Fish Oil May Cut Breast Cancer Risk in Postmenopausal Women

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Fish oilFish oil supplement intake is associated with a lower risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women, according to the results of the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort study.

From 2000 to 2002, a total of 35,016 postmenopausal women, aged 50 to 76 years and living in western Washington State, completed a 24-page questionnaire regarding their use of specialty supplements.  In the 5 years follow-up, 880 incidents of invasive breast cancers among these participants were recorded.

Using statistical analysis, the researchers found that use of fish oil was associated with a reduction of ductal (but no lobular) breast cancer risk by about 32% and the reduction in risk continue after long term (10-year) use.

Use of other specialty supplements, including black cohosh, dong quai, soy, or St. John’s wort, however, was not associated with breast cancer risk.

This is the first study to show a relationship between fish oil and breast cancer risk.  The author did not recommend individuals to take fish oil for breast cancer prevention until more studies have confirmed this finding.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010;19:1696-1708. Abstract

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