Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Taking omega-3 supplements may help prevent skin cancer, new study finds

Date:
February 26, 2013
Source:
Manchester University
Summary:
Taking omega-3 fish oils could help to protect against skin cancer, according to new research. Scientists just carried out the first clinical trial to examine the impact of the fish oils on the skin immunity of volunteers.

Taking omega-3 fish oils could help to protect against skin cancer, according to researchers at The University of Manchester. The team has just carried out the first clinical trial to examine the impact of the fish oils on the skin immunity of volunteers. Led by Professor Lesley Rhodes, Professor of Experimental Dermatology from the Photobiology Unit Dermatology Centre at the University, the study analysed the effect of taking omega-3 on 79 healthy volunteers.

Results of the study, funded by the Association for International Cancer Research, found that taking a regular dose of fish oils boosted skin immunity to sunlight. Specifically, it also reduced sunlight-induced suppression of the immune system, known as immunosuppression, which affects the body's ability to fight skin cancer and infection. The findings have been published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition this month.

Professor Rhodes, who is based in the Photobiology Unit at the University's School of Medicine and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, said it was the first time the research had been carried out on humans. "There has been research in this area carried out on mice in the past but this is the first time that there has been a clinical trial directly in people," she said. "It has taken a number of years to get to this stage and the findings are very exciting.

"This study adds to the evidence that omega-3 is a potential nutrient to protect against skin cancer. Although the changes we found when someone took the oil were small, they suggest that a continuous low level of chemoprevention from taking omega-3 could reduce the risk of skin cancer over an individual's lifetime."

Patients who volunteered for the trial took a 4g dose of omega-3, which is about one and a half portions of oily fish, daily and were then exposed to the equivalent of either 8, 15 or 30 minutes of summer midday sun in Manchester using a special light machine. Other patients took a placebo, before being exposed to the light machine. Immunosuppression was 50% lower in people who took the supplement and were exposed to 8 and 15 minutes of sun compared with people who did not take the supplement. The study showed little influence on those in the 30 minute group.

The findings are important in the battle against skin cancer because previous research has shown that sunscreens are often applied inadequately and only worn during holiday periods. However, Professor Rhodes stressed that the omega-3 was not a substitute for sunscreen and physical protection, and that omega-3 should be regarded as an additional small measure to help protect skin from sun damage. The fish oil has already been shown to have many beneficial health effects such as helping with cardiovascular disease, meaning taking the supplement could lead to a range of potential health benefits. Professor Rhodes' team are now continuing their research with further omega-3 studies being carried out on healthy volunteers at Salford Royal. It comes as The University of Manchester, Cancer Research UK and The Christie Cancer Hospital team up to create a Manchester Cancer Research Centre.

Around 100,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer were diagnosed in the UK in 2010, according to the most recent figures available from Cancer Research UK, making it an extremely common cancer.

Dr Helen Rippon, Head of Science at AICR, said: "Skin cancer has been one of the fastest growing types of cancer, and numbers will likely continue to increase. It is always exciting to see research that AIRC has funded generating such promising results, and we look forward to seeing future developments in this area."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S. M. Pilkington, K. A. Massey, S. P. Bennett, N. M. Al-Aasswad, K. Roshdy, N. K. Gibbs, P. S. Friedmann, A. Nicolaou, L. E. Rhodes. Randomized controlled trial of oral omega-3 PUFA in solar-simulated radiation-induced suppression of human cutaneous immune responses. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2013; 97 (3): 646 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.112.049494

Cite This Page:

Manchester University. "Taking omega-3 supplements may help prevent skin cancer, new study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226092002.htm>.
Manchester University. (2013, February 26). Taking omega-3 supplements may help prevent skin cancer, new study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226092002.htm
Manchester University. "Taking omega-3 supplements may help prevent skin cancer, new study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226092002.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) 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