In this new breast cancer research study , investigators from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center examined the link between supplement use and breast cancer risk. In order to investigate this potential link, over 35,000 postmenopausal women who took part in the Vitamins and Lifestyle Cohort Study completed a questionnaire regarding their use of dietary supplements. The characteristics of their dietary supplement use was analyzed in relation to future breast cancer development. Results of this analysis showed that long-term fish oil supplementation was linked to about a 32% reduction in breast cancer risk. The reduction in breast cancer risk was also reported to be evident for ductal breast cancers, but not lobular cancers.
Fish oil supplements are generally rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Research has suggested that these omega-3 fatty acids might have a variety of health benefits including cognitive health and heart health. These benefits have typically been related to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of these omega-3 fatty acids. This new study appears to be one of the first to report a link between dietary fish oil and reduced breast cancer risk in people. However it is important to remember that this breast cancer research was designed to determine if a link might exist, not whether there was a cause-and-effect relationship. Further clinical trials will need to be conducted to confirm this relationship.
Research continues to show us that the diet and lifestyle choices we make can impact our overall health. To learn more about diet and lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your personal breast cancer risk, read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer .