Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Consumption Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Unlikely To Significantly Reduce Risk Of Cancer

Date:
January 31, 2006
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A review of numerous studies finds no strong evidence indicating a significantly reduced risk of cancer associated with the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, according to an article in the January 25 issue of JAMA.

A review of numerous studies finds no strong evidence indicating a significantly reduced risk of cancer associated with the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, according to an article in the January 25 issue of JAMA.

Epidemiological studies have suggested that groups of people who consume diets high in omega-3 fatty acids, found in certain fish and vegetables, may experience a lower prevalence of some types of cancer, according to background information in the article. Many small trials have attempted to assess the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cancer treatment by adding omega-3 fatty acid to the diet either as omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods or as dietary supplements. Because of the results of some studies, a number of omega-3 fatty acid-containing dietary supplements have appeared on the market claiming to protect against the development of a variety of conditions including cancer, even though studies have reported mixed results.

Catherine H. MacLean, M.D., Ph.D., of RAND Health, Santa Monica, Calif., and colleagues assessed the validity of claims that omega-3 fatty acids prevent cancer by systematically reviewing the literature for studies that evaluated the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on the incidence of cancer. Using several databases and other sources, the researchers identified 38 articles, published between 1966 to October 2005, which met the study criteria. Reviewers independently abstracted detailed data about the incidence of cancer, the type of cancer, the number and characteristics of the patients, details on the exposure to omega-3 fatty acids, and the elapsed time between the intervention and outcome measurements.

The researchers found: "Among 65 estimates of association calculated across 20 different cohorts for 11 different types of cancer and 6 different ways to assess omega-3 fatty acid consumption, only 10 are statistically significant. Significant associations between omega-3 fatty acid consumption and cancer risk were reported for breast cancer in 4 studies; for colorectal cancer in 1; for lung cancer in 2; for prostate cancer in 2; and for skin cancer in 1. However, for each breast, lung, and prostate cancer, there were significant associations for both increased risk and decreased risk and far more estimates that did not demonstrate any association. The study that assessed skin cancer risk found a significantly increased risk. Hence, no trend was found across many different cohorts and many different categories of omega-3 fatty acid consumption to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids reduce overall cancer risk."

"... omega-3 fatty acids appear not to affect a mechanism of cancer development that is common across the different types of cancers evaluated in this report. Likewise, there is little to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of any single type of cancer," they write.

"A large body of literature spanning numerous cohorts from many countries and with different demographic characteristics did not provide evidence to suggest a significant association between omega-3 fatty acids and cancer incidence. Dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids is unlikely to reduce the risk of cancer," the researchers conclude.

###

(JAMA. 2006;295:403-415. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org)

Editor's Note: Supported by the Agency of Health Care Policy and Research Quality (AHRQ). Dr. MacLean is a Veterans Health Administration Health Services Research and Development Career Development Awardee.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Consumption Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Unlikely To Significantly Reduce Risk Of Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060130155317.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2006, January 31). Consumption Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Unlikely To Significantly Reduce Risk Of Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060130155317.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Consumption Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Unlikely To Significantly Reduce Risk Of Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060130155317.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins