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Fish Oil Linked To Increased Risk Of Colon Cancer In Mice

Posted Oct 06 2010 2:56pm

Fish oil – long encouraged by doctors as a supplement to support heart and joint health, among other benefits – induced severe colitis and colon cancer in mice in research led by Michigan State University and published this month in the journal Cancer Research.

Jenifer Fenton, a food science and human nutrition researcher at MSU, led the research that supports establishing a dose limit for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), one of the omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil, particularly in people suffering from chronic conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases.

“We found that mice developed deadly, late-stage colon cancer when given high doses of fish oil,” she said. “More importantly, with the increased inflammation, it only took four weeks for the tumors to develop.”

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