Breast Cancer Prevention And Omega -3
Breast cancer presently is the most common cancer in Indian women. The Indian Council of Medical Research has found that India is likely to have more than 17.3 lakh new cases of cancer and over 8.8 lakh deaths due to this disease by 2020. Breast cancer is the most common of the types of cancers in India followed by lung cancer and cervical cancer.
The data looks quite frightening. But as we all know that prevention is better than cure why not find out a few ways that can prevent breast cancer. Much research is going on in the field of breast cancer and many studies have shown that increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids can help.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Breast Cancer
Fish oil and high dietary consumption of fatty fish has constantly been linked with reduced incidence of breast cancer. As per a study done by scientists at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada and published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil can be around eight times more effective for slowing the development of belligerent breast cancer tumors than those from plant-based sources. Your body doesn’t produce omega-3 fatty acids and you must get them from the food you consume. The highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold water fish, such as salmon, sardines, tuna, herring, cod, mackerel, and shark.
The interest of omega-3 fatty acid and its effects on breast cancer started with a study that showed very low rates of breast cancer among women in Japan and natives of Alaska and Greenland. Here people have diets high in marine omega-3 fatty acid. This connection is reinforced by recent researches that showed that women with a high ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids had a lower risk of breast cancer. The study focused on omega-3s called EPA and DHA, which are found in fish oil.
Decreasing Breast Cancer Reappearance
The benefits of omega-3 also appear to limit the relapse of breast cancer. A study of over 3,000 women with early stage breast cancer found that those with higher intakes of EPA and DHA from dietary sources had a 25% reduction in the recurrence of their cancer. These women were also shown to have overall improved survival rates. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation in the body. Many cancers have been linked to chronic inflammation and that is how a diet rich in omega 3 helps fight cancer. The exact way that omega-3 constrain breast cancer growth is not completely clear but there is evidence for more than a few different possible paths. The breast cancer cell when incubated with DHA and EPA lessen cell proliferation, and encourages cell death. It needs to be noted that normal breast cells are not sensitive to similar concentrations of EPA or DHA.
Omega 3 and Cancer Survival
It has been observed that an Omega -3 rich diet helps many cancer patient survivors in numerous ways. Various studies have proved the ability of omega-3 fatty acids to reduce pain and chronic inflammation.
These benefits are extended to cancer patients as well. Omega -3 is known to reduce stress, help in sleep and promote healthy hair growth and dry skin. Having an omega-3 rich diet helps cancer survivors to sleep well, be less stressed and improve the skin and hair quality.
Though more research is needed in this field, but we can safely say that Omega-3 does more good than harm in case of breast cancer patients. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are necessary for normal human growth and development. The fatty acids that help most in breast cancer prevention, treatment and survival are EPA and DHA, both come from cold water fatty fish. Other sources are algae and krill, some plants and nut oils.
You can also get EPA and DHA in the form of fish oil capsules, but you should only take supplements under the supervision of your healthcare provider because of possible side effects and interactions with medications. If you do take fish oil supplements, buy them from reputable company that certify their products are free of heavy metals, such as mercury, lead and cadmium.