How can omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil help prevent cancer?
Is it a beneficial supplement for those being treated for it? Here’s a look at what we currently know about the cancer and fish oil.
Nutrition & Cancer
Most doctors recommend a variety of dietary supplements for their patients that are undergoing cancer treatment. Primarily, the purpose is to prevent nutritional deficiencies that can result due to loss of appetite, as well as malignancy related weight loss. In addition, a recent study showed that EPA, one of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, helped to preserve lean body mass in patients recovering from throat cancer.
Purified Fish Oil – Best Choice
It is important to mention the need for selecting only oils that have been purified using molecular distillation. Of the common contaminants that are found in fish oil, many of them are carcinogenic. It is obviously important to avoid them. Some manufacturers promote the idea that non-distilled is better, more natural and provides more omega-3 fatty acids.
While it is true that eating fish provides more vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, molecular distillation actually allows for the “concentration” of omega3s. So, in all ways, molecularly distilled oils are the best choices for supplementation.
DHA Fish Oil Important
When it comes to prevention, studies indicate that DHA, one of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, helps prevent colon cancer. It may help prevent other types, as well, including breast, prostate, head, neck, ovarian and gastrointestinal. There is simply more evidence suggesting the benefit colon and gastrointestinal cancers.
So, how does it work? DHA and EPA perform various functions in the human body. They are the primary components of cellular membranes, including the membranes that surround the neurons in the brain. They transport various hormones and are necessary for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Vitamin A, D, E and K are only soluble in fat, meaning that the body can only absorb them, if fats are also present.
Studies indicate that low levels of vitamin D are associated with cancer and heart disease. Year ago, studies showed that high levels of beta-carotene, the dietary precursor to vitamin A, and vitamin E were associated with a reduced risk of the disease.
Fish Oil PLUS
Large scale clinical trials were discontinued when it was found that supplementation did not result in a reduced incidence among participating volunteers, but the results may have been different, if a fish oil supplement was also given or the patients were advice to take the supplement with a meal that contained some type of fat. In addition, beta-carotene, vitamin C and E are more readily absorbed when they are taken together, rather than separately. In other words, we need a complete nutritional supplement.
Fish Oil is Anti-Inflammatory & Antioxidant
The vitamins mentioned here are antioxidants, which scavenge free radicals. Free radicals can cause mutations in healthy cells that lead to the growth and spread of cancerous tumors. Inflammation or inflammatory molecules, contribute to the growth and progression of the disease. Omega-3 fatty acids have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. This is how they can work against and help prevent cancer. Supplementation is one of the best things you can do for your health.
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Thanks, Larry L. Taylor