The benefits of eating the right amount and quality of fish oils has been known for a long time, but scientists are now suggesting that eating omega 3 fatty acids could help to fight prostate cancer in men.
Even though the latest findings contradict the conclusions of a 2013 study, which asserted that omega 3’s actually cause prostate cancer, the latest study is compelling as it, “points the way to more effective anti-cancer drugs,” claim the researchers.
Kathryn Meier, a professor of pharmacy at Washington State University, said about the new revelation discovered in the study, “we’re the first to show that they work this way in cancer. The attention has mostly been on inflammation and diabetes but there has always been an interest in cancer, and we were the first to show this mechanism in any cancer cell at all. And we’re using prostate cancer, which is the most controversial subject in omega-3s.”
For the study, Meier worked alongside two students who found that fatty acids bind to a receptor called FFA4, which stands for “free fatty acid receptor 4.” They concluded that the receptor acts as a signal to prevent growth factors, suppressing the cancer cells from spreading.
As Meier added, “This kind of knowledge could lead us to better treat or prevent cancer because now we know how it works.”
The study, which was featured in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, is by no means conclusive, despite the compelling evidence it presents. As Meier explained, it is still not clear if the desirable effect can be achieved by taking fish oils in capsule form.
Professor Meier concluded, “It’s very difficult in dietary studies to tell how much to take or what form to take. Should you be eating fish? Should you be taking pills? But now we have a potential drug. Once you have a drug you can test very precisely whether it works or not in a certain disease and you would know exactly how much to give people.”