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Fish oil supplements linked to prostate cancer

"Taking omega-3 fish oil supplements may increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 70%," the Daily Mail reports. The story, covered widely in the media, comes from a large and well designed study that also found that high…

"Taking omega-3 fish oil supplements may increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 70%," the Daily Mail reports.

The story, covered widely in the media, comes from a large and well designed study that also found that high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids were associated with a 44% increase in the risk of slow growing prostate cancer.

Supporters of fish oil supplements have claimed that they can reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and dementia as well as improving cognitive function and mental health. But there is little conclusive evidence to justify these claims.

For more information see the Behind the Headlines special report on dietary supplements.

The findings match previous studies that have found a similar link between high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer.

It is worth bearing in mind that this study did not assess participants’ diet and use of supplements. Researchers measured blood levels of fatty acids and analysed the association with prostate cancer risk. However, it is likely that the very high levels of fatty acids found in some participants’ blood came from supplements.

If you are considering taking an omega-3 supplement get medical advice first.

 

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