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Benefits of omega-3 and breast cancer

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New research shows that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids slows the growth and spread of breast cancer cells in female mice. The research also found that a diet enriched with omega-3 improved the rodents’ survival.

A large study containing over half a million people, which lasted around 16 years, found that eating more fish and long-chain omega-3’s reduces the risk of mortality and may prolong life. Observational studies have also linked that diets rich in marine omega-3 fatty acids can lower the risk of breast cancer.

Most recently, experiments in mice add to the evidence that dietary omega-3’s may have cancer-fighting properties. Fatty acids, such as the ones found in fish oil, could prevent breast cancer cells from growing and spreading, says a study published in the Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia.

The new research, led by Saraswoti Khadge, a former doctoral researcher at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, found that in the rodents that received fish oil, the breast cancer cells were “significantly” less likely to have spread to the breast glands. The tumours that did develop in the breast glands also grew a lot more slowly, which affected their size.

As a result, the breast gland tumours in the mice in the omega-3 group were 50% smaller than those in the omega-6 group. Cancer cells were less likely to spread to other parts of the body in the omega-3 group, and these rodents also had better survival rate.

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