JUL 28, 2016 5:43 AM PDT

Cancer and Omega-3 Fatty Acids


A study of almost 1700 patients who had bowel cancer shows that those who had diets higher in Omega 3 fatty acids (commonly found in certain kinds of fish) had a better chance at survival. Using data from two long term studies, the Nurse's Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up study, a team at Mass General Hospital contacted bowel cancer patients and then followed their dietary choices. The results showed patients who consumed at least 0.3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish per day after their colon cancer diagnosis were 41 percent less likely to die of the disease than those who consumed less than 0.1 gram per day.

The study was observational, meaning the data was collected only from questionnaires filled out by participants, rather than the more rigorous study protocols found in clinical trials. Still, researchers feel that Omega-3s are a healthy part of any diet. Previous research shows a link between them and slower tumor growth as well as a lower blood supply to cancer cells.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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