Posts Tagged ‘omega3 protects against breast cancer’

Lower Breast Cancer Events in Survivors with Higher Omega-3 fish oil Consumption- specifically EPA

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Links between the chance of developing breast cancer and the consumption of fat or individual fatty acids have been around for years, but the research findings have been all over the map. Animal and cell culture studies have often reported links between omega-3 fatty acids from seafood and lower growth and spread of breast cancer tumors, but these findings have not consistently carried over into human studies. Nevertheless, the topic continues to be investigated. A systematic review of the scientific literature a few years ago analyzed 10 studies in humans and concluded there was about a 30% lower risk of breast cancer in women with higher intakes of seafood omega-3s.

Investigators in California asked a different question about the possible links between fish or omega-3 consumption and breast cancer. They focused on breast cancer survivors. The researchers asked whether omega-3 intakes affect a woman’s disease-free survival or subsequent breast cancer events after she has been treated for early-stage breast cancer. Participants in the study were enrolled in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living Study, which was designed to learn whether eating more vegetables, fruits and fiber affected the risk of recurrent or new primary breast cancer. The study included women from the ages of 18 to 70 who were monitored over a 7-year period.

Food intake information was obtained when the women entered the study. The women were assessed for their health outcomes and the development of any cancer at intervals from 1 to 6 years after the study began. At the beginning of the study, the women consumed an average of 186 mg per day of the long-chain omega-3s found in seafood. This is nearly double the amount consumed by the general population.

After 6 years, their intake had increased to 237 mg per day, an increase of 27%. This change was unrelated to the study. Women’s use of fish oil supplements also increased during that time from 4% to 10% of women. The investigators found that the increase in omega-3s was significant for women who did not experience additional breast cancer events, but not among those who had additional events. An “event” was considered to be a recurrent cancer or a new invasive breast cancer.
The key finding was that women in the upper two-thirds of long-chain omega-3 intakes experienced a 25% reduction in the likelihood of developing an additional breast cancer event. Higher omega-3 intakes ranged from a median of 73 to 365 mg per day. It made no difference whether the omega-3s came only from food or from food plus supplements. The investigators also noted that women in the highest third of omega-3 consumption were 40% less likely to die from breast cancer compared with women in the lowest third of omega-3 consumption. The cutoff for the highest omega-3 intake was 153 mg/day or more.

Omega 3 Fish Oil may reduce risk of ductul breast cancer by a third.

Friday, August 20th, 2010

The first study of its kind has revealed that postmenopausal women who took the omega 3 supplements reduced risk by a third. Omega 3 products with high levels of EPA which is a key anti inflammatory are the key. The TakeOmega 3 brand is an 85% medical grade omega3 fish oil with 750mg EPA and 50 mg DHA per capsule , other brands may have as little as 150mg EPA . Obviously further investigation needs to be conducted however if this is the case at £13.00 for a months supply it works out at 43p per day !!

The research, which involved 35,000 women and took six years to complete, has caused such excitement among experts that they are calling for larger and more detailed studies to urgently be carried out.

They hope that it may be possible to use fish oils as a way to help women slash their risk of suffering from breast tumours.

Fish Oil contains high levels of fatty acids  that can reduce inflammation. Studies have already suggested they may boost brain cells, keep eyes healthy and possibly protect against ageing.

But other studies have dismissed these claims, saying the evidence is still not there. The latest study, by a respected team in America, is the first to actively monitor women who take fish oils and see how many develop breast cancer

The team also looked at whether other supplements like St John’s Wort, soy and ginkgo biloba had any affect on the risk of tumours. All of the women in the study were between 50 and 76 and had been through the menopause.

They were asked if they had taken fish oils before or were taking them at the start of the study and how often they took them.

The team, whose study is published in the Journal of Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, found 83 per cent took fish oils at least four times a week and 60 per cent daily. During the following six years, 880 suffered from breast cancer.

The data revealed that those who took fish oils at the start of the study had a 32 per cent reduced risk of ductal breast cancer, the most common form of the disease which affects eight in 10 sufferers.

However, there was no reduction in risk of lobular breast cancer that affects around one in 10 sufferers. Nor was there a reduced risk of women who had taken fish oils up to a decade earlier but stopped or those who took other supplements.

The team, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said the findings were interesting but it was too early to say if the fish oil is responsible. Scientists believe fish oils might work by reducing inflammation which may prevent cells from becoming damaged and turning cancerous.

Previous studies on cells in the lab and on animals both suggest fish oils might be able to protect against cancer. Scientists are keen to find an answer because more and more people have been taking supplements for decades.

This means they have been used for long enough to gauge whether they are having a positive or negative effect on long-term health. So far British experts warn against taking multi-vitamins to protect against cancer, with some warning they may increase the risk.

But the evidence on fish oils is less clear.Dr Panagiota Mitrou, deputy head of science for the World Cancer Research Fund, said: “The findings are very interesting because it is the first time fish oil has been linked to lower breast cancer risk in this type of study.

“But as the authors suggest, because this is a single study the findings are not enough for us to be confident that women can reduce their risk of breast cancer by taking fish oil supplements. More research is now needed to find out if this is actually the case.

“There is already very strong scientific evidence about how women can reduce their breast cancer risk. In fact scientists estimate that about 40 per cent of breast cancer cases in the UK could be prevented through being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the alcohol they drink.”

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