Ask the Nutritionist
Q: Recent studies indicate that fish oil (i.e. omega-3 fatty acids) and flax oil are correlated with aggressive prostate cancer. How can a man with low-grade prostate cancer (i.e., in AS) get omega-3 into his diet?
A: The current research regarding prostate cancer and diet, specifically foods that affect inflammation such as omega-3 fatty acids, is somewhat controversial as certain studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids are associated with an increased risk for high-grade prostate cancer.
However, additional studies found this association only among white men.
No studies found associations between low-grade prostate cancer and omega-3 fatty acid consumption.
That being said, the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in terms of heart disease are very convincing.
When making a decision about diet and health, we must consider the breadth of the research available. Research findings have consistently touted the benefits of limiting saturated fats and increasing heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
The findings from the current research about omega-3 fats could be due to overall fat intake or other dietary factors, meaning that additional studies are required to confirm the results.
Therefore, we would continue to recommend fatty fish, walnuts, and ground flaxseed as beneficial dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
For more advice, refer to previously answered questions regarding the benefits of a plant-based diet for prostate cancer patients as well as our recommendations on potential dietary supplements.