Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and while the latest statistics show that most men will eventually develop prostate cancer if they live long enough, only a specific type of cancer, known as high-grade, carries high risk of serious health problems. While a quarter of a million Americans are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, only about 30,000 of those cases are fatal, and almost all of them involve high-grade cancer. The latest research found that the association between omega-3s and prostate cancer held for both high- and low-grade prostate cancers.
It’s not that omega-3s are harmful, but that the fatty acids may have more complex effects on the body than previously thought. “We have this tendency to talk about good foods and bad foods, good nutrients and bad nutrients,” Dr. Theodore Brasky, a research assistant professor at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and the study’s head author. The nutrients commonly found in fish fight potentially damaging inflammation, but they may also increase oxidative damage to the DNA in cells, similar to the effects of stress, that can create fertile ground for cancers to grow.