Omega-3s and Prostate Cancer Fact Check: What’s a Guy to Do?

The media is abuzz in the wake of a surprising new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute linking omega-3s to a higher risk of prostate cancer. But should men give up eating their salmon?SuppsInFishShape

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are generally acclaimed for their link to reduced inflammation and overall health promotion, especially heart health. Omega-3s are found in salmon and other fatty fish as well as in supplements. Fish oil capsules containing the omega-3s EPA and DHA are among the most popular supplements.

The study measured the percent of three omega-3s most commonly found in fish and supplements – DHA, EPA and DPA – in the blood of 834 men with prostate cancer matched to 1,393 men without cancer. Men with the highest percentage of omega-3s in their blood had a 43% increased risk of prostate cancer compared to those with the lowest concentration. No increase in risk was found in the men in the two middle quartiles – in other words, those with moderate levels.

What’s a guy to do? For now, follow AICR’s evidence-based recommendations for prostate cancer. Men can include plenty of foods rich in the antioxidants lycopene (tomatoes are a great source) and selenium (found in sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts) and rest easy knowing they’re helping reduce their risk of not only cancer but other chronic Continue reading


Study: AICR Recommendations Lower Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Man eating watermelonA new study appearing in the journal Nutrition and Cancer found that following at least four AICR/WCRF recommendations for cancer prevention reduced men’s risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer tumors by 38%.

The study, which came out of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, looked at adherence to seven of AICR’s ten recommendations in over two-thousand African-American and Caucasian men aged 40-70 recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. The risk of aggressive tumor development was found to be lower in those men who followed four or more recommendations regardless of race.

Why should I pay attention?  I thought only old guys in their eighties got prostate cancer.  After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men. One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime during his life.  In 2013, almost 239,000 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and nearly 30,000 will die from the disease.  Being overweight, smoking, and a lack of vegetables in the diet are linked to a higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer (as opposed to the slower-growing form of prostate cancer). Aggressive cancers mean lower survival rates, making these findings on preventing aggressive forms even more relevant. Continue reading


Study: Men with Prostate Cancer May Survive Longer with Vegetable Fats

canstockphoto13663884For the approximately 2.5 million men living with prostate cancer, a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that eating nuts and other foods high in vegetable oils may play a role in lengthening their lives.

Compared to men with prostate cancer who ate the least amount of vegetable fats, the men who ate the most had a lower risk of dying during the study from cancer or any other cause. Study analysis also concluded that men with the disease may lower their risk of dying by replacing calories from carbohydrates and animal fats with vegetable fats.

The study included 4,577 men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer between 1986 and 2010. Every four years the men reported their typical diet during the previous year, answering questions on fried food consumption and what type of fat they used to cook. The study focused on mortality related to consumption of different types of fats: saturated, polyunsaturated, trans, animal, and vegetable fats.

After a median of almost 8 and a half years, 1,064 of the men had died. Most of the men – almost a third –died from heart disease. Another 21 percent died from prostate cancer specifically and another 20 percent from other cancers. Continue reading