline PSA readings greater than 3.0 ng/mL. In the group that did not develop prostate cancer, only 7.3% has a PSA baseline reading greater than 3.0 ng/mL.

  • 7.3% of the No Cancer group had PSA of 3.0
  • 41.1% of the Total Cancer group had PSA of 3.0

This critical piece of data was ignored in the tabloid-like media articles that erroneously blamed the increase in prostate cancer on omega-3s.

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Does A High Intake Of Fatty Fish And Fish

12 July 2013

REFERENCES

  • Brasky T. M. et al. Plasma phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk in the SELECT trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. Published online July 2013.
  • Lippman S. M. et al. Effect of selenium and vitamin E on risk of prostate cancer and other cancers. JAMA. 2009 301:39-51.
  • Brasky T. M. et al. Serum phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk: results from the prostate cancer prevention trial. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2011 173:1429-1439.
  • Szymanski K. M. et al. Fish consumption and prostate cancer risk: a review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 92:1223-1233.
  • Not Out Of The Water Yet

    Does fish oil fight prostate cancer or make it worse ...

    Even though this study doesnt give any reason to shun fatty fish or their oils, its a nice segue into a related issue: A bad diet plus fish oil is still a bad diet. And given the oxidation-prone nature of all polyunsaturated fats, a massive intake of omega-3s despite their brilliance in moderation could potentially do more harm than good. If youre trying to restore a healthy ratio of omega fats, avoiding omega-6-rich foods is a better strategy than chugging fish oil like a frat boy with gin.

    All in all, this study is just another drop in the sea of misinterpreted nutritional research. Dont take the bait!

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    If You Dont Like Fish

    Of course, not everyone is wild about fish. In this case, they may consider taking fish oil supplements. You might be amazed to learn the variety of conditions for which people take capsules of fish oil. The most well-known include

    • Reduce triglycerides
    • Lessen risk of heart attack and stroke
    • Slow down development of plaque in arteries
    • Reduce the chance of abnormal heart rhythm

    Clearly, fish oils strong suit is promoting cardiovascular health. But theres more. People also use fish oil for certain kidney ailments and kidney disease, eye problems like glaucoma and macular degeneration, gastrointestinal problems such as Crohns disease or inflammatory bowel syndrome, athletic performance improvement and muscle soreness after exercise, and many more conditions. With all those benefits, you may wonder, what about fish oil and prostate health?

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    What Should I Know

    “Fish oil causes cancer” is a strong statement that is not appropriate to make at this point, because the present study was not designed to examine whether fish oil causes cancer nor did it look into fish oil intake at all. To be fair, this claim was not made in the study or by the authors of the study, but was made throughout the popular media. This work only examined blood omega 3 levels without respect to fish oil supplementation or even fish consumption. Thus, the question of whether fish oil has a positive or negative effect on prostate cancer is not answered by this research. Taking the present study at face value, increased blood omega-3 fats are associated with increased cancer risk. Although other work has come to similar conclusions, it is important to point out that others have not. As an example one earlier study found a reduction in prostate cancer risk with increased consumption of omega-3 fats. This nested case-control study was derived from blood collected from 14,916 healthy men in 1982. Blood samples were analyzed for fatty acid levels from 476 of these men that were diagnosed with prostate cancer in comparison to age-matched matched controls. Blood levels of omega 3 fats were inversely related to overall prostate cancer risk, with a relative risk of 0.59 .

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    Questions And Answers About Pomegranate

  • What is pomegranate?

    The pomegranate is a fruit grown in Asia and in the Mediterranean, East Indies, Africa, and the United States. Pomegranate has been used as medicine for hundreds of years.

    The pomegranate is made up of the following:

  • The peel, which makes up half the fruit and contains polyphenols and minerals.
  • The seeds.
  • The aril , which contains phenolics and flavonoids including anthocyanins, which give the pomegranate fruit and juice a red color.
  • How is pomegranate given or taken?

    Pomegranate fruit and juice may be taken as food, drink, or a dietary supplement.

  • Have any laboratory or animal studies been done using pomegranate?

    See the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section of the health professional version of Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements for information on laboratory and animal studies done using pomegranate.

  • Have any studies of pomegranate been done in people?

    In a 2015 study, 183 men with recurrentprostate cancer were randomly assigned to receive either pomegranate juice, pomegranate extract, or a placebo. The study found no difference in how fast the prostate-specific antigen level rose between the 3 groups. There is not enough evidence to know whether pomegranate can prevent or treat prostate cancer.

  • Have any side effects or risks been reported from pomegranate?

    No serious side effects have been reported from the use of pomegranate.

  • Data Handling And Analysis

    Fish oils may raise prostate cancer risk

    Using an Excel sheet, data were extracted from studies. Characteristics examined included study design, number of participants and identified cases of prostate cancer, outcome measures, additional variables, risk of bias and statistical analyses employed.

    Results of studies with similar outcome measures were compared on their odds, risk or hazard ratios and p-values. Correlations were summarised to present an overview of current evidence. Prostate cancer risk, aggressiveness and mortality were chosen as the outcome measures of interest. No statistical analysis was performed.

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    Too Much Fish Oil Might Boost Prostate Cancer Risk

    Often-fatal aggressive disease of particular concern

    HealthDay Reporter

    WEDNESDAY, July 10 — Eating a lot of oily fish or taking potent fish oil supplements may increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, new research suggests.

    Moreover, marine sources of omega-3 fatty acids may also raise the risk for aggressive prostate cancer, according to the study by scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

    “These anti-inflammatory omega-3s were associated with a 43 percent increased risk for prostate cancer overall, and a 71 percent increased risk in aggressive prostate cancer,” said study lead author Theodore Brasky, a research assistant professor at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus, who was at Hutchinson at the time of the study.

    Aggressive prostatecancer is often fatal, he added.

    Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as salmon, trout and fresh tuna and in fish oil capsules, are widely reputed to have health benefits because of their anti-inflammatory properties.

    But this new research, published online July 11 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, confirms damaging evidence reported in two prior studies.

    Just why are these omega-3 fatty acids associated with prostate cancer? “That’s the million dollar question,” Brasky said.

    Oxidative stress plays a role in other cancers, Brasky said.

    You Cant Make Assumptions In Health Reporting

    While the study didnt explicitly mention fish oil supplements or dietary intake of fish, these men were clearly getting their omega-3s somehow.

    Many of us would assume they were taking supplements. However, we dont know, so we cant make assumptions.

    There is no evidence that anyone in this study took fish oil supplements, so writers shouldnt be claiming or implying that supplements cause an increased prostate cancer risk.

    All we should report, to be fair, is exactly what the study found: High levels of omega-3s in the blood may be associated with an increased risk in prostate cancer.

    Does that mean men concerned about their prostate cancer risk should stop taking fish oil supplements cut out fatty fish from their diets?

    Herein lies the problem with research: One study cant answer that level of detail.

    However, there are ways to mention fish oil supplements without directly associating them with the study outcomes. For example, a writer could find a medical expert willing to offer a quote that this study does mean you should stop taking your fish oil supplements.

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