Dr. Sangmi Kim from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in North Carolina was prompted by some small trials on animals and humans to conduct a much larger study on the effect of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil on colon cancer.
They tested 1,503 whites and 369 African Americans, about half of each group having colon cancer and the other half being healthy controls. The researchers found that the top 25% of whites in terms of omega-3 consumption had a 50% lower chance of colon cancer compared to the bottom 25%. They also discovered that the more omega-6 (from vegetable oil) the participants consumed, the more likely they were to develop colon cancer.
The study found that both EPA and DHA had the effect of reducing colon cancer risk when analyzed separately. A relationship between colon cancer and omega-3 consumption was found with the blacks in