August 4, 2016
There have been a lot of questions concerning fish oil and prostate cancer since a study entitled Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial was published in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI).
The study involved 834 men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of this number, 156 had high-grade cancer. The report concluded that men with an elevated level of omega-3 fatty acids in their bloodstream were at a higher risk for prostate cancer.
However, the study is not a cause and effect model. Instead, it is simply a reference to data from a 2011 study. That study was called Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). The objective of the SELECT study was to prove that vitamin E and/or selenium might be enough to reduce the risk of prostate cancer development. It is interesting to note that both studies have two separate objectives. Nonetheless, the omega-3 study left many questions unanswered, for instance:
- Were there other contributory agents?
- What is the health history of these men?
- Are these men smokers and/or drinkers?
- Do these men have a family history of cancer?
- Was the omega-3 taken over a long period of time or used as cancer therapy?
Many countries throughout the world have a diet rich in fish. Some of these countries include China, Japan, other Asian nations, and other parts of the world. However, those men whose diets have not been Americanized tend to have healthy prostates. Therefore, the health benefits of fish oil are still undisputed and it has not been shown to be a cause of prostate cancer.