Omega-3 fatty acids are what my grandmother would have called the bee’s knees. In fact, these health heroes can help keep nearly every part of your body, from your brain to your knees, in tip top shape.
We’re constantly learning more about the benefits of omega-3s. Research has already revealed they can help prevent or relieve well over a dozen serious health concerns including depression, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, fatty liver and metabolic syndrome.
And yet, while your body can make most of the fats it needs to function from raw materials and other fats, it can’t produce omega-3s. In other words, you have to get the omega-3s you need from your diet.
The key to omega-3s benefits lie in their ability to target the chronic, long-term inflammation that is at the heart of nearly almost every major disease. Omega-3s help slash the production of inflammatory substances such cytokines, which in turn reduces inflammation.1,2,3,4,5,6
Experts believe the growing evidence that omega-3s may also play a role in preventing certain cancers is also linked to their inflammation fighting abilities. Which means that you may be able to slash your own cancer risk by increasing the omega-3s in your diet.
55% lower risk of colon-cancer
Scottish researchers uncovered evidence that folks who eat the most omega-3s have a significantly lower risk of developing colon cancer. In a case-controlled study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the more omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids a volunteer ate, the lower his risk for developing colon cancer fell.7
Researchers in China came to a similar conclusion in another case-controlled study. In the two-year study folks who ate more n-3 polyunsaturated fat (PUFAs), had a significantly lower risk of developing colorectal cancer.
And we’re not talking peanuts here. According to the research, eating the most PUFAs could slash your cancer risk up to an incredible 55 percent.8
32% lower risk of breast cancer
Research published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention found a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer could be dramatically reduced with a simple fish oil supplement.
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle Washington asked over 35,000 postmenopausal women—who didn’t have a previous history of breast cancer—to fill out an extensive 24-page survey about their use of supplements.
After six years of follow up, and 808 confirmed cases of breast cancer, the scientists were able to identify a strong link between those who took fish oil and a 32 percent lower risk of the most common type of breast cancer, invasive ductal.9
Eat more anti-inflammatory omega-3s
To raise your omega-3 levels eat more fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon and tuna. Just be sure to look for the wild-caught variety. Farm-raised fish tend to have higher levels of mercury, can be lower in healthy omega-3s and are often more contaminated with pesticides, antibiotics and man-made chemicals.
If you’d like to start taking a fish oil supplement, which will provide you with a good steady source of omega-3s, be sure to check the label and choose a good quality oil that’s high in the omega-3s DHA and EPA.
And, according to HealthierTalk.com contributor Dr. Allan Spreen, if you start taking a fish oil supplement it’s also a good idea to also take an all-natural mixed-tocopherol vitamin E at the same time to wipe out any free radicals that might form.
Increase your omega-3s today and you could send your cancer risk plummeting.
1. “n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation, and inflammatory diseases,” Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jun;83(6 Suppl):1505S-1519S
2. “N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammation: from molecular biology to the clinic,” Lipids. 2003 Apr;38(4):343-52
3. “EPA and DHA reduce LPS-induced inflammation responses in HK-2 cells: evidence for a PPAR-gamma-dependent mechanism,” Kidney Int. 2005 Mar;67(3):867-74
4. “Effect of marine-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor α: a meta-analysis,” PLoS One. 2014 Feb 5;9(2):e88103
5. “Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases,” J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Dec;21(6):495-505
6. “Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation improves vascular function and reduces inflammation in obese adolescents,” Atherosclerosis. 2010 Oct;212(2):580-5
7. “Dietary fatty acids and colorectal cancer: a case-control study,” Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Jul 15;166(2):181-95
8. “Dietary fat, fatty acid intakes and colorectal cancer risk in Chinese adults: a case-control study,” Eur J Cancer Prev. 2013 Sep;22(5):438-47
9. ““Specialty Supplements and Breast Cancer Risk in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort,” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, July 2010 19 (7); 1696
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