FISH AND FISH OIL FOR PROSTATE CANCER PATIENTS,
By Charles “Snuffy” Myers, MD
information last updated on May, 2005
One of the healthiest low-fat proteins is fish. But fish and fish oil aren’t only a healthy option for loosing weight-they may help you control your prostate cancer because they’re high in DHA and EPA.
There are now more than 100 papers in the scientific literature that link arachidonic acid with prostate cancer. These papers suggest that arachidonic acid increases the aggressiveness of human prostate cancer because it is converted to a series of powerful hormones, including the prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and other eicosanoids. Studies show that drugs like aspirin and celebrex, which block the formation of some of these hormones, can either reduce the risk of prostate cancer or slow its progression. However, diet can also alter the amount of arachidonic acid in the body and its conversion to products that stimulate cancer growth.
Ocean fish body fat is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. These fatty acids block the conversion of arachidonic acid to these potentially damaging products and, as a result, have multiple health benefits. In fact, increasing dietary DHA and EPA may alleviate the symptoms of arthritis and other types of inflammation; it also decreases the tendency of platelets to trigger blood clots, and, in turn, reduces the risk of stroke. And over the past year, researchers showed that increasing your intake of DHA and EPA can dramatically reduce your risk of cardiac arrest because of abnormalities in heart contraction rhythm.
But some of fish oil’s health benefits appear to be unrelated to its ability to block the arachidonic acid metabolism. For example, DHA appears to play a critical role in the development and function of the human brain and retina. As a result, DHA supplements are routinely added to pediatric formulas used to replace human milk.
Since 1987, laboratory studies have repeatedly illustrated that DHA and EPA slow or arrest the growth of human prostate cancer cell