20 Nov Do Higher Plasma Omega-3 Levels Predispose to Prostate Cancer?
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jeffrey L. Anderson, MD FAHA FACC MACP
Distinguished Research Physician
Professor of Medicine with Tenure
University of Utah School of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Omega-3 supplements are widely used for cardiovascular prevention. However, a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (105:1132, 2013) reported as an incidental finding in a plasma bank study that the risk of prostate cancer increased with increasing levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and trended to increase with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Given potential public health implications of that report, we prospectively tested this in patients enrolled our Intermountain Healthcare “INSPIRE” Registry, which includes stored DNA and plasma samples for over 30,000 patients. We identified samples from 87 men who subsequently developed prostate cancer and matched them to 149 samples from men who did not, and whose average follow-up was 13.5 years.
In contrast to the published report, we found lower levels of both EPA (by 9%, p=0.012) and DHA (by 5.3%, p=0.047).
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Our findings are reassuring for men taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements for prevention or treatment of cardiovascular conditions, who may also be concerned about cancer risks, and specifically prostate cancer risk. Recent large randomized trials of these supplements (VITAL, REDUCE-IT) also did not report increases in total cancer risk, but our study provides specific information on prostate cancer, not reported in those recent studies.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Because our study was relatively small, additional independent and prospective studies of prostate cancer risk and omega-3 supplements and plasma levels would be welcome. Indeed, our data suggest a potential protective effect, which should be further explored. At the present, we see no reason to withhold treatment with omega-3 fatty acid supplements because of concerns about an increased risk of prostate cancer.
No disclosures. Funding was internal by resources of the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.
Presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Philadelphia, PA, Nov 17, 2019
Abstract 13187: Does Supplementation to Higher Plasma Omega-3 Levels Predispose to Prostate Cancer? Results From the Intermountain INSPIRE Biobank Registry
Viet Le, Kirk U Knowlton, Mohit Jain, Ray McCubrey, Stacey Knight, Mahan Najhawan, Khoi Dao, Jeramie Watrous, Tami Bair, Bednjamin D Horne, Joseph B Muhlestein, Donald L Lappe’, John F Carlquist, Jeffrey L Anderson (corresponding and senior author)
11 Nov 2019Circulation. 2019;140:A13187
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