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An adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids may decrease endometrial cancer risk

March 20, 2015

A new US study reports that increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids seem to reduce to risk of normal-weighted women to develop cancer of the lining of the uterus.

In the observational study, 87,360 women aged 50–79 years reported about their nutrient intakes and cases of endometrial cancer during 13 years (1). The study results showed that women with the highest intakes of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA) and a normal body weight had an up to 23% reduced risk of developing a cancer in the uterus compared to the participants with the lowest intakes. This association was not observed in overweight and obese women.

The researchers commented that inflammation plays an important role in the cause of endometrial cancer. Higher intakes of omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish and/or fish-oil supplements were associated with reduced inflammation in earlier observational studies and randomized controlled trials, and thus may also contribute to the prevention of endometrial cancer. The new findings confirm similar results in normal-weight women in a previous cohort study (2).

References

  1. Brasky T. M. et al. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake and endometrial cancer risk in the Women’s Health Initiative. Am J Clin Nutr. Published online March 2015.
  2. Brasky T. M. et al. Associations of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and fish intake with endometrial cancer risk in the VITamins And Lifestyle cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014; 99:599–608.