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.