Fish oil contains both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both of these are members of omega-3 family of fatty acids and are different from the omega-3 fatty acids found in oils from vegetable sources. In the late 1970s, scientists learned that the native Inuits in Greenland, who consumed a diet very high in omega-3 fatty acids, had surprisingly low rates of heart attacks. Since that time thousands of scientific studies have evaluated the multiple ways that omega-3 fatty acids promote not only cardiovascular health, but also the healthy functioning of many other biological activities.
Supplements taken to reduce the symptoms of menopause have been associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in previous controlled studies. A current study sought to investigate the long-term use of these supplements and any association with breast cancer risk. The trial included female participants involved in the Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort. A total of 35,016 postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 76 years were asked to complete a questionnaire about their use off vitamin and mineral supplements. Between 2000 and 2007, 880 women involved in the study were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. The researchers discovered that regular consumption of fish oil supplements, for at least ten years, reduced the risk of breast cancer by 32 percent. The use of other supplements taken to minimize symptoms of menopause, such as black cohosh, dong quai, soy or St. John’s wort, were not found to reduce the risk of breast cancer. These findings suggest that fish oil may be an important supplement for postmenopausal women in the prevention of breast cancer although further research is needed to confirm these results.1
Breast cancer is a cancer that forms in tissues of the breast, usually the ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple) and lobules (glands that make milk). It occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is rare. There are different types of breast cancer, with different stages (spread), aggressiveness and genetic makeup. Treatment includes surgery, drugs (hormone therapy and chemotherapy) and radiation. The incidence of breast cancer has been increasing steadily for decades. Today breast cancer rates have escalated to the point where women’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is 1 in 8. Breast cancer has become the second largest cause of cancer death in women, after skin cancer, and the leading cause of death for women between the ages of 35 and 54.
1 White E, Brasky T, Lampe J, et al. Specialty Supplements and Breast Cancer Risk in the Vitamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. Jul2010.
Source: Health Studies Journal: http://www.nhiondemand.com/hsjarticle.aspx?id=890&utm_source=NHI+OnDemand+Newsletter+List&utm_campaign=44a1221bce-IndustryScience_Oct06_2010&utm_medium=email