A large study of women in Washington State finds that those who take fish oil supplements have a lower risk of breast cancer. Other studies had shown a diet rich in essential fatty acids from fish to be protective against heart disease, but this is the first to suggest that fish oil may help prevent breast cancer. The study followed more than 35,000 post-menopausal women who answered questionnaires about their use of “specialty” supplements (nonvitamin and nonmineral). After six years, researchers determined that those who took fish oil were about half as likely to develop the most common form of breast cancer. Several other supplements were looked at, but only fish oil was associated with a lower risk of breast cancer.
Fish oil may suppress breast cancer by inhibiting inflammation, according to Emily White, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington and a coauthor of the study.
For more than 25 years the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) organization has promoted breast cancer awareness and raised funds for research into the cause, prevention, and cure of the disease.
Sources: “Fish Oil May Fight Breast Cancer” by Nathan Seppa. Science News 7/8/10 ♦ “Fish oil Supplements Linked to Reduced Breast Cancer Risk” by Sharon Kirkey, Canwest news Service 7/8/10 ♦ “Specialty Supplements and Breast Cancer Risk…” by T.M. Brasky etal., Cancer Epidemial Biomarkers Prev, 7/10