More About The Benefits Of Fish Oil
Both flaxseed oil and fish oil supplements are sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have so many known benefits, such as having a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, glaucoma, and stroke. This nutrient is essential for the bodys function, but our bodies are unable to produce them on their own. Thats why you should get enough Omega-3 fatty acids from outside sources as well.
In this article, Ill discuss flaxseed oil vs fish oil and their various benefits and drawbacks to help you quickly make a more informed decision about which one of these is right for you.
Overview Of Cam Use In Prostate Cancer
- Men who have prostate cancer are more likely to take dietary supplements and eat certain foods than men who do not have prostate cancer.
- Men who have prostate cancer and who have healthy eating habits are more likely to take dietary supplements.
- Men who have prostate cancer use CAM treatments to help boost the immune system, improve quality of life, and lower the risk of the cancer coming back, but only half of them tell their doctors about their use of CAM.
Studies of CAM use to lower prostate cancer risk or to prevent it from coming back have shown the following:
- A study of men with a family history of prostate cancer found that over half used vitamins or other dietary supplements for prostate health or to prevent cancer.
- A study of men at a prostate cancer screening clinic found that over half took multivitamins and some took herbal supplements.
- A study of prostate cancer survivors found that up to one-third took vitamins or minerals.
Back To Where We Started
With all the conflicting evidence, the burden of the fish oil supplement decision falls on the consumer. Recommendations abound, pointing in many directions. You will find demographic statistics, for instance, showing that Japanese intake of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet is about eight times that of U.S. men yet the Japanese prostate cancer rate of 22.7 per 100,000 in 2008 was dramatically lower than the U.S. rates of 83.8 per 100,000.
Since the Japanese diet consists of considerably more fish, this brings us back to the AHAs urge to eat more fatty fish. Since Mother Nature designed us to derive the greatest nutritional benefit from dietary sources, a general principle to follow is expressed in a blog from Harvard Health Publications:
you should still consider eating fish and other seafood as a healthy strategy. If we could absolutely, positively say that the benefits of eating seafood comes entirely from omega-3 fats, then downing fish oil pills would be an alternative to eating fish. But its more than likely that you need the entire orchestra of fish fats, vitamins, minerals, and supporting molecules, rather than the lone notes of EPA and DHA.
NOTE: This content is solely for purposes of information and does not substitute for diagnostic or medical advice. Talk to your doctor if you have health concerns or questions of a personal medical nature.
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The Truth About Fish Oil And Prostate Cancer
Should you stop taking fish oil? A new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that men with the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had a 71 percent greater risk for developing a deadly type of prostate cancer.
While a stat like that may sound worrisome, a closer look at the research shows there’s no reason to toss your fish oil supplement, or take mackerel off the menu.
The most important thing to know is that this is not a definitive finding, says Men’s Health‘s urology advisor, Larry Lipshultz, M.D., of Baylor College of Medicine. This type of study shows a correlation, but it does not prove causation. In other words, it wasn’t a controlled clinical trial in which some men swallowed fish oil and others didnt.
Instead, researchers looked at levels of certain omega-3 fatty acids in participants blood and watched who developed prostate cancer and who didnt over timebut the method the researchers used wasn’t great, says Chris Mohr, Ph.D., R.D., The Belly Off! Club nutritionist.
The guys in the study had their blood drawn once a year. Its a small snapshot of what was in their blood at those times instead of a clear picture of their long-term chronic intake of omega-3 fatty acids, Mohr says. If you just had a salmon dinner the night before, your levels would be way higher than whats actually average for you.
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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.
Fish Oil Sources And Why It Could Be A Good Catch
Fish oil is primarily found and extracted from oily fish varieties, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardine, herring, and trout. It contains two highly beneficial types of omega-3 fatty acids for many health conditions:
- Docosahexaenoic acid
- Eicosapentaenoic acid
But heres the catch: your human body cannot make omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. You are dependent on food sources to supplement these vital nutrients. But this is not a big deal since you could consume foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as oily fish, or consume fish oil in the form of supplements.
As a side note, you can also find another type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid in some plant sources, such as walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds. You cannot find alpha-linolenic acid in fish oil, and interestingly, your body converts ALA into DHA and EPA, but in very small amounts. So, if you want your Omega-3 in balance, you will have to consume DHA, EPA, and ALA via food sources or supplements or a combination of both.
Does Fish Oil Increase Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer
When we hear the word Omega 3, oily fish, and healthy fats spring to mind.
They promote a range of fantastic health benefits that have us filling our plates with tuna and salmon.
