Omega –3 fatty acids, readily available in the form of fish oil capsules, have been the focus of numerous recent studies, and researchers are enthusiastic about its various benefits.
Indeed, fish oils could help in the battle against prostate cancer, new research suggests, as scientists have discovered a mechanism by which omega-3 fatty acids prevent the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells.(1)
But what is good for prostate could also be of benefit for diabetic pregnant women! All women with diabetes should take fish oil pills during pregnancy, state British scientists investigating the link between blood sugar problems and low levels of two important fatty acids. The experts believe supplementation will reduce the risk of children born to women with diabetes from developing insulin problems in later life. They also found that top-up fatty acids protect against premature delivery.(2)
And even if you do not have a prostate, are not diabetic and not pregnant, you will benefit from fish oil, as long as you have eyes, ears, and arteries:
Dry eyecan be eased with fish oil supplements, according to new research from India. In a three-month study, 478 people with dry eye as a result of excessive computer use were given either two omega-3 pills a day, or placebo pills that contained olive oil. The results, published in the journal Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, showed that those taking fish oil experienced a greater reduction in symptoms than those on the olive oil placebo.(3)
Also, a study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has indicated that two servings of fish a week can cut the risk of hearing loss by one- fifth. Oily fish such as sardines, salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and have been shown to help against heart disease, dementia, cancer, depression and arthritis, and the latest study shows they can also lower the risk of deafness in women. The study involved 65,215 nurses between 1991 and 2009, during which time 11,606 cases of hearing loss were reported. In comparison with women who rarely ate fish, those who ate it at least twice a week were 20% less likely to develop dementia. Dr. Sharon Curhan, from Brigham, said that the findings suggest diet may be important in the prevention of acquired hearing loss.(4)
Finally, U.S. scientists have found that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish can reduce hardening of the arteries. People who have high levels of coronary artery calcification – which causes the hardening – are more likely to develop heart disease. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that middle-aged men who live in Japan have less coronary artery calcification than middle-aged white men living in the U.S. They believe this could be because Japanese men consume significantly more fish. Lead author Akira Sekikawa said “Our study seems to indicate that the level of marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids consumed must be higher than previously thought to impart substantial protection”.(5)
However, according to the Journal of Nutrition current observational findings show that a significant number of adults are not meeting nutritional recommendations for omega-3 fatty acid with food alone. Therefore fish oil supplements may have significant and beneficial public health impact.(6)
When selecting your fish oil supplement, always choose one from a reputable company which purifies the fish oil, so it free of heavy metals!
(1)”Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Other FFA4 Agonists Inhibit Growth Factor Signaling in Human Prostate Cancer Cells”, Ze Liu, Mandi M. Hopkins, Zhihong Zhang, Chrystal B. Quisenberry,Louise C. Fix, Brianna M. Galvan, and Kathryn E. Meier J Pharmacol Exp Ther February 2015 352:380-394 http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/352/2/380