Cardiovascular and Anti Cancer Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Anticancer effects of Omega-3 fatty acids:

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti cancer properties, especially against breast (high DHA reduce breast cancer risk in women), colon, and prostate cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to slow down histopathological changes of prostate gland tumor and slow down growth of prostate tumor in mice. The survival of mice with prostate tumor also improves if omega-3 fatty acids are given in diet in adequate quantity. However the same results in mice cold not reproduced in humans consistently. At present there is no clear evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can prevent cancer, reduce mortality from cancer. But some studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA can be helpful in cancer patients, as it can improve appetite (and cause weight gain in cancer patients who lost extreme body weight) and improve quality of life especially in cancer cachexia (extreme weight loss due to cancer) patients. EPA also helps to retain muscle mass in cancer cachexia patients.

Cardiovascular health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids:

Most of the studies done on omega-3 fatty acids are to find out the cardiovascular health benefits and it can be conclusively said that omega-3 fatty acids have great cardiovascular health benefits.

Several studies have proved that inclusion of as much as one gram of omega-3 fatty acids in recent myocardial infarction (MI) patients can reduce death from cardiovascular causes as well as from sudden cardiac death post MI. the same can be seen if a person with MI consumes adequate omega-3 fatty acids from diet (instead of taking supplements) rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fish.

There are also some studies which points out that taking omega-3 fatty acids by post MI patients have reduced risk of dying from cardiac arrhythmia as they can increase fibrillation threshold of the heart tissue.

The cardiovascular health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is clear from the fact that Inuit tribe’s people of Greenland have hardly any cardiovascular health problems, although they eat high fat diet.

Mediterranean diet, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (from plant and fish sources) is a good example of diet to reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels by eating planned diet, rich in foods with high omega-3 fatty acids.

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