However, a recent study has suggested that it may increase the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, a customer wrote to me recently worried by this news, and he wanted to know if he should stop fish oil supplementation.
As you know, I not only want to help you fight against prostate cancer and the uncomfortable symptoms of BPH but provide educative and helpful answers to your questions.
Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the prostate. It is the second most common cancer found in men after skin cancer.
In the United States, approximately 1 of 7 men is diagnosed with prostate cancer. Many factors can increase your risk but is fish oil one of them? Lets find whether or not this study stands up to scrutiny.
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Whats The Verdict On Fish Oil
The fish oil benefits for men and women far outweigh the risks, especially for middle-aged and older people who follow the recommendations by the FDA, AHA, and EPA.
Make fish oil your friend by:
- Choosing more from food sources than supplements.
- Following AHAs recommendation of eating one to two servings of non-fried fish every week.
- Eating a variety of fish higher in EPA and DHA and lower in methylmercury to minimize potentially adverse effects due to environmental pollutants.
- Consuming fish along with other vital aspects of a healthy diet, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains that ensure balanced omega.
- Getting your doctors approval and prescribed fish oil supplement and following their instructions.
- Following the AHAs recommendations of consuming no more than 3 grams of fish oil supplement daily, as taking more can cause bleeding.
- Taking your fish oil supplements into two doses in the morning and night to decrease side effects.
- Taking fish oil supplements with food to increase absorption and decrease side effects.
- Freezing and consuming them to decrease side effects.
- Following the US federal governments 20202025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations of seafood for pregnant and nursing women. Safe fish options for pregnant and nursing women include sardines, trout, salmon, herring, and anchovies because of higher EPA and DHA and lower mercury.
Prostate Cancer: Six Things Men Should Know About Tomatoes Fish Oil Vitamin Supplements Testosterone Psa Tests
SEATTLE â Aug. 22, 2012 â When it comes to prostate cancer, thereâs a lot of confusion about how to prevent it, find it early and the best way â or even whether â to treat it. Below are six common prostate cancer myths along with research-based information from scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to help men separate fact from fiction.
Myth 1 â Eating tomato-based products such as ketchup and red pasta sauce prevents prostate cancer. âThe vast majority of studies show no association,â said Alan Kristal, Dr.P.H., associate director of the Hutchinson Centerâs Cancer Prevention Program and a national expert in prostate cancer prevention. Kristal and colleagues last year published results of the largest study to date that aimed to determine whether foods that contain lycopene â the nutrient that puts the red in tomatoes â actually protect against prostate cancer.
After examining blood levels of lycopene in nearly 3,500 men nationwide they found no association. âScientists and the public should understand that early studies supporting an association of dietary lycopene with reduced prostate cancer risk have not been replicated in studies using serum biomarkers of lycopene intake,â the authors reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. âRecommendations of professional societies to the public should be modified to reflect the likelihood that increasing lycopene intake will not affect prostate cancer risk.â
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Questions And Answers About Vitamin D
Vitamin D has many actions in the body, including the following:
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 vitamin D.
Population studies and clinical trials have been done to study the effects of vitamin D on prostate cancer. The results of these studies have been mixed. Some studies have shown a link between Vitamin D levels and prostate cancer, and others have not. There is not enough evidence to know whether giving vitamin D can prevent prostate cancer.
Supplements To Avoid To Prevent Prostate Cancer
Vitamin pills are big business from chewable ones for children and tablets especially tailored for women going through the menopause to essential oils for dodgy joints and high dose Vitamin C to pep up your immune system, theres a supplement for everyone.
But can vitamins actually be =bad for your health?
It seems that your daily pill can do more harm than good.
Indeed, about a year ago, there was the revelation that fish oil capsules have been linked to high levels of prostate cancer a shock for the millions who take fish oils or omega-3 fatty acids everyday in the quest to ease joint pain, improve heart health and fight mental decline.
A study of more than 2,000 men found that those with the highest levels of omega-3 in their blood were 71 percent more likely to develop low-grade prostate cancer.
And its not jut omega-3 that is under scrutiny. According to Dr. Alan Kristal, who led the study at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, there is surprisingly little evidence that any vitamin or mineral pills prevent disease unless people are suffering from a nutrient deficiency.
As we do more and more of these studies, we find high doses of supplements have no effect or increase the risk of the disease you are trying to prevent, he said. Yet millions of busy hopefuls take vitamins to compensate for a poor diet.
So amid all this confusing and sometimes contradictory advise, which supplements work and,more importantly which ones are safe?
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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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Things You Can Change: Diet And Lifestyle
Men in western countries have much higher rates of prostate cancer than men in Asia. While no one can definitively explain this phenomenon, experts suspect differences in eastern and western diets are to blame. Poor eating habits and diets that heavily rely on fats and animal proteins can cause DNA damage and lead to cancer.
Even men who are already at greater risk due to age, race or genetics can reduce their chances of developing prostate cancer by adopting healthy diets and lifestyles.
How Your Diet Promotes A Healthy Prostate
The Mediterranean Diet has a strong association between lowering cancer risk and preventing heart disease. This is attributed to the fact that this diet is focused on whole foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans while also focusing on healthy unsaturated fats from plants. With this style of eating, theres also an emphasis on decreasing processed or refined foods along with lowering intake of red meat or processed red meats. It allows alcohol in moderation and its focus on whole foods supports adequate fiber intake. It also allows for a wide range of foods, which means its more of a lifestyle rather than just a fad diet.
Since this style of eating has a positive impact on cancer prevention, adopting healthy eating habits now could help prevent prostate problems down the road. Some nutrients and vitamins can have a very positive effect on the health of your prostate. Making sure youre getting the right nutrients as part of a balanced diet can play an important role in the health of your prostate.
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Questions And Answers About Soy
The soybean plant has been grown in Asia for food for hundreds of years. The soybean can be made into products, such as soy milk, miso, tofu, soy flour, and oil.
Isoflavones are phytoestrogens that attach to estrogen receptors found in prostate cancercells. Genistein may affect some processes inside prostate cancer cells that are involved in the growth and spread of cancer.
Soy may be eaten in food or taken in dietary supplements.
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 soy.
Population studies and clinical trials have been done to find out if soy can prevent or treat prostate cancer. The results of these studies have been mixed. Some studies have shown a lower risk of prostate cancer or a change in prostate-specific antigen level, and others have not. The results may be mixed because the number of men participating in the studies is small and different types and doses of soy products were given for varying lengths of time.
Combined population studies
What Is The Relation Between Fish Oil And Prostate Cancer
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute checked the omega-3s levels in blood among men participating in the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial , which was a trial looking at whether selenium or/and vitamin E would lower prostate cancer risks. The study showed that high levels fish oil in blood increased the risk of prostate cancer by 43%, and the risk for aggressive prostate cancer by 71%. However, this study did not take the participants diets into consideration, so its unclear whether the high levels of fish oil were due to food or supplements.
But why is fish oil and prostate cancer related?
Its still not fully understood. One possible explanation would be that some unknown properties of omega-3s, when in excessive levels, may result in oxidative stress, causing DNA damage.
Just like other supplements, moderation is key. Its always a better idea to get what your body needs from foods. Keep a balanced diet and that wouldnt be a big issue. If you really need to take fish oil, discuss it with your doctor to weigh the benefits and risks and determine the acceptable amount that would be safe for your body.
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Does Fish Oil Cause Prostate Cancer
I was very upset to read about the study showing that fish oil raises the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Ive been taking omega-3 supplements for heart health but stopped when I heard the news about its effect on prostate cancer. Whats your take on the study?
Andrew Weil, M.D. | July 26, 2013
I know of no reason why you shouldnt resume taking your fish oil supplements. The study in question, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash., made headlines and snagged lots of sound bites, but much of the news coverage including that in medical publications did not accurately reflect the findings. Aside from the sensationalist way it was reported, the study itself has serious shortcomings.
As reported, the study found that men who had high concentrations of omega-3s in their blood had a risk of developing prostate cancer that was 43 percent higher than men who had the lowest blood levels of these fatty acids. Even more alarming was the finding that men with the highest blood levels of omega-3s had a 71 percent higher risk of aggressive, possibly fatal prostate cancer than those with the lowest levels. The study was published online on July 10, 2013, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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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Questions And Answers About Pomegranate
The pomegranate is made up of the following:
Pomegranate fruit and juice may be taken as food, drink, or a dietary supplement.
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.
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.
No serious side effects have been reported from the use of pomegranate.
Questions To Ask Your Health Care Provider About Cam
When considering complementary and alternative therapies, patients should ask their health care provider the following questions:
- What side effects can be expected?
- What are the risks related to this therapy?
- What benefits can be expected from this therapy?
- Do the known benefits outweigh the risks?
- Will the therapy affect conventional treatment?
- Is this therapy part of a clinical trial?
- If so, who is the sponsor of the trial?
- Will the therapy be covered by health insurance?
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