Media Frenzy Caused by Recent Omega 3 Fish Oil Study

It is a common opinion that Omega 3 Fish Oil can benefit our health in numerous ways. Research in the past has shown that fish oil lowers triglycerides, lowers blood pressure, and reduces inflammation which can help improve other serious conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, bone health, artery health, and Dementia, among others. Therefore, many doctors suggest fish oil supplements and healthy diets consisting of fish to their patients.

However, there was recently a report released stating that Omega 3 raises risks of Prostate Cancer. A Life Extension article sums up this particular study with “this report was based on a single blood test of plasma fatty acids in a group of 834 men who were followed up to six years to assess prostate cancer risk (low- and high-grade disease). A smaller group of 75 men was followed up to nine years to assess only high-grade prostate cancer risk. The results showed that slightly higher Omega-3 plasma percentages from this single blood test were associated with a greater risk of low-grade (44%) and high-grade (71%) prostate cancers over the multi-year follow-up.”

At first word of this report, a media frenzy has had consumers believing that fish oil is bad for you and can cause prostate cancer. It is safe to say that this story is forgetting about all the proven benefits of Omega 3 fish oil.

The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil and Omega-3s have been long believed to aid in everything from depression to asthma to autoimmune diseases. Even the American Heart Association recommends fish oil or fatty fish as often as twice per week, based on evidence that it decreases triglyceride levels and the risk of abnormal heartbeats.

The JNCI study supports findings from earlier studies linking prostate cancer risk and Omega-3s, but experts agree more research is needed to uncover exactly why the two are connected. It’s possible that higher levels of Omega-3s can actually damage a man’s DNA in a way that encourages prostate cancer tumor growth.

Dietary supplements seem to come in and out of favor with the latest research, magazine articles, and healthcare trends, making it difficult to decipher what helps and what hurts. For many, a balanced diet may be the best course of action as well as talking with a doctor.  A patient’s doctor will have the global perspective of the latest research, their patient’s individual health and risk levels related to various diseases.