A recent study suggests that regular use of fish oil supplements may reduce the risk of breast cancer. These findings were published in the journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center recently evaluated what, if any, impact specialty supplements have on breast cancer risk.
In this study, more than 35,000 post-menopausal women completed a 24-page questionnaire to evaluate their use of non-vitamin, non-mineral “specialty” supplements. The women in this study did not have a history of breast cancer and did not have breast cancer when they enrolled in the study. During six years of follow-up, 880 study participants developed breast cancer. Of the specialty supplements used by the women in this study, only fish oil was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. Risk of breast cancer was 32 percent lower among women who regularly used fish oil supplements.
The results of this study will need to be confirmed by additional studies. The researchers note: “Fish oil is a potential candidate for chemo-prevention studies. Until that time, it is not recommended for individual use for breast cancer prevention.” Because the full range of effects of many dietary supplements is not well understood, patients should talk with their doctor about any dietary supplements that they are using
1 Brasky TM, Lampe JW, Potter JD et al. Specialty Supplements and Breast Cancer Risk in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 2010; 19(7):1696–708.
Copyright© Susan G. Komen for the Cure®