Omega-3 & Prostate Cancer Risk? Frenzy in the media!! By Michael Lange OD, CNS 7/16/13.
Recently the media has created a frenzy of alarming headlines attempting to link omega-3 to prostate cancer. This data was derived from questionable follow up data derived from a 2011 study called the “SELECT” Study. This study was developed to analyze selenium and vitamin E on prostate cancer it was not a study designed to look at omega-3 from supplements or diet.
The study has no documentation of fish oil supplementation or fish consumption.
The study indicated that the men with the highest levels of omega-3 in their blood were the ones most likely to have prostate cancer. The results showed that slightly higher omega-3 plasma percentages from a single blood test were associated with a greater risk of low-grade (44%) and high-grade (71%) prostate cancers over multiple years of follow-up. The authors are concluding that men are at higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer if the plasma level of omega-3 is 4.7% versus 4.5%.This conclusion that men are at a higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer based on a .2% difference in omega-3 levels is both ridiculous and reckless!! Multiple good studies have been published proving that higher consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids may reduce prostate cancer numbers. It is clear that the reason the omega-3 levels were higher in the prostate cancer patients is because they were probably taking omega-3 supplements or eating fish more frequently than the control of healthy individuals. These patients have been told by their oncologist, urologist, cardiologist, GP and Optometrist to take omega-3 fish oil for its health benefits. People with disease usually take more supplements including omega-3 supplements. There is no cause and effect here at all!! If this study had any truth to it then cultures that consume a lot of fish would have large numbers of prostate cancer but they have the lowest levels!
I am astonished of the results that were allowed to be published.
Based on very poor data in regards to omega-3; Once again the conclusion drawn from this study that omega 3 cause’s prostate cancer in my opinion is both reckless and ridiculous. Omega-3 in the correct form at the right levels has positively impacted millions of people throughout the world! So continue to eat good sources of fish and take a good omega-3 fish oil supplement.