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Increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids and coenzyme Q10 may support prostate health

December 26, 2012

Regular supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and coenzyme Q10 reduces the level of a biomarker linked to prostate cancer risk, reports a new study from Iran.

In the randomized controlled trial, blood serum levels of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was measured in 504 healthy men (aged 40–70 years) receiving daily supplements of 400 mg CoQ10, omega-3 fatty acids (4.48 g eicosapentaenoic acid plus 2.88 g docosahexaenoic acid), 2.4 g of the omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) or placebo for 12 weeks (1). The study results showed that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and CoQ10 was associated with 30% and 33% reductions in PSA levels, respectively, while GLA intakes were associated with an increase of PSA of about 15%.

The researchers concluded that dietary supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids or CoQ10 may have a protective effect against developing prostate cancer and/or a therapeutic effect in men with prostate cancer. The cancer preventing effect may be due to omega-3 fatty acids’ anti-inflammatory and the antioxidant’s CoQ10 immune system stimulating efficacy. The scientists noted that the new findings need to be interpreted with caution: longer studies are necessary to reach an appropriate conclusion.

Prostate cancer accounts for 28% of total cancer incidence and is the second most common cause of cancer-related death of men in the USA. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing is widely used for the detection of asymptomatic and early-stage prostate cancer. Serum PSA concentrations may be affected by many factors unrelated to prostate disease, including age, dietary factors, obesity, diabetes and medications.

References

  1. Safarinejad M. R. et al. Effects of EPA, gamma-linolenic acid or coenzyme Q10 on serum prostate-specific antigen levels: a randomised, double-blind trial. British Journal of Nutrition. Published online December 2012.