By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
That’s right! Through a 2015 study, researchers concluded that some women can significantly reduce their risk of endometrial cancer by taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements and eating fish. The women in the study were all between the ages of 50-79 years, and reduced risk was found among normal weight women only, not to obese or overweight individuals.
The study involved more than 87,000 women enrolled in a major medical database who completed food frequency questionnaires. After a 13-year period the researchers checked for the incidence of endometrial cancer. Individuals of normal weight who had the higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids were found to have a significantly reduced risk – 40 percent – compared to those with the least intake.
My Viewpoint: This is the first time I have seen a connection between omega-3s and endometrial cancer, and it is a strong connection at that, according to the research. This is an important finding. The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus and the site of the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs. Some 55,000 new cases are reported and 10,000 deaths occur each year from this cancer.
What This Means to You: The researchers noted that inflammation may be important in the development of endometrial cancer. They also noted that body mass is associated with both inflammation and endometrial cancer, so here is another reason for maintaining a healthy weight.
Recommendation: Omega-3 fatty acids have a history as potent potent anti-inflammatory substances. The body doesn’t produce omega-3s, so you need to get them through your diet. Eat fish once or twice a week. Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. So are walnuts. Also take a daily supplement with omega-3 fatty acids (1-2 grams daily) in the form of fish or calamari (squid) oil.
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- Brasky, TM, et al. Long-chain ω-3 fatty acid intake and endometrial cancer risk in the Women’s Health Initiative. Am J Clin Nutr. Mar 2015.