Dha In Your Blood Versus Dha In Your Mouth
First things first: Can we really conclude that the men with high DHA levels were eating more fish than the rest of the gang?
The answer is a resounding nope and this is why the current fish-condemning media coverage is a load of hooey. Although consuming more DHA can definitely boost your serum levels, the reverse isnt always true: elevated DHA doesnt automatically mean youre a sushi fiend or loyal fish-oil guzzler. Guess what else can increase omega-3 fats in your blood? Youll get a hoot from this one: low-fat diets.
Check out this intervention study from 2001, which measured changes is serum fatty acids after feeding folks either a low fat or high fat diet. Although the low-fat dieters didnt get any special omega-3 boost, the levels in their blood rose disproportionately by the end of the trial. The study concluded that Consumption of a low fat diet alters fatty acid patterns in a manner similar to that observed with feeding of long-chain fatty acids. In other words, fat restriction caused blood levels of omega-3 fats to resemble that of seafood lovers.
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.
Fish Oil And Prostate Cancer Study Results
First, a little disclaimer: Im not writing this blog to defend or oppose the outcome. If youre interested, Examine.com have written thorough responses to this study which refute the claims in detail.
My issue is with the media.
This study looked at levels of omega-3 in the blood.
There was no data on whether the men took fish oil supplements or ate fatty fish.
We dont know how many if any took supplements. Nor do we know which other confounding factors may have contributed to the increased risk.
To accurately report this study would be to state that the results suggest an association between higher plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids and those whom the researchers advise had an increased rate of prostate cancer.
But that doesnt exactly sound sexy, does it?
Not exactly the kind of headline youd want to click on, is it?
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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.
What The Research Said
In a paper published in July, Theodore Brasky, PhD, of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus and a team from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, found an association between higher plasma omega-3 fatty acid levels and an increased prostate cancer risk. Looking at data from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial , they measured plasma phospholipid omega-3 levels in 834 men who eventually developed prostate cancer and in 1,393 men who did not.
The men were classified according to their blood levels of three omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid , docosapentaenoic acid , and docosahexaenoic acid . The researchers found that men in the highest quartile of overall omega-3 levels had, based on prostate cancer severity, an increased risk as follows: from 44% to 71% .
Total prostate cancer risk was increased by 43% . This finding echoed results from the same authors 2011 research, leading the current Brasky team to conclude that long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were involved in prostate tumorigenesis. They said further that recommendations to increase long-chain omega-3 PUFA dietary intake should also address the potential risks.
high levels of serum phospholipid long-chain omega-3 fatty acids , were associated with a large increase in the risk of high-grade prostate cancer.
high levels of trans-fatty acids were associated with a reduced risk of high-grade prostate cancer.
Not Out Of The Water Yet
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!
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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Are Blood Levels Of Omega
Wednesday, Jun 02, 2021
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in U.S. men, with annual mortality of approximately 32,000. Nearly 175,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. per year.
Inflammation plays a role in many types of cancer, including prostate cancer. A number of variables such as obesity and diet have been shown to be related to inflammation. For example, long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects. These fatty acids, otherwise known as fish oils, are found mostly in fatty fish and dietary supplements and have also been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. While most studies have not shown an association between fish oils and prostate cancer, there was one large study published in 2013 that did show an increased risk of prostate cancer, particularly more aggressive cancer, with increased blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, the goal of the current study was to examine the relationship between baseline levels of omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer development in a sample of healthy men. A secondary goal of this study was to add our findings to an existing meta-analysis of similar studies.
Our main findings were as follows:
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The Link Between Omega 3 And Prostate Cancer
The study was conducted by researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Ohio State University, who set out to look at the correlation between Omega 3 levels and the risk of prostate cancer.
Through a case-control study, comparing blood samples from 834 men diagnosed with prostate cancer with those from 1,393 men not diagnosed with the disease, the study found that there was an increased risk of prostate cancer among men with high blood concentrations of Omega 3 fats, resulting in the following:
- 44% increased the risk of low-grade prostate cancer
- 71% increased the risk of high-grade prostate cancer
- 43% increased the risk of total prostate cancer
But dont panic!
It is also important to know that this is just one study, and there are several other studies that suggest fish oil is actually linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Although the results of this study may have you throwing away your fish oil capsules, it should be noted that there are several inconsistencies.
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Fish Oil’s Link To Prostate Cancer Unproven
Hello. I’m Dr. Gerald Chodak for Medscape. This week I want to talk about a controversial study that suggested that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids increased a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Brasky and coworkers published a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in which they measured levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in a group of men who had participated in the SELECT trial. SELECT was a study testing whether vitamin E alone or in combination with selenium could prevent prostate cancer. Patients who were diagnosed with prostate cancer were selected from that study, and the control group consisted of men from that study who were not diagnosed with prostate cancer. The authors found that increasing quartiles of omega-3 fatty acids resulted in an increasing risk for diagnosis of prostate cancer, and high-grade disease in particular.
The question is whether the conclusions and the study itself are valid. I think there are a number of concerns about the study design that raise serious questions. First, this was not a prospectively designed trial in which some men were randomized to receive omega-3 fatty acids at different intakes to determine whether the omega-3 fatty acids did result in an increased risk for disease. Making firm conclusions from the study design is impossible. More importantly, there are some questions about the design of the study that raise serious questions about the validity of the data.
What You Can Do Now
Although fish oil is considered beneficial for your overall health, it isnt clear what kind of effect it may have on your prostate. Consult with your doctor before adding fish oil to your regimen.
Be sure to mention any family cancer history. This information will help your doctor determine whats best for your health profile.
If you decide to try fish oil, remember:
- The omega-3 fatty acids are what provide the health benefits.
- An average dose of omega-3s is 500 milligrams.
- A typical dose of fish oil may not provide the recommended amount of omega-3s.
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Does Consumption Of Fish Or Fish Oil Supplements Like Enduromega Increase Prostate Cancer Risk
Absolutely not, though the mainstream media would have us believe otherwise, with the blitz of alarming headlines and news stories regarding study results published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute July 2013 issue . We remain convinced that consuming omega-3 fatty acids benefits overall health, including prostate health, and an overwhelming body of research over the years confirms it.
The media frenzy concerning fish and fish oil supplementation was sparked by the SELECT study , which claims a link between higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood – specifically DHA, EPA, and DPA – and an increased risk of prostate cancer
However, the following flaws in the study invalidate the findings:
1) The SELECT study was designed to review vitamin E and selenium intake – not fish oil – on prostate cancer risk.
2) This study did not monitor whether the male subjects ate fish or took fish oil supplements. It is not possible to link blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer if there is no data to confirm how much fish or fish oil supplements, if any, were consumed.
5) Other factors that contribute to cancer were never taken into account! Over 50% of the men in the study smoked, nearly 65% consumed alcohol regularly, and a whopping 80% were obese. How these vitally important factors could be overlooked or disregarded is astonishing.
Omega-3 fatty acids BENEFIT prostate health!
Suggested additional reading:
Lets Look At The Study
This will get science-heavy. If it’s 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.
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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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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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Men Who Take Fish Oil Omega
U.S. scientists said Wednesday they have confirmed a surprising 2011 study that found a higher risk of prostate cancer among men who consume omega-3 fatty acids, raising new questions about the safety of supplements.
The research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported a 71% higher risk for dangerous high-grade prostate cancer among men who ate fatty fish or took fish-oil supplements, which are often touted for their anti-inflammatory properties.
“We’ve shown once again that use of nutritional supplements may be harmful,” said Alan Kristal, researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and senior author of the paper.
Scientists are still puzzled as to why omega-3s appear linked to a greater risk of prostate cancer, but they said the findings suggest they are somehow involved in the formation of tumors.
The same team of researchers published similar findings in 2011, linking high blood concentrations of DHA to a more than double risk of high-grade prostate cancer, which is more likely to be fatal than other types.
A large European study also found the same omega-3 and prostate cancer link.
“The consistency of these findings suggests that these fatty acids are involved in prostate tumorigenesis and recommendations to increase long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake, in particular through supplementation, should consider its potential risks,” the US study said.