Fish oil–goood!

July 20, 2010

Now some welcome news for a change. this one comes from the good ‘ol mainstream press:

Fish Oil Supplements Linked to Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

Seems researchers found a strong correlation between reduced breast cancer risk and regular supplementation with fish oil. The study was conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center a short drive from my house in Seattle (was that too much self-disclosure?).

Here’s the salient finding:

When the researchers looked at the women who took the fish oil supplements, they found they had a 32 percent reduced risk of breast cancer, which appeared to be restricted to invasive ductal breast cancer, the most common type.

It would be disingenuous of me not to point out the shortcomings of this finding (since I’m so quick to point out shortcomings of announcements with which I disagree). This does not appear to have been a controlled study -  these same women who take the fish oil may also practice more healthy behavior overall than those who didn’t take the fish oil. It should also be noted this correlation does not, in and of itself, establish causation (i.e. one can’t infer that taking fish oil causes the reduce incidence of breast cancer).

All that said, I think it’s certainly a worthwhile thing to consider. You know, talk to your doctor and all that.

Here’s the link to the study abstract for good measure. The full text appears to be behind a pay wall, so if you want to see the whole study, you’ll have to bum a copy off of your local neighborhood oncologist.

mmmm mintyp.s. I’m posting this while 36,000 ft over southern Oregon via the extra minty fresh GoGo In-Flight wi-fi service on my flight from San Diego. Will wonders ever cease?