Health Discoveries in Prostate Cancer

Surprising link made between dietary fats and prostate cancer

April 29, 2011
A study on dietary fat levels' connection to prostate cancer risk came up with surprising results for researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Unlike what's generally known about the health effect of fats, the researchers found high levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids were linked to greater risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. By contrast, large amounts of unhealthy transfats were shown to lower the cancer risk.

"Our findings turn what we know - or rather what we think we know - about diet, inflammation and the development of prostate cancer on its head and shine a light on the complexity of studying the association between nutrition and the risk of various chronic diseases," said Theodore M. Brasky, a research fellow in Hutchinson's Cancer Prevention Program.

But Brasky said the research team concluded that people who are concerned about developing heart disease shouldn't stop using fish oil supplements or eating fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

More than 3,400 men participated in the nationwide study, which was published in the April issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Several clinical trials related to prostate cancer are under way through the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
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