You may not realize it, but you are at higher risk for prostate cancer than your father or your grandfather. While most other cancers have declined, prostate cancer is growing at an alarming rate. In fact, 1 in 6 men alive today will get this cancer.
But that doesn’t mean you have to sit around and hope you’re one of the lucky ones. You have resources that your father may have never known about. Here’s one of the easiest ways to lower your risk: Make sure you get enough of the right fats in your diet.
I just read a new study in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research. It shows that omega-3 fats actually slow prostate tumor growth by 22 percent, and lower prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels by 77 percent.
Omega-3s lower the inflammation response known to promote tumor progression. And there are other benefits….
Omega-3s play a central role in protecting your cardiovascular system. A recent issue of Circulation finally proved how omega-3s protect your heart. Researchers found that heart cells actually incorporate and store omega-3’s from fish oil into their cell membranes. This stored fat then prevents irregular rhythms, which can lead to sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac death is responsible for half of the heart-related deaths in the United States.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study showing that fish oil lowers triglyceride levels. (Triglycerides are fats in your blood linked to heart disease.) Those taking the fish oil had a decrease in triglycerides, which reduced their chance of heart disease by 25 percent.
We have also found that fish oil can ease the symptoms of depression. Scientists noticed that regions with higher fish consumption have lower rates of depression. In 1999, The Archives of General Psychiatry published an intriguing study, which proved a link.
Depressed patients took a fish oil supplement or a placebo for 4 months. An overwhelming 64 percent of patients taking the fish oil reported a significant reduction in symptoms.
We think that fish oil works on depression by introducing omega-3s to brain cells. The higher the level of omega-3s, the easier it is for the chemical messenger serotonin to carry messages from one brain cell to another. This directly affects symptoms of depression.
Add Just One Teaspoon of Fish Oil to Your Daily Routine
These days, taking fish oil is simple and easy. It doesn’t have the fishy taste it did when your grandmother forced you to take it years ago. Many brands have a clean lemon-lime flavor. For best results, start with 5 grams a day (about one teaspoon). If the oil isn’t for you, you can substitute capsules but you have to be willing to swallow quite a few. I usually recommend my patients take 3 capsules with breakfast and 3 with dinner.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
HealthDay News. Altering Fatty Acid Intake May Help Fight Prostate Cancer. Aug 1, 2006.