A new study, published in Cancer Prevention Research, finds that fish oil supplements may slow the growth of prostate cancer.
In their report, a group of UCLA researchers enrolled patients undergoing radical prostatectomy. Four to six weeks before their prostate surgery, half the group was randomly assigned to get a low-fat diet and 5 grams of fish oil daily in order to boost their levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The other half got a typical Western diet, which is heavy on omega-6 fatty acids (in excess, omega-6s can lead to potentially harmful inflammation in the body).
After the men underwent surgery, researchers tested tissue from the removed prostate glands. They found that the samples from the “low-fat plus fish-oil” group all showed reduced prostate cell growth. And the slower cancer cells multiply, the less chance there is that the cancer will spread beyond the prostate.
Samples from the “Western diet” group, on the other hand, didn’t show any differences in cell growth.
One of the study authors commented “We are extremely pleased about our findings, which suggest that by altering the diet, we may favorably affect the biology of prostate cancer.”
“You truly are what you eat,” he said.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Of course, I would love to see if the results would have been even better if the researchers had opted to put the first group on a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, instead of taking the low-fat approach.
Plenty of research shows that monounsaturated fatty acid helps control inflammation in the body–one of the biggest risk factors for all types of cancer.
So if you’re not already…taking a fish oil supplement is one of the best things you can do for your health overall–even if you eat plenty of fish.
I recommend taking 1,500 mg a day of fish oil containing both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It’s best taken with meals, so divide your overall dose into three 500-mg doses.
Also be sure to focus on making your diet rich in monounsaturated fats as well, by eating more olives, avocados, seeds and nuts, especially macadamia nuts, which have the highest concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids.