Thursday, March 26, 2009

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reduce Risk Of Advanced Prostate Cancer

The below is a study from Science Daily News. My goal as a nutrition educator is to educate the general public of the importance of our omega 3 fatty acid intake. You may feel like I'm repeating this information in most posts. I am, and for good reason. The human frame requires equal quantities of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. A 1:1 ratio, though currently most Americans are consuming a 1:50 ratio. This imbalance creates inflammation in the body leading to disease. Omega 6 fatty acids found in grain fed animal proteins and vegetable oils are inflammatory while omega 3 fatty acids found in Wild Caught fatty fish such as salmon, grass fed beef, flax, eggs and walnuts are anti-inflammatory. More and more evidence is pointing to disease caused by a diet heavy in omega 6 fatty acids.

When reading the following story, they refer to the COX-2 gene. COX-2, or cyclooxygenase-2: an enzyme that makes prostaglandins. Prostaglandins were first discovered and isolated from human semen in the 1930s by Ulf von Euler of Sweden. Thinking they had come from the prostate gland, he named them prostaglandins. It has since been determined that they exist and are synthesised in virtually every cell of the body. Prostaglandins are like hormones in that they act as chemical messengers, but they do not move to other places in the body. They work right within the cells where they are made.

They have a variety of physiological effects on the body including: - Activation of the inflammatory responses at the sites of damaged tissue, and production of pain and fever. When tissues are damaged, white blood cells flood the site to try to minimise tissue destruction. Prostaglandins are produced as a result.

Prostaglandins are involved in several other organs and systems such as the gastrointestinal tract, cell growth and the immune system response.

Science Daily, March 25, 2009
Omega-3 fatty acids appear protective against advanced prostate cancer, and this effect may be modified by a genetic variant in the COX-2 gene, according to a report in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"Previous research has shown protection against prostate cancer, but this is one of the first studies to show protection against advanced prostate cancer and interaction with COX-2," said John S. Witte, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California San Francisco.

For the current study, researchers performed a case-control analysis of 466 men diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and 478 healthy men. Diet was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire and researchers genotyped nine COX-2 single nucleotide polymorphisms.
Researchers divided omega-3 fatty acid intake into four groups based on quartiles of intake. Men who consumed the highest amount of long chain omega-3 fatty acids had a 63 percent reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer compared to men with the lowest amount of long chain omega-3 fatty acids.

The researchers then assessed the effect of omega-3 fatty acid among men with the variant rs4647310 in COX-2, a known inflammatory gene. Men with low long chain omega-3 fatty acid intake and this variant had a more than five-fold increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. But men with high intake of omega-3 fatty acids had a substantially reduced risk, even if they carried the COX-2 variant.

"The COX-2 increased risk of disease was essentially reversed by increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake by a half a gram per day," said Witte. "If you want to think of the overall inverse association in terms of fish, where omega-3 fatty acids are commonly derived, the strongest effect was seen from eating dark fish such as salmon one or more times per week."
ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2009)

Work on increasing your omega 3 fatty acid intake. Grass fed beef, eggs, walnuts, flax, fish oils, fatty cold water fish such as salmon and sardines. Nutrition is at the heart of everything that heals or ails.

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