Many people take fish oil pills for heart and brain health, but new research suggests these supplements may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men.
Researchers at Ohio State University found that men with the highest levels of Omega-3 fatty acids also had twice the risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer as men with lower levels of the fatty acid.
But St. Vincent Cancer Care oncologist Ruemu Birhiray says more research is needed to see if the increased risk is coming from fish oil supplements or from the fatty acids found naturally in fish.
Birhiray says there is a body of other cancer research that has proven supplements do not always provide the same benefits as the vitamins in food.
It is the same reason why we think taking a pill would be the simplest way to lose weight rather than exercise. It is just so much easier. But remember what they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it is not true.
Birhiray says the classic example is vitamin A, which can help reduce the risk of lung cancer. But he says people see more benefits from eating lots of carrots and other vegetables than from taking supplements.
Birhiray says without more research, it is unclear if the benefits of taking fish oil supplements outweigh the risks.