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Friday, July 12, 2013

There is something very fishy about the study linking fish oil with increased prostate cancer

So, fish oil might increase aggressive prostate cancer!  I think not.  More often that not studies like these, that are outliers of the general trend of research on a topic usually end up being proved to be wrong.  In this case, the resounding trend is for fish and other omega 3 oils to have numerous health benefits, including reduced prostate cancer risk.

In the meantime, sadly, the media is having a field day.  The damage is done.

So what's wrong or weak with this study?  Rather than me try to explain, here is an article by Denise Minger that shows the risk of jumping to conclusions on the basis of a single study:

Is Fish Oil Linked to Prostate Cancer?

fishoilsThis is a special guest post from expert study-dismantler Denise Minger. (Read Denise’s previous guest posts – Will Eating Whole Grains Help You Live Longer? and High Fat Diet Linked to Breast Cancer? – and her blog at Raw Food SOS.) Enter Denise…
Like salmon? Pop fish oil? Got a prostate? Then listen up. A new cancer study rolled in this week, and at first glance, it looks like bad news for any fish-loving men out there. A team of researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found a disturbing link between blood levels of DHA – that darling omega-3 fat abundant in seafood – and the risk of developing aggressive, “high-grade” prostate tumors.

The eyebrow-raising results of the study showed that:
  • Compared to folks with low DHA levels, men with the highest levels were 2.5 times more likely to wind up with aggressively growing prostate tumors.
  • Men with the highest blood levels of trans fatty acids were the least likely to get aggressive prostate cancer. (Say what?)
According to the researchers, very few of the study subjects were supplementing with fish oil – so these findings probably don’t reflect unbridled mega-dosing of omega-3 fats. Despite its consistent role in boosting heart-health, it looks like fish oil could be a double-edged sword. And maybe a stick of trans-fatty margarine is really a cancer cure. Intriguing, eh?

Something’s Fishy

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