Link Between Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Increased Prostate Cancer Risk Confirmed

Consumption of fatty fish and fish-oil supplements linked to 71 percent higher risk: 

Alan Kristal

Senior author Alan Kristal, Dr.P.H., is a member of the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutch.

A second large, prospective study by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has confirmed the link between high blood concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids and an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Published in the online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the latest findings indicate that high concentrations of EPA, DPA and DHA – the three anti-inflammatory and metabolically related fatty acids derived from fatty fish and fish-oil supplements – are associated with a 71 percent increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer. The study also found a 44 percent increase in the risk of low-grade prostate cancer and an overall 43 percent increase in risk for all prostate cancers.

The increase in risk for high-grade prostate cancer is important because those tumors are more likely to be fatal.

The findings confirm a 2011 study published by the same Fred Hutch scientific team that reported a similar link between high blood concentrations of DHA and a more than doubling of the risk for developing high-grade prostate cancer. The latest study also confirms results from a large European study.

“The consistency of these findings suggests that these fatty acids are involved in prostate tumorigenesis and recommendations to increase long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake, in particular through supplementation, should consider its potential risks,” the authors wrote.

“We’ve shown once again that use of nutritional supplements may be harmful,” said Alan Kristal, Dr.P.H., the paper’s senior author and member of the Fred Hutch Public Health Sciences Division. Kristal also noted a recent analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that questioned the benefit of omega-3 supplementation for cardiovascular diseases. The analysis, which combined the data from 20 studies, found no reduction in all-cause mortality, heart attacks or strokes.

Theodore Brasky

Corresponding author Theodore Brasky, Ph.D., a research assistant professor at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, was a postdoctoral trainee at Fred Hutch when the research was conducted.

“What’s important is that we have been able to replicate our findings from 2011 and we have confirmed that marine omega-3 fatty acids play a role in prostate cancer occurrence,” said corresponding author Theodore Brasky, Ph.D., a research assistant professor at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center who was a postdoctoral trainee at Fred Hutch when the research was conducted. “It’s important to note, however, that these results do not address the question of whether omega-3’s play a detrimental role in prostate cancer prognosis,” he said.

Kristal said the findings in both Fred Hutch studies were surprising because omega-3 fatty acids are believed to have a host of positive health effects based on their anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation plays a role in the development and growth of many cancers.

It is unclear from this study why high levels of omega-3 fatty acids would increase prostate cancer risk, according to the authors, however the replication of this finding in two large studies indicates the need for further research into possible mechanisms. One potentially harmful effect of omega-3 fatty acids is their conversion into compounds that can cause damage to cells and DNA, and their role in immunosuppression. Whether these effects impact cancer risk is not known.

The difference in blood concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids between the lowest and highest risk groups was about 2.5 percentage points  (3.2 percent vs. 5.7 percent), which is somewhat larger than the effect of eating salmon twice a week, Kristal said.

The current study analyzed data and specimens collected from men who participated in the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), a large randomized, placebo-controlled trial to test whether selenium and vitamin E, either alone or combined, reduced prostate cancer risk. That study showed no benefit from selenium intake and an increase in prostate cancers in men who took vitamin E.

The group included in this analysis consisted of 834 men who had been diagnosed with incident, primary prostate cancers (156 were high-grade cancer) along with a comparison group of 1,393 men selected randomly from the 35,500 participants in SELECT.

The National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine funded the research.

Also participating in the study were additional Fred Hutch scientists and researchers from the University of Texas, University of California, University of Washington, National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic.

 Fish oil linked to prostate cancer. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports.

 

References

Brasky TM, Darke AK, Song X, Tangen CM, Goodman PJ, Thompson IM, Meyskens FL Jr, Goodman GE, Minasian LM, Parnes HL, Klein EA, Kristal AR. Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial. J Natl Cancer Inst 2013 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Brasky TM, Till C, White E, Neuhouser ML, Song X, Goodman P, Thompson IM, King IB, Albanes D, Kristal AR. Serum phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk: results from the prostate cancer prevention trial. Am J Epidemiol 2011; 173: 1429-39.

Council for Responsible Nutrition. CRN Says New Study on Omega-3 Conclusions Are Overblown. Press Release, July 11, 2013.

 

Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of our Lives

Genetic RouletteWhen the US government ignored repeated warnings by its own scientists and allowed untested genetically modified (GM) crops into our environment and food supply, it was a gamble of unprecedented proportions. The health of all living things and all future generations were put at risk by an infant technology. After two decades, physicians and scientists have uncovered a grave trend. The same serious health problems found in lab animals, livestock, and pets eating GM foods are now on the rise in the US population. And when people and animals stop eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs), their health improves. This seminal documentary (2012) provides compelling evidence to help explain the deteriorating health of Americans, especially children, and offers a recipe for protecting ourselves and our future.

Fresh

Fresh (2009) celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, Fresh features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.

Learn more at www.freshthemovie.com

Rethinking Cancer

Rethinking Cancer (2009) is a educational documentary film that provides a rare look into the psychological and therapeutic journeys of five men and women who used biological therapies to overcome serious illness. Their stories represent successes that mainstream medicine and the public ought to know about.

Four of the featured subjects had been diagnosed with cancer; two of these patients were considered terminal cases. The fifth patient had a severe case of Lyme disease. All five have outlived their diseases, between 15 and nearly 40 years, thus far.

Learn more at http://www.rethinkingcancer.org

Ingredients

American food is in a state of crisis. Obesity and diabetes are on the rise, food costs are skyrocketing, family farms are in decline and our agricultural environment is in jeopardy. Ingredients (2009) explores a thriving local food movement as our world becomes a more flavorless, disconnected and dangerous place to eat. Discovering better flavor and nutrition, Ingredients is a journey that reveals the people behind the movement to bring good food back to the table and health back to our communities.

Learn more at www.ingredientsfilm.com

King Corn

King Corn (2007) is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America’s most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat-and how we farm.

 

 

Got the facts on Milk?

Got the facts on Milk? The Milk Documentary (2011) is an entertaining, award winning feature documentary that dares to question the conventional wisdom of the much publicized health benefits of milk and dairy products. Addressing myth, truth and all in-between, the film is a humorous yet shocking exposition that provokes serious thought about this everyday staple.

The film raises questions about dairy’s role in cancer, osteoporosis, weight gain, asthma, acne, early menstruation, and more; covers the preponderance of lactose intolerance in communities of color, and explains why diary consumption is fraught with high-stakes political, economic, ethical and environmental considerations.

The most profound question that the movie raises is “should we be consuming dairy products?” Well if you believe the experts in the movie the answer is a resounding, NO!

Learn more at www.MilkDocumentary.com

Zinc and Inflammation

Zinc deficiency affects nearly 2 billion people in the developing world resulting in growth retardation, hypogonadism, immune dysfunction and cognitive impairment. Additionally, the roles of this divalent cation in the human body have not been clearly elucidated, since the essentiality of zinc has only been known within the last 50 years. However, it has been clearly documented that the supplementation of zinc improves many conditions such as; acute diarrhea in children, the common cold, infections in the elderly, oxidative stress and generation of inflammatory cytokines. Janet Ludwig, Ph.D. has worked in this area of study specifically modifying cellular injury by zinc supplementation.

This presentation from a webinar in May 2012 explore the following areas in order to begin to understand the therapeutic role of zinc in many inflammatory conditions:

•             Zinc roles in the body-metalloenzymes

•             Zinc as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent

•             Membrane stabilization by zinc

•             Inflammatory diseases ameliorated by zinc supplementation.

 

 

Janet Ludwig, PhD

Janet Ludwig, PhD has worked in the area of zinc and inflammation for more than 25 years. She was at the Division of Surgical Biology at the Arizona Health Sciences Center studying zinc and cell injury induced by alcohol and carbon tetrachloride, an effective hepatotoxin. Additionally, she studied the mechanisms and structural identification of the potent class of inflammatory mediators, Platelet-Activating Factors (PAFs), at the Department of Pathology, University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio. She has taught courses in inflammation, biochemistry and nutrition at various Universities. She also travels to Bangkok, Thailand to give nutritional advice in a non-governmental organization that aids in improving the conditions for impoverished women and their children. Currently she is on the Hawthorn University faculty.

 

Cardiovascular Disease

A Unified Theory of The Cause & Treatment

The  two-time unshared Nobel Prize recipient Linus Pauling  (1901 – 1994) and the German medical doctor Matthias Rath (born 1955) presented in 1989 a new theory of cardiovascular disease.

Heart disease is a manifestation of chronic scurvy, and atherosclerotic plaque is a mechanism evolved to repair or patch blood vessels and arteries damaged by chronic vitamin C deficiency.   Plaque deposits found in human aortas are made up of a blood lipid called lipoprotein(a).

The solution on this problem is simple. Vitamin C and and lysine in combination in high dosages neutralize lipoprotein(a). This treatment can prevent and cure cardiovascular and heart disease. This is a lecture by Linus Pauling from 1993.  It is commented by Patrick Holford. To watch the complete video you need to install the free Veoh Player.

 

 

Read More

Rath M, Pauling L. Solution to the Puzzle of Human Cardiovascular Disease: Its Primary Cause is Ascorbate defiency, leading to the deposition of lipoprotein(a) and fibrinogen / fibrin in the vascular wall. J Orthomol Med 1991; 6 (3 & 4): 125-34.

Rath M, Pauling L. A unified theory of human cardiovascular disease leading the way to abolition of this disease as a cause for human mortality. J Orthomol Med 1992; 7 (1): 5-12.

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Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310 lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well— with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind. FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD (2010) is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health.

With doctors and conventional medicines unable to help long- term, Joe turns to the only option left, the body’s ability to heal itself. He trades in the junk food and hits the road with juicer and generator in tow, vowing only to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for the next 60 days. Across 3,000 miles Joe has one goal in mind: To get off his pills and achieve a balanced lifestyle.

While talking to more than 500 Americans about food, health and longevity, it’s at a truck stop in Arizona where Joe meets a truck driver who suffers from the same rare condition. Phil Staples is morbidly obese weighing in at 429 lbs; a cheeseburger away from a heart-attack. As Joe is recovering his health, Phil begins his own epic journey to get well.

What emerges is nothing short of amazing – an inspiring tale of healing and human connection.
Part road trip, part self-help manifesto, FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD defies the traditional documentary format to present an unconventional and uplifting story of two men from different worlds who each realize that the only person who can save them is themselves.