Nutrition PSA

You might recall that both fish oil and CoQ10, are on my list of “desert island” supplements that everyone should be taking. And with study results like the ones I’m about to share, it should be easy to see why.

For this trial, researchers recruited 500 men. They randomly assigned subjects to one of four groups. Each group took daily supplements of CoQ10, omega-3 (in the form of EPA/DHA), omega-6 (in the form of gamma-linolenic acid), or placebo for 12 weeks.

Results appeared in the British Journal of Nutrition. And they showed that the omega-3 and CoQ10 supplements were linked to significant drops in PSA levels. (About 30 percent and 33 percent, respectively.)

As you know by now, PSA (prostate-specific antigen) is a marker that doctors often use to screen for and monitor prostate cancer. And researchers think the supplements could influence it in a couple of ways.

Most notably, omega-3 fatty acids naturally fight inflammation–a clear factor in cancer development. CoQ10, meanwhile, is a powerful antioxidant that can help to fortify your immune system. (That’s your first line of defense against disease.)

But it’s also worth noting this study’s other finding. Omega-6 gamma-linolenic acid supplements actually raised PSA levels by about 15 percent.

Of course, this particular outcome was predictable. Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory. And while they do have their own benefits, you just don’t ever need to supplement with them.

We already get so many of these omega-6 fatty acids from sources like canola oil. (And that’s just one example. If you really want to know the skinny on fats, I recommend you check out The Hamptons Diet book.)

Even some supplement manufacturers have started to place omega-6 fatty acids in their fish oil products.

So please, stay away from omega-6 supplements and canola oil. And stick to omega-3 fish oils and CoQ10, instead.

Even if you discount the role of PSA in prostate cancer screening, the fact remains that it’s a true marker for the health of the prostate–whether you’re looking at cancer or just prostate enlargement.

Omega 3s and CoQ10 can positively affect PSA levels. And that means that they can positively affect the health of your prostate. It’s simple as that.

“Effects of EPA, y-linolenic acid or coenzyme Q10 on serum prostate-specific antigen levels: a randomised, double-blind trial.” Br J Nutr. 2012 Nov 30:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]