Fish Oil Increases Prostate Cancer Risk: Study

The new study also found that the compound found in fish oils can put men at a higher risk for high-grade, rather than low-grade, cancer.

By Edith Yang
|  Thursday, Jul 11, 2013  |  Updated 4:21 PM EDT
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Fish Oil Increases Prostate Cancer Risk: Study

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Fish oil supplements are widely believed to decrease many health risks, but according to one new study, they could raise the risk of prostate cancer.

A new study published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute found that men who have high levels of the supplements' omega-3 fatty acids in their systems have a 71 percent greater risk of prostate cancer.

It also found that men with high levels of the compound found in fish oils also are at an increased risk of prostate cancer that is considered high-grade — that is, cancer whose cells grow and spread quickly, according to the National Cancer Institute.

"A 70 percent increased risk in high-grade prostate cancer, given it’s the number one cancer in men and fish is a commonly consumed thing and is thought to be a healthy food, I think it’d be a concern for people," Theodore Brasky, one of the doctors who worked on the study, told NBC News.

An already high statistic on top of recent estimates by the American Cancer Society has created concern among doctors. According to the group's estimates, about 238,590 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013, while about 29,720 will die from it.

The new study did not report on the effects of fish oil on men who already have prostate cancer.

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