Eating oily fish may help you fight bowel cancer more effectively

  • AFP, Paris
  • Updated: Jul 20, 2016 11:38 IST
Eating a lot of omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish like tuna and salmon can help you tackle bowel cancer. (Shutterstock)

Bowel cancer patients can significantly boost their survival chances by including in their diet large quantities of foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as oily fish (tuna, salmon), revealed a study on Wednesday.

Analysis of data from more than 1,70,000 people in the United States revealed that among 1,659 who developed bowel cancer, there was a strong correlation between higher omega 3 intake and lower risk of death, it said.

Read: Your Western-style diet is responsible for giving you colon cancer

“Compared with patients who consumed less than 0.1 grams of omega 3 fatty acids daily, those who consumed at least 0.3 grams daily after their diagnosis, had a 41% lower risk of dying from their disease,” said a statement on the findings published in the British journal Gut.

“If the findings can be reproduced in other studies, patients with bowel cancer might benefit from boosting their oily fish intake to help prolong their survival.”

Depending on where the cancer starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer. (Shutterstock)

Further research was needed to prove the link was not coincidental, and that omega 3 actively lowered death risk, said the team.

Yet, the findings “provide the first line of population-based evidence for the potentially positive impact of oily fish omega 3 fatty acids on bowel cancer survival”.

Read: Colon cancer in people under 50 on rise, diagnosed at advanced stage

Omega 3s play a crucial role in growth and healthy brain function, but cannot be manufactured by the human body.

They are ingested through so-called “fatty” fish and other seafoods, some plants, and certain nut oils.

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