An interesting study was recently published about Fish Oil and Prostate health, that should meaningfully remind us that moderation is key, even in what is good for us! If you have seen it in the news, take a moment to digest and don’t run screaming from fish oil! Rather, try to source your Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) from a diverse range of sources, including, but not limited to Fish Oils.
Only two fatty acids are known to be essential, and they are usually categorized as Omega 3 (ω-3) or Omega 6: alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). Some other fatty acids are “conditionally essential,” as with developmental (embryological) or with some diseases; Like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) and gamma-linolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). Other good sources of theses EFA’s, ω-3 and ω-6, are fish and shellfish, flaxseed (linseed), hemp oil, soya oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.
About eight years ago it was Flax seed that was discovered in a study to have some correlation with increased occurrence of Prostate Cancer. That view has not been accepted as the gold standard however, with too many variables, and the general consensus seems to be that the benefits of a low fat diet that includes high quality Essential Fatty Acids is really the key to minimizing risk of prostate issues.
What is the take home message? Well, to use your good judgement, and don’t eat too much of one thing. Do not turn to walnuts as your only source for quality fats, or salmon. By eating both you benefit from the vast nutritional spectrum only found in a whole food. Another bonus, if you vary your diet with nutrient dense foods, you will find you hardly have room for empty carbs or poor quality fats.
1. Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial: PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23843441
2. Does Fish Oil Increase Prostate Cancer Risk?: Runner’s World http://www.runnersworld.com/health/does-fish-oil-increase-prostate-cancer-risk?page=single