Patients with colon cancer who add fatty fish to their diet are less likely to die from the disease, according to a study from Massachusetts’s General Hospital in Boston. Dietary intakes of 1,659 people diagnosed with colon cancer were compared to mortality risk during a 10-year follow up period. Results showed that people who consumed at least 300 milligrams of the omega-3 fats DHA and EPA found in fatty fish, such as salmon, were 41% less likely to die of the disease compared to those people who consumed less than 100 milligrams a day. The reduced risk was associated with omega-3s from both food and fish oil supplements, although most patients consumed their omega-3s in seafood. The link between DHA/EPA and a lower risk of death from colon cancer was especially strong for people who were taller, relatively thin, and did not take aspirin regularly. Boosting omega-3 intake by at least 150 milligrams a day after cancer diagnosis was linked with a 70% lower risk of dying from the disease, while reducing daily intake was associated with a 10% higher risk of death from colon cancer.
Song M, Zhang X, Meyerhardt J, et al: Marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis. Gut 2016; July 19th.