Although recent studies have challenged the idea that eating more fatty fish is good for you, a new study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer supports the theory that eating more fish can help to prevent cancer.
Investigators from an international team built on evidence that a regular low-dose of aspirin can decrease the risk for adenocarcinoma by decreasing the activity of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an enzyme that contributes to the progression of adenocarcinoma, by proposing that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish, can also inhibit COX-2. A high proportion of the cancers that originate in the breast, prostate, pancreas, colon, and GI tract are adenocarcinomas.
However, the authors of the study caution that it’s not just the amount of fish one consumes that can have an effect on the development of cancer, but also the kind of fish and how it is cooked. For example, in Italian subjects who consumed fish more than twice a week and cooked the fish in olive oil (rather than frying or preserving in salt) were found to be at a significantly lower risk for a variety of cancers.
It was also noted in this study that COX-2 is highly expressed in pre-malignant and early-stage adenocarcinomas, which is why the omega-3 fats are more effective in preventing cancer rather than as a therapeutic agent.
A new study cites compelling evidence that eating the right kinds of fatty fish, in the right quantity, and prepared the right way, can in fact help prevent the body’s development of adenocarcinomas, a common type of cancerous tumor.