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Omega-3 Fatty Acids Linked to Increase in Prostate Cancer Risk

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The medical world is talking about this study linking Omega 3 fatty acids to prostate cancer.

We asked Nutrition Specialist Dr. Jason Maggio for his thoughts on the study and he had some important things to say about the CDC study. He sent us the background on the study:

Objective

To examine whether fish and fish oil consumption across the lifespan is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.

Design

The study was nested among 2268 men aged 67–96 years in the AGES-Reykjavik cohort study. In 2002 to 2006, dietary habits were assessed, for early life, midlife and later life using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Participants were followed for prostate cancer diagnosis and mortality through 2009 via linkage to nationwide cancer- and mortality registers. Adjusting for potential confounders, we used regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and hazard ratios (HRs) for prostate cancer according to fish and fish oil consumption.

Results

Among the 2268 men, we ascertained 214 prevalent and 133 incident prostate cancer cases, of which 63 had advanced disease. High fish consumption in early- and midlife was not associated with overall or advanced prostate cancer. High intake of salted or smoked fish was associated with a 2-fold increased risk of advanced prostate cancer both in early life (95% CI: 1.08, 3.62) and in later life (95% CI: 1.04, 5.00). Men consuming fish oil in later life had a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer [HR (95%CI): 0.43 (0.19, 0.95)], no association was found for early life or midlife consumption.

Conclusions

Salted or smoked fish may increase risk of advanced prostate cancer, whereas fish oil consumption may be protective against progression of prostate cancer in elderly men. In a setting with very high fish consumption, no association was found between overall fish consumption in early or midlife and prostate cancer risk.

Dr. Maggio’s Reaction

He says the study has a couple of numbers that bother him. Of all of those studied, 64% of the men who developed prostate cancer were regular alcohol drinkers. He says 53% had prostate cancer before and a large percentage of them were smokers. So he’s a little leery of the actual numbers that link the increases to prostate cancer.

 

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