A second large, prospective study by scientists and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has confirmed a link between omega-3 fatty acids and an increased risk of prostate cancer.
The study shows that high concentrations of EPA, DPA and DHA - the three fatty acids found in fish and fish-oil supplements - are associated with a 71% increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer. Researchers say the study also found a 44% increase in the risk for low-grade prostate cancer and a 43% overall increase for all prostate cancers.
Dr. Chunkit Fung, an oncologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, says there are theories about why the link exists. "One hypothesis is that omega-3 fatty acids may be converted into compounds that may damage the cells or DNA. Also properties of fatty acids may play a role in immunosupression. As we know, the immune system plays a role in fighting cancer."
Dr. Fung advises men to speak to their doctor before taking omega-3 supplements.