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Omega-3 Fatty Acids Guard Against Advanced Prostate Cancer
Date:3/24/2009

-2 variant called rs4647310, a known inflammatory gene. Among men with low omega-3 fatty acid intake and this variant, the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer increased fivefold. However, men who had a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids had a significantly lower risk, even if they had the cox-2 variant.

These findings suggest that eating fish or other sources of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may decrease a man's risk of being diagnosed with more advanced prostate cancer, Witte said. "And the decrease in risk may be even more pronounced if one has a high-risk genetic variant in the cox-2 gene."

Focusing on more advanced tumors is important, since these tumors are most likely to take an aggressive course and thus impact a man's survival, he added. "Moreover, our results further support the hypothesis that long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may modify prostate inflammation through the cyclooxygenase (cox) pathway," Witte said.

Eric Jacobs, strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology at the American Cancer Society, thinks the jury is still out on connecting omega-3 fatty acids with a reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer.

"In this study, a diet high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids was associated with lower risk of developing advanced prostate cancer," Jacobs said. "However, some previous studies did not find similar results."

Indeed, other research has proved fruitless when it comes to using supplements to help prevent prostate cancer. Two studies released in January in the Journal of the American Medical Association found no evidence of benefit from supplemental selenium, vitamin E or vitamin C on prostate cancer and other cancers. Other recent studies have suggested that vitamins, B, C, D, E, folic acid and calcium taken alone, or in various combinations, aren't effective for cancer prevention either.

Nevertheless, more research into omega-3s role in prostat
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