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Why Men Should Avoid Fish Oil Supplements

Men should be wary of taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements now that new research from the National Cancer Institute links them to an increased risk of prostate cancer.

A new study published yesterday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute provides further evidence that men with high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood are more likely to develop prostate cancer, the most common cancer affecting men.

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The study clarifies previous research that was inconsistent about the link between omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer.

Omega-3 fatty acids are common in fish like salmon, flaxseed oil, nuts, and certain spices. Numerous studies have found that they can be good for a person’s heart and can help lower cholesterol.

Due to its positive health effects, fish oil supplements high in omega-3 fatty acids have become one of the most common supplement types on the market.

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The research team, consisting of experts at leading institutions across America, studied 834 men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of them, 156 had high-grade cancer.

Researchers found that men with the highest concentrations of fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had a 43 percent greater risk of developing the cancer compared to men with the lowest concentrations.

On the flip side, they found that men with higher concentrations of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, had lower incidences of prostate cancer. Linoleic acid is found in high concentrations in salicornia, safflower, sunflower, poppy seed, grape seed, and evening primrose oils.

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It’s also found in olive oil, which is similarly high in omega-3 fatty acids.

With the new study in hand, researchers say doctors should weigh a man’s prostate cancer risk before recommending omega-3 fatty acids in foods or supplements.

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