Men should be wary of taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements now that new research from the National Cancer Institute links them to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
A new study published on 31 July 2013 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute provides further evidence that men with high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood are more likely to develop prostate cancer, the most common cancer affecting men.
The research team, consisting of experts at leading institutions across America, studied 834 men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of them, 156 had high-grade cancer.
Researchers found that men with the highest concentrations of fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had a 43 percent greater risk of developing the cancer compared to men with the lowest concentrations.
On the flip side, they found that men with higher concentrations of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, had lower incidences of prostate cancer. Linoleic acid is found in high concentrations in salicornia, safflower, sunflower, poppy seed, grape seed, and evening primrose oils.
With the new study in hand, researchers say doctors should weigh a man’s prostate cancer risk before recommending omega-3 fatty acids in foods or supplements.