Fatty fish protects against prostate cancer

Fatty fishMen who eat a lot of fatty fish run a lower risk of prostate cancer, concludes a new research paper from Karolinska Institutet. The effect is likely to be attributable to the abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, although there is also a hereditary factor.

To find out whether omega-3 fatty acids in food affect the chances of developing cancer, scientists asked 1,500 Swedish men with diagnosed prostate cancer about their eating habits and then compared the answers with a healthy control group. The results strongly support the hypothesis of the healthiness of omega-3 fatty acids. Men who eat salmon more than once a week run a 43 per cent less chance of developing prostate cancer than men who never eat salmon.

The scientists also analysed blood tests to find any genetic factors behind prostate cancer. Their results show

that men who carried a special variant of the COX-2 gene were the only ones to benefit from the protective properties of fatty fish. The group of men who carried this gene variant and who often ate salmon had a 72 per cent lower chance than men who never ate fatty fish. Research shows that there is an interaction between dietary factors and our genes, but its always hard to say what role the genes play, omega-3 fatty acids can still be good for men who dont carry this gene variant in completely different ways.

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