WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Fish oils has been considered beneficial to just about everything related to the body... until now. A startling new study shows that men who have the highest levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies have an increased risk for prostate cancer.
Researchers report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that men with the highest levels of Omega-3's from fish, not vegetable sources, have a 71% percent higher risk of high-grade prostate cancer. High-grade describes cancer that is the most dangerous, likely to spread, and turn deadly. Their risk for any kind of prostate cancer overall was heightened to 44%.
"These fish oil supplements in which some men are getting mega, mega doses...in our opinion, that is probably a little bit dangerous," said Theodore Brasky of Ohio State University Medical Center. He worked on the study with a team from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
The same research team published a study in 2011 that came to a similar conclusion, confirming that men with the highest levels of one omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), had double the risk of high grade prostate cancer.
Interestingly, fatty acids from sources like vegetable oil, flax seeds, and other alternative sources did not affect prostate cancer risk.
Men might be conflicted about this latest news. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help reduce heart disease, which is also far more common than prostate cancer. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week and that people with heart disease should take a fish oil supplement.
This research team maintains men would be best advised to eat fish in moderation, and avoid fish-oil supplements.