Does Fish Oil Increase Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer?

When we hear the word Omega 3, oily fish, and healthy fats spring to mind.

They promote a range of fantastic health benefits that have us filling our plates with tuna and salmon.

However, it’s worth noting that recent studies have presented varying perspectives on the potential impact of Omega-3 fatty acids on prostate cancer risk. In fact, a concerned customer recently reached out, expressing worry about these findings and inquiring about the implications for fish oil supplementation.

As you know, our goal is to provide support in navigating health concerns, including prostate cancer and the symptoms of BPH. We are committed to offering informative and helpful responses to your questions.

Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the prostate. It is the second most common cancer found in men after skin cancer.

In the United States, approximately 1 of 7 men is diagnosed with prostate cancer. While various factors can contribute to an increased risk, let’s explore whether fish oil is indeed among them.

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The study was conducted by researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Ohio State University, who set out to look at the correlation between Omega 3 levels and the risk of prostate cancer.

In a case-control study, where blood samples from 834 men diagnosed with prostate cancer were compared with those from 1,393 men without the disease, the research indicated an elevated risk of prostate cancer among those with high blood concentrations of Omega-3 fats, resulting in the following:

  • 44% increased the risk of low-grade prostate cancer    

  • 71% increased the risk of high-grade prostate cancer    

  • 43% increased the risk of total prostate cancer

But don’t panic!

It is also important to know that this is just one study, and there are several other studies that suggest fish oil is actually linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.

While the results of this study might raise concerns about fish oil supplementation, it’s crucial to acknowledge that there are conflicting findings and some inconsistencies in the data.

8 reasons this study is flawed

1) Fish is your friend

One study I found suggested that a higher intake of fish had been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.

Furthermore, the researchers went on to suggest that the more Omega 3 that individuals take, the better the survival rate for men who already had prostate cancer.

Moreover, research indicates that higher levels of fish intake are associated with a reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer, providing additional encouragement to include fish in your diet.So there is considerable evidence favoring an increase in fish intake for prostate cancer risk reduction.

2) Slow cognitive decline

Further studies focus specifically on fish consumption and prostate cancer mortality rates, showing that a high fish intake resulted in a significant reduction of mortality.

It also highlighted evidence that by increasing your Omega 3 intake, you can slow age-related cognitive decline.

This will help you keep memory and brain function up to speed and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimers and dementia.

In addition to potentially reducing the risk of prostate cancer, Omega-3 has been linked to cognitive benefits, aiding memory and overall brain function.

3) Anti-Inflammatory

Fatty acids play a role in anti-inflammatory processes, suggesting that the anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil may contribute to lowering the risk of prostate cancer.

In summary, this study had concerns about the experimental design of the study in question and disagreed with some of the authors’ conclusions, urging readers to interpret the data with caution.

4) Insufficient data

The study’s overall result, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, indicates a negligible 0.23% difference in Omega-3 levels between the no cancer group and the high-grade cancer group. This finding is considered biologically irrelevant and doesn’t provide substantial evidence supporting an increased risk of prostate cancer due to Omega-3. As mentioned earlier, numerous studies have consistently reported a reduced risk of prostate cancer associated with increased fish consumption.

5) International diets

Many countries with high fish intake generally have lower levels of prostate cancer. Take Iceland, for example…they love their fish! Research indicates that the consumption of fish oil in later life is not associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Dwelling on this further, another study showed that the incidence of prostate cancer in Japanese people (who typically eat a lot more fish than Americans) is markedly lower than rates in the United States. This reinforces the idea that Omega 3 can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

6) Animal fat

Diet has a massive impact on BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia). The western diet, which includes excessive consumption of animal fat, and dairy products can increase the risk of prostate cancer.

It’s important to note that the study did not consider participants’ diets, the quantity of fish consumed, or the source and quality of fish oil supplements. Consequently, these factors could have influenced the study results.

“Especially in those who ate little fish and did not take fish-oil supplements, eating meat may have confounded the results, and lower meat consumption may be a reason for the observed lower rates of prostate cancer in those with lower plasma phospholipid DHA.”

( LG Cleland  )

7) Heart Health

One 2019 meta-analysis of 13 randomized, controlled trials looked at the link between omega 3 supplements and cardiovascular disease.

In a 2019 meta-analysis of 13 randomized, controlled trials, researchers concluded that omega-3 supplements have a protective effect on the heart, reducing the risk of a heart attack.

8) Mental Health

One 2017 study looked at the effects of fish oil on mental health conditions, such as depression.

The findings of the trials suggest that fish oil supplementation is beneficial in treating depression when we compare it with placebo.

The data suggest that the best outcomes occur when the fish oil is used as an adjunct to standard antidepressant therapies.

Is Fish Oil bad for Prostate Cancer?

The available research indicates that the benefits of fish oil, rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA, generally outweigh potential risks. However, it’s crucial to approach the findings of specific studies, like the one discussed, with caution. This study, while suggesting a potential link between high Omega-3 levels and prostate cancer, is deemed too simplistic. Notably, it lacks consideration for other significant variables contributing to prostate cancer.

Moreover, a critical limitation is the absence of a randomized trial, making it challenging to establish a causal relationship between fish oil supplementation or fish consumption and prostate cancer. Additionally, the study’s outcome measure is not statistically significant, further raising questions about the robustness of the findings.

Dr. Brinton, Director of Atherometabolic Research at Utah Foundation for Biomedical Research, underscores the importance of randomized, controlled clinical trials for conclusive evidence. He emphasizes that existing dietary intake studies are observational, inherently limited in establishing causation, and contribute to hypothesis-raising. The complexity and inconsistencies in controlled clinical trial data further highlight the need for continued research to decipher the implications of omega-3 intake accurately.

The truth is that Omega 3 has a whole bunch of health benefits, all of which have been proven in countless studies. They include:

  • lowering blood pressure  

  • improving metabolic symptoms  
  • treating depression
  • fighting inflammation  

  • reducing the risk of prostate cancer  

  • lowering the risk of dementia  

  • reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease …the list goes on.

Why you should take Krill Oil

The only problem is that a lot of Omega 3 supplements tend to use low-quality fish oils. These can become rancid and cause indigestion. Although they might be cheaper, they are less effective.

Krill Oil is, without a doubt, the best and most effective means of getting your dose of Omega 3. It’s more potent, sourced from clean waters, meaning it’s unpolluted and more bioavailable.

If 70% of your fatty acid intake is not from Omega 3, you will suffer from high cholesterol levels, a higher risk of cancer, and even cardiovascular problems down the line. So finding a potent and effectively absorbed source of omega 3 is an integral part of your dietary supplements.

pure krill oil supplement

My Wild Antarctic Krill Oil is sourced from pure and unpolluted waters and as a result, does not need any processing, meaning it is Pure, Natural and Virgin– pretty much it’s the best money can buy.

To find out more about my Wild Antarctic Krill Oil, click here.

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  1. Alexander W. Prostate cancer risk and omega-3 Fatty Acid intake from fish oil: a closer look at media messages versus research findings. P T. 2013;38(9):561–564.
  2. Brasky TM, Darke AK, Song X, et al. Plasma phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk in the SELECT trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013;105(15):1132–1141. doi:10.1093/jnci/djt174
  3. Chavarro JE1, Stampfer MJ, Li H, Campos H, Kurth T, Ma J.. (2007). A Prospective Study of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels in Blood and Prostate Cancer Risk. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention . 16 (7), p1364-70.
  4. Cleland, L, Proudman, S, James, M. (2014). RE: Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial . Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 106 (4), p1.
  5. Gann PH. Risk factors for prostate cancer. Rev Urol. 2002;4 Suppl 5(Suppl 5):S3–S10.
  6. Liang, P, Gao, M. (2017). Fish oil and prostate cancer: Effects and clinical relevance. Cancer Transnational Medicine . 3 (3), p80-86
  7. Marks LS1, Kojima M, Demarzo A, Heber D, Bostwick DG, Qian J, Dorey FJ, Veltri RW, Mohler JL, Partin AW.. (2004). Prostate cancer in native Japanese and Japanese-American men: effects of dietary differences on prostatic tissue.. Urology . 64 (4), p765-71.
  8. Torfadottir JE, Valdimarsdottir UA, Mucci LA, et al. Consumption of fish products across the lifespan and prostate cancer risk. PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e59799. Published 2013 Apr 17. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059799
  9. Hu Y, Hu FB, Manson JE. Marine Omega-3 Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease: An Updated Meta-Analysis of 13 Randomized Controlled Trials Involving 127 477 Participants. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019.
  10. Burhani MD, Rasenick MM. Fish oil and depression: The skinny on fats. J Integr Neurosci. 2017.

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