So doctor, I have heard that I need to change my diet and that the diet modifications should include a number of portions of fish each week. Significant amounts of fish is very healthy for men with prostate cancer (and also people with inflammatory diseases) because it contain large amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids.

This is correct, but we have just learned there are some serious exceptions to this general rule. Farm-raised tilapia and catfish, among the most highly consumed fish in the American diet, do not provide the benefits of high levels of omega-3 fatty acids! Actually, they can be very detrimental to your health as they instead contain very high levels of omega-6 fatty acids with minimal levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

According to new research from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, published this month in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, farm raised tilapia and cat fish should be removed from our diet. Farm-raised tilapia and catfish were described as a potentially dangerous food source! Patients with heart disease, arthritis, asthma and other allergic and autoimmune diseases are particularly vulnerable to an exaggerated inflammatory response caused by consuming the fish. Inflammation is known to cause damage to blood vessels, the heart, lung and joint tissues, skin, and the digestive tract. We also know that inflammation is poison to anyone with cancer, including men with prostate cancer.

The research indicated that Tilapia has higher levels of potentially detrimental long-chain omega-6 fatty acids than an 80-percent-lean hamburger, doughnuts and even pork bacon. All other nutritional content aside, the inflammatory potential of hamburger and pork bacon is lower than the average serving of farmed tilapia. It is very clear that tilapia and catfish are not a good choice and should be removed from the diet.

The lead author and researcher for this study was Floyd H. Ski Chilton, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology and director of the Wake Forest Center for Botanical Lipids.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW