Recent headlines and news reports have conveyed somewhat startling recommendations that men should stop eating fish and taking fish oil supplements as a result of a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that was reported to show that fish consumption and/or fish oil supplement usage was “strongly associated” with an increased risk of the most aggressive form of prostate cancer.
Informed consumers need to look beyond attention-grabbing headlines to find that the data in this study actually does not support that assertion at all.
The study looked at blood levels of omega-3's, which measures recent consumption of omega-3's and are not a measure of long-term consumption of omega-3's.
This measurement does not differentiate different sources of omega-3's-so could be measuring avocado, olive oil and fish consumption.
There was no tracking of usage of fish oil supplements or even fish consumption by study participants. It must also be noted that the results of this study are completely contrary to the large body of scientific and epidemiological data that supports the positive effects of fish oil supplements and/or fish consumption on cardiovascular health, peri-natal health, inflammation, cognitive function, and many types of cancer.
Additionally, there are both randomized clinical trials as well as population data that validate the protective effects of omega-3 supplementation on reduction of risk of prostate cancer as well as reduced risk of prostate cancer metastasis (spread).
The American Heart Association, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board and a multitude of health experts and physicians (including the Shaklee scientific team) continue to support and recommend omega-3 and fish oil consumption for the variety of potential health benefits associated with this choice.
It would seem that this study does not give anyone reason to change those recommendations.
For additional views on this issue, please see the Council for Responsible Nutrition:http://crnusa.org/CRNPR13-Omega3071113.html