Indication: Prostate cancer
Source: Am J Clin Epidemiol, April 25, 2011; [Epub ahead of print].
Research: Inflammation may be involved in prostate cancer development and progression, so researchers examined the associations between inflammation-related phospholipid fatty acids and the 7-year-period prevalence of prostate cancer in a nested case-control analysis of participants, aged 55-84 years, in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial during 1994-2003. Cases (n = 1658) were frequency matched to controls (n = 1803) on age, treatment and prostate cancer family history. The clinical trial was unique in that prostate biopsy was used to confirm the presence or absence of prostate cancer in all study participants. Among the study participants, very few took fish oil supplements—the most common non-food source of omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to prevent heart disease and other inflammatory conditions. The majority got omega 3s from eating fish.
Results: DHA was positively associated with high-grade disease. In fact, researchers found that men with the highest blood percentages of DHA, an inflammation-lowering omega 3 fatty acid, had two-and-a-half-times the risk of developing aggressive, high-grade prostate cancer compared to men with the lowest DHA levels. The study findings are contrary to those expected from the pro- and anti-inflammatory effects of these fatty acids and suggest a greater complexity of effects of these nutrients with regard to prostate cancer risk, researchers said.