A new study published in the journal Gut reveals that colon cancer patients who consume higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, mainly from oily fish, have a better chance of survival.
The study looked at almost 1,700 American adults with colon cancer. While it didn't prove cause-and-effect, it did seem to find a benefit from the healthy fats. Read on for the full story...
Study links high consumption of omega-3 fatty acids to better odds of surviving colon cancer
To reach their findings, lead researcher Dr Andrew Chan of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in the United States and his team tracked data on 1,659 people with colon cancer
The team reported that during an average follow-up of about 10 years, 561 of the patients died. In 169 of these cases, colon cancer
was the leading cause of death. Other major causes of death included other types of cancer
and heart disease
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However, the team found that people who consumed at least 0.3 g of omega-3 fatty acids per day after their colon cancer diagnosis were 41% less likely to die of the disease than those who consumed less than 0.1 g of the nutrient per day.
They associated this benefit with omega-3 from both food and fish oil supplements, but few of the patients used supplements. Furthermore, the link between marine omega-3 and lower risk of death from colon cancer was more prominent in taller, relatively thin people who didn’t take aspirin regularly.
One colon cancer expert wasn’t surprised by these study results...
Dr Jules Garbus, a colorectal surgeon at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola in the United States, reviewed the findings and said he wasn’t surprised.
“We’ve long suspected the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation,” he says. “This study begins to show a correlation between healthy living and reducing death from colon cancer.”
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