Eating foods rich
in omega-3 fatty acids such as oily fish may help to
prevent the spread of prostate cancer, scientists said on
Tuesday. Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids
that work together to promote good health. The body
cannot make them, so eating a diet rich in the
substances is important. Fish and certain oils such as
canola and flaxseed are sources of omega-3, while raw
nuts and seeds contain omega-6.
studies, scientists at the Paterson Institute at the
Christie Hospital in Manchester, England, found that omega-3
fats could block the spread of cancerous cells.
Mick Brown, chief
scientist in the research group, said the results of
the research published in the British Journal of
Cancer suggest a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids might
help to inhibit the spread of the disease in men with
early prostate cancer. Because omega-3 and omega-6
work together, it is important to maintain a balance
of the two for good health.
fats, found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds, increased
the spread of tumor cells into bone marrow. This
invasion was blocked by omega 3 fats--the ones
found in oily fish," Brown said in a statement.
possible to have a healthy balance of these two types of
fat--we only need about half as much omega-3 as
omega-6--that will still stop cancer cells from
spreading," he added.
believe omega-3 fatty acids interfere with functions of
omega-6, which cancer cells may use as a source of energy,
and prevent them from spreading beyond the prostate
is more treatable and has a better survival rate if it is
diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages.
tumors develop slowly in the prostate without producing
symptoms, and sometimes when symptoms do develop, it
is because the cancer has already spread. Eating a
diet with the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6
fats may well help to keep prostate cancer within the
prostate gland where it may be monitored safely or
more easily treated with surgery or
radiotherapy," said Noel Clarke, a coauthor of the
is the third most common cancer in men worldwide, with
543,000 new cases reported each year, according to the
International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon,