Research has claimed that there are multitudes of health benefits associated with fish oil. The health benefits of fish oil include its ability to aid in the treatment of various heart diseases, high cholesterol, depression, anxiety, AHDH, weakened immune system, cancer, diabetes, inflammation, arthritis, IBD, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, eye disorders, macular degeneration and ulcers. It also helps aid weight loss, healthy pregnancy, fertility and skin care (particularly for conditions such as psoriasis and acne).
Omega fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids, a naturally occurring animal fat. These oils are found in many oily fish species, including salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel and lake trout. Fish oil contains two important fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which are important in growth and maintenance of the body. Other useful essential fatty acids in fish oil include Alpha-linolenic acid or ALA and Gamma-linolenic acid or GLA.
Experts agree that taking an omega fish oil supplement is a great way to add more omega fatty acids to your diet. There are several health benefits that have already been proven, and there are many more that are currently under research.
New research, by scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, suggests that eating a lot of oily fish or taking potent fish oil supplements may increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Also, marine sources of omega-3 fatty acids may also raise the risk for aggressive prostate cancer, according to the study.
The study looked at 2,227 men, 834 of whom had prostate cancer. Of the cancer patients, 156 had high-grade, or more aggressive, cancer. The researchers compared blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids the 834 men, later diagnosed with prostate cancer, with blood samples from nearly 1,400 men who did not develop the disease. The investigators found that men eating the most fatty fish and taking the most fish oil supplements had an overall 43 percent increase in risk for all prostate cancer, compared with men eating the least fish or taking the fewest supplements. The risk for aggressive prostate cancer was 71 percent higher; for non-aggressive prostate cancer, the risk was 44 percent greater.
Dr. Anthony D’Amico, chief of radiation oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston says, “It’s not a cause and effect and the study would have to account for other risk factors for prostate cancer before it could be considered definitive.” These include family history, age and race, among others, D’Amico explained.
Theodore Brasky, who now works Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and co-author Alan Kristal both, recommended that men quit taking supplements. Brasky initially worked on the project when he was at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. This is the second study they’ve published that found an association between high fatty-acid levels and prostate cancer and confirms something they did not expect to find in the first place, Kristal said.
While fish oil has plenty of beneficial qualities, there is lot of talk around its possible applications, and not all of them are accurate, so be cautious when reading literature on this oil. Fish oil manufacturers have attempted to market fish oil as a remedy for almost anything. It has been suggested that readers educate themselves full before making an informed decision, rather than be affected by both negative and positive half truths about the possible benefits of fish oil.
There’s an ocean of excitement and information around fish oil supplementation, but should you take the plunge?
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)