A new study is raising skepticism about omega-3 fatty acids, which are mainly found in fish oil and fish oil supplements. The study suggests that men with high levels of oega-3 fatty acids in their bloods could be at a higher risk for the much dreaded prostate cancer.
As we all know, omega-3 fatty acids has long been known as an effective safety measure against high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, which in the long run could lead to a shield against several cardiovascular diseases. In addition to this, they have also been known for their anti-inflammatory properties that could possibly help protect against certain kinds of cancer. This most recent study, however, tells us otherwise. Researchers apparently found that men with prostate cancer tend to have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their bloods.
Despite this controversy, it is important for us to remember that the study did not, in any way, show a cause-and-effect relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and cancer. Basically, it just created a link between the two, which means that there could be some other factors that can affect one’s risk for prostate cancer such as genetics and other environmental elements.
Here are some of the possible factors that might have affected the results of the study. Although the researchers attempted to account for these factors, we are unable to ignore the fact that there actually are other factors apart from just increased levels of omega-3:
1. 53% of the subjects of the study were tobacco smokers
2. 64% of the subjects had regular alcohol intake
3. 30% of the subjects had relatives with prostate cancer (genetics)
4. 80% of the subjects were obese
Furthermore, the data of the study was only derived out of a much larger study that was previously conducted for another purpose. Thus, it is crucial for people to take note that the original study was not meant to prove the link between the levels of omega-3′s and prostate cancer.
The said study is likewise in conflict with the results of several other studies done that had proven the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids as a protection against prostate cancer (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3629172/). The inconsistency of data, as well as the weight of the evidences that prove the overall benefits of omega-3 fatty acids to one’s overall health, we can safely say that it doesn’t make sense for one to stop taking omega-3 supplements in this regard.