Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Wham Omega 3 Potentially More Powerful In Prevention of Certain Cancers than Drugs

New studies in animals suggest that supplementation with Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids could be more useful at preventing colorectal cancer than current drugs.

The study, by researchers from Harvard Medical School and Charité University Medicine, Germany, was published in the July, 2007 edition of the journal Carcinogenesis. The authors found that out of two sets of mice, the group with the highest amount of omega-3 in tissues showed some 15 per cent less inflammation in the colon. This difference, if it translates to humans as it should, could make a significant impact on this cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It is hoped that further work in this field could help find natural alternatives to drugs for this disease; current pharmaceuticals are reported to have side-effects over long-term use.

The two lead authors say in this report: "Dietary supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be an effective and safe means of colorectal cancer prevention and it may be an alternative to the use of anti-inflammatory Cox-inhibitors, particularly Cox-2 inhibitors, which exhibit side effects when used for a long term."

The doctors also stated that because these fatty acids have many other beneficial effects (cardioprotective), supplementation with Omega 3 to prevent colon cancer is a strategy worth pursuing right now for anyone concerned about this potential cancer.

I find it interesting that this report is the second study in the last week which adds support to the role of Omega 3 oils in suppressing tissue inflammation.


1 comment:

Dave Jensen said...

Another news report on today's wire about Colon cancer, this one from Reuters:

TOKYO (Reuters) - Drinking three or more cups of coffee a day may cut the risk of colon cancer in women by half, according to a study by Japanese scientists.

Researchers from Tokyo's National Cancer Center studied data from more than 96,000 men and women aged between 40-69 over a period of up to 12 years from 1990, a member of the team said on Wednesday. They found no significant benefit in men.

Even after adjusting for other factors including diet and exercise, they found that women who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had half the risk of developing colon cancer, compared with those who drank no coffee at all.

The researchers, whose findings have been published in the International Journal of Cancer, did not find any link between consumption of green tea and colon cancer.

"In Japan, almost all the male population drinks alcohol and there are a large number of smokers," said Manami Inoue of the research team. "There may be some benefit from coffee for men, but it may be that we were unable to adjust for these factors."

The mechanism by which coffee may prevent cancer is unknown, Inoue said. The caffeine it contains could stimulate the working of the colon, or the effect could be due to coffee's antioxidant properties, she said.

"Some people cannot tolerate caffeine, so they should not force themselves to drink coffee. But for people who like it, there is no reason to give it up," Inoue said.