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Omega-3s Linked to Prostate Cancer Protection

Men eating highest amounts have only one-third the risk of aggressive prostate cancer

FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Higher intakes of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were associated with a lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer, which appeared to be modified by a COX-2 single nucleotide polymorphism, according to research published online March 24 in Clinical Cancer Research.

Vincent Fradet, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues analyzed data from 466 men with aggressive prostate cancer and 478 matched controls. The researchers collected dietary information using a food frequency questionnaire and genotyped nine cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) tag single nucleotide polymorphisms in the men.

Greater consumption of dark fish was linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer, the investigators found. Those in the highest quartile of omega-3 intake had a lower risk of prostate cancer versus the lowest quartile (odds ratio, 0.37). The drop in risk showed a notable dose-response relationship across higher levels of intake. The inverse association was found to be even stronger in men with the rs4648310 gene variant, the authors note.

"By aiming to understand the clinical and mechanistic effect of modifiable risk factors (dietary fatty acids) on the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, this topic is of high relevance to the scientific community. In fact, our findings suggest that by consuming high amounts of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, mainly dark fish and shellfish, men can lower their risk of prostate cancer," the authors write. "Our findings suggest that the dietary recommendation may be appropriate for all men independently of their genetic background."

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