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Omega 3 Intake Linked to Reduce Risk of Bowel Cancer Deaths

Jul 21, 2016 12:17 AM EDT
Omega 3
A new study suggests that higher intake of Omega 3 fatty acids could decrease the risk of dying from bowel cancer
(Photo : David Silverman/Getty Images)

A new study revealed that patients suffering from bowel cancer can prolong their survival by boosting their Omega 3 fatty acids intake.

The study, published in the journal Gut, suggests that a high dietary intake of Omega 3 from fish oils may help lower the risk of death from bowel cancer in patients diagnosed with the disease.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the participants of two large studies: the Nurses' Health Study of 121,700 US registered female nurses, aged between 30 and 55 in 1976; and the Health Professionals Follow Up Study of 51, 529 male health professionals, aged between 40 and 75 in 1986.

The participants were asked to fill a detailed questionnaire about their medical history and lifestyle factors when they joined the study, and is repeated every two years. The researchers also asked the participants to record the food they consumed using the Food Frequency Questionnaires.

Among the participants, 1659 developed bowel cancer. Of those 561 died, including 169 that died due to the disease, 153 that died due to cardiovascular disease and 113 that died due to other cancers.

According to a press release, the participants who have recorded a higher dietary intake of Omega 3 from fishy oil were more likely to have all the factors associated with lower risk of bowel cancer. Researchers noted that these individuals tends to be physically active, take multivitamins, drink alcohol, consume more vitamin D and fiber and less likely to smoke.

Additionally, researchers found out that the participants diagnosed with bowel cancer and whose diets contain higher levels of Omega 3 were less likely to die from the disease, with higher dosage linked to lower risk.

Participants who consumed at least 0.3 gram of Omega 3 fatty acids have 41 percent lower risk dying from bowel cancer compared to those who were diagnosed with the disease and only consumed less than 0.1 gram of Omega 3 daily.

The researchers also pointed out that increasing the daily intake of Omega 3 fatty acids to 0.15 gram is linked to a 70 percent lower risk of dying from bowel cancer, while reduction of intake was associated with 10 percent increased risk of bowel cancer death.

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