Many studies have shown that you can reduce your risk for cancer with omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3s are important to our bodies functioning properly, and they can only be gained through food sources or supplements.
What Are Omega-3s?
Omega-3s are simply polyunsaturated fatty acids with a double bond in the third carbon from the end of the chain. The most common plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids is in the 18-carbon long alpha-linolenic acid, which is particularly rich in flaxseed oils, walnuts, and several other plant-based fats. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are all high in Omega-3s.
Do Omega-3s Prevent Cancer?
People who consume higher levels of fish tend to have a reduced risk of hormonally related cancers like prostate, colon, and breast cancer. Experts believe this is in part due to the combination of the antioxidant mineral selenium and hormonally related vitamin D content that makes up these fatty fishes.
Ultimately though, the protective mechanism of Omega-3s is poorly understood. There have been numerous studies on both men and women that have produced promising results, as well as other studies that have refuted those results and shown no protective association between Omega-3 consumption.
How Much Omega-3
In most of the studies conducted that showed positive preventative results from eating a diet high in Omega-3s, the participants were instructed to eat fish three times weekly. According to many nutritionists, this is a healthy amount of these fatty fishes to include in your diet.
Additionally, there are supplements on the market that can be taken to boost your Omega-3 intake, but as with most supplements, it is better to eat a healthy diet and get the nutrients that you need from food for the optimal results.