From time to time, we'll hear of a study that runs contrary to previous ones. When we heard of a recent study saying that fish oil might increase the rate of prostate cancer, it made us raise an eyebrow.
There has been so much research showing that inflammation contributes to diseases like cancer and fish oil helps to control inflammation. When you look at the details of this one outlier, you begin to see why we should be skeptical.
As our friends at Thorne Research pointed out:
- the study used only one blood sample to measure omega-3 levels
- they did not assess dietary intake
- they did not give an explanation to why their results differ with previous studies
They also failed to point out that of those who had prostate cancer:
- 80% were obese
- 53% were smokers
- 64% regularly consumed alcohol
So there may have been other factors contributing to the higher risk of prostate cancer. When outliers show up, the media should present them not as the new truth, but rather how they fit into the context of previous research pertaining to the topic at hand.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Research and nutritional information included is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease and should not be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician before initiating any new dietary or supplement program. References available by request.