Health News: Omega-3s and Prostate Cancer? Not so fast.
You may have seen a recent media flurry over a supposed connection between omega-3 fatty acid concentration in plasma levels and incidence of prostate cancer. Many members of the media came to a highly irresponsible conclusion and encouraged people to stop taking their omega-3 supplements based on a single study that measured plasma levels of long-chain omega-3s in men one time up to six years before they developed prostate cancer.
Plasma fatty acid levels will fluctuate widely based on what that person has eaten recently. That a man had a high level at the time of testing may only indicate that he had fish for dinner that night. To say that there’s a causal relationship between him eating fish for dinner on, say, August 1, 2007, and being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013 would be similar to saying that he filled up his car at a particular gas station in 2007 and therefore stubbed his toe on a floor lamp six years later.
And all of this runs counter to a massive weight of evidence saying that omega-3s are powerfully protective against prostate cancer. So keep taking your fish oil. For a more in-depth treatment of this topic, check out our October issue of Natural Solutions.