Can This Popular Nutrient Prevent Cancer?
Fish oil has become a popular supplement over the years. And for good reason, fish oil contains essential fatty acids known as omega-3s.
It’s well-known that omega-3s are important for a healthy heart. They also play a critical role in the health of skin, joints, cell membrane structure, nervous system, and brain development.
In addition, omega-3s are believed to be an effective anti-cancer strategy for your arsenal.
Omega-3s and Cancer
One of the risk factors that leads to cancer is chronic inflammation within the body (other risk factors include infection and chronic irritation). This is especially true in breast, colorectal, liver, lung, and prostate cancer. And most noteworthy, omega-3s have been shown to reduce inflammation by decreasing the signals that cells – including cancer cells – send to each other.
While I realize that some of these alternative cancer therapies come with some skepticism, I have gathered some research:
- “Higher intakes of EPA and DHA from dietary sources were reported to be associated with a 25% reduction in breast cancer recurrence and improved overall mortality in a large cohort of over 3,000 women with early stage breast cancer followed for a median of 7 years”. (Source)
- According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering website, omega-3s “may reduce the risk of breast cancer”.
- According to Web MD, “omega-3s also seem to restrict tumor cell growth and may cause cancer cells to self-destruct”.
- Countries with populations who intake high amounts of omega-3s (Japan and Greenland) have been found to have a reduced risk of cancers (source). The same goes for the Eskimo people.
- Research done by the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada found that a diet high in fish-based omega-3 fatty acid was 8 times more effective to prevent breast cancer tumors.
- Other studies show omega-3s prevent and fight cancer by “turning on genes associated with the immune system and blocking tumor-growth pathways” (source).
Marine-Based vs Plant-Based Omega-3s
It’s especially important to know that not all omega-3s are created equal. There are different means in which we can consume these fatty acids: marine-based and plant-based.
Marine-based omega-3s come from salmon, tuna, trout, and other fatty fish. These are known to reduce tumor size by 60-70% (source).
If you choose to avoid animal-based food, you can get plant-based omega-3s from flaxseed, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, and leafy greens. Plant-based omega-3s also inhibit tumors. However, plant-based omega-3s do not contain EPA and DHA.
What to Watch For With Omega-3 Supplements
Marine-based omega-3s come from fish that can be potentially be toxic, depending on where they are sourced. According to National Geographic, “humans around the word spewed trash, sewage sludge, and chemical, industrial, and radioactive wastes into the ocean with impunity.” As a result, there is great impact on marine life.
The two toxins to worry about are PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and mercury. PCBs are a chemical, which has been banned, but still lives on in our environment. Mercury is a well-known heavy metal that has been linked to toxicity and illness.
As a result, I recommend researching and trusting where you are getting your omega supplements from.
Want to know which omega-s supplement I take? I trust dōTERRA xEO Mega supplement, which gives a comprehensive solution to get my daily omegas.
One serving of xEO Mega provides 900 milligrams of marine lipids (providing 300 mg of EPA, 300 mg of DHA, and 70 mg of other omega 3s), and a blend of 250 mg of plant-sourced fatty acids. xEO Mega also includes 800 IU of natural vitamin D, 60 IU of natural vitamin E, and 1 mg of astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant carotenoid harvested from microalgae.
With the wholesale price comes a dōTERRA wholesale account, which also includes:
- 25% off all products
- Free product of the month with qualifying orders
- Free product points with the loyalty reward program
For those who are already undergoing traditional cancer treatment, several studies suggest that a diet high in omega-3s help cancer patients tolerate chemotherapy better. They have also been shown to reduce pain (mainly from inflammation) in breast cancer patients who are taking aromatase inhibitors.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.