Posts Tagged ‘omega-3 fatty acids’

Can Fatty Acids Help Prevent and Treat Cancer?

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new research study concluded that Omega-3 fatty acids such as found in salmon and trout selectively inhibit growth and induce cell death in early and late stage oral and skin cancers. The  in  vitro tests showed that these fatty acids induced cell death in malignant and pre-malignant cells at doses that do not affect normal cells and suggests their use in both prevention and treatment of certain skin and oral cancers.

In the lab cell cultures from several different cell lines were grown to which fatty acids were added.The cell lines included both malignant oral and skin SCC’s. along with pre-malignant cells and normal skin and oral cells. The researchersa were suprozed that the cell death of cancer cells t doses that did not effect normal cells was partly due to an over-stimulation of a key growth factor (epidermal growthg factor) that triggers cell death. The researchers said “It could be that those at an increased risk of such cancers-or their recurrence—could benefit from increased omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, as the skin and oral cancers are often easily accessible, there is the potential to deliver targeted doses locally vuia aerosols or gels. However, further research is needed to define the appropriate therapeutic doses.”

Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer?

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new report published in the online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute \concluded from a second large, prospective study that there is a link between concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids and an  increase risk of prostate cancer. Specifically, high concentrations of EPA, DPA, and DHA -the three anti-inflammatory and metabolically related fatty acids from fatty fish and fish-oil supplements are associasted with a 71 percent increased risk of high grade prostate cancer; a 44 percent increase in the risk of low-grade prostate cancer; and an overall 43 percent risk for all prostate cancers. Because the high-grade prostate cancers are more likely to be fatal that result is important. The findings of this study confirm an earlier smaller study by the same researchers in 2011 that reported similar findings. The researchers said” 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 risk.

Although it is unclear why high levels of omega-3 fatty acids would increase prostate cancer risk but the replication of the findings in two large samples indicates there is a need for futher study of the possible mechanism. A possible harmful effect is the conversion of fatty acids into compounds that can cause damage to cells and DNA and affect their role in immunosuppression but whether this impacts cancer risk in unknown.Results were based upon 834 men who had been diagnosed with incident, primary prostate cancers (2156 were high-grade cancer) along with a comparison groupo  of 1,393 men selected randomly from the 35,500 participants inthe larger sample.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids May Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011


Research published in the April 25 online edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that men with the highest blood levels of an inflammation-lowering omega 3 fatty acid (docosahexaenoic acid or DHA) (most often found in fatty fish) have a 2 1/2 times greater probability of developing aggressive, high grade prostate cancer than men who had the lowest DHA levels. On the other hand, men with the highest blood ratio of trans-fatty acids had a 50 percent reduction in the probability of high grade prostate cancer. Trans-fatty acids are found in processed foods and are linked to inflammation and heart diseases. In addition, neither of the fats increased the risk of low-grade prostate cancer. Researchers expected the opposite results, that is, omega-3 fatty acids would reduce prostate cancer risk and omega-6 and trans-fatty acids would increase prostate cancer risk.
Data for this study was provided by a subset (over 3,400 men) of a larger sample in the nationwide Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial with men age 55 and older. Half of the men developed prostate cancer during the study and half did not and prostate cancer was confirmed by prostate biopsy. Few in the sample took fish oil supplements-the most common non-food source of omega 3 fatty acids-but got their omega 3 from fish. The authors concluded “the beneficial effects of eating fish to prevent heart disease outweighs any harm related to prostate cancer risk.” “What the study shows is the complexity of nutrition and its impact on disease risk, and that we should study suxch assocoatopns rigorously rather than make assumptions.”

Fish Oil and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010


Research published in Nature on October 28 and carried out by Queen Mary, University of London, and Harvard Medical School researchers showed precisely why fish oil helps conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. The research described how the body converts an ingredient found in fish oil (DHA*) into another chemical called Resolvin D2 and how this chemical reduces inflammation, a common condition in arthritis. Resolvin D2 seems to have additional value because in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties it does not suppress the immune system. This research is important because it explains how fish oil can help in different kinds of arthritis. The researchers plan to work further to see if this chemical can be used to prevent arthritis and be used for other diseases that are associated with inflammation.
*DHA (docosahexsenoic acid) is an omega 3 fatty acid. fish oil is a rich source of this.

Benefits of Glucosamine for Arthritis Improved with Addition of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009


A study reported in Advances in Therapy in September, 2009 concluded that the addition of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to over the counter Glucosamine Sulfate was more effective in alleviating arthritis symptoms than Glucosamine alone.
One hundred seventy seven men and women between the ages of 40 and 75 with moderate to severe hip or knee osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to receive 3 capsules daily of 500 milligrams of Glucosamine Sulfate with or without 200 milligrams of the Omega-3 Fatty Acids Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) for 26 weeks. Participants answered questions related to pain, stiffness, and physical functioning limitations before and after the study and at 13 weeks into the study.
Pain was evaluated and 165 subjects showed at least a 20% reduction in pain scores with no significant differences between the groups. At the 80% or greater reduction in pain level, 44% of the combined group compared to 32% of those in the Glucosamine group responded. Morning stiffness and pain in the hips and knees were reduced by 48.5-55.6% in the combined group compared to 41.7-55.3% in the Glucosamine group. In addition, twice as many of those in the combined group reported a reduction in pain compared to those who received only Glucosamine.
The authors concluded that Glucosamine improves the mnetabolism of the cartilage, EPA and DHA further reduce degradation by suppressing inflammation that lowers swelling and pain and could contribute to the independence and well-being of those with arthritis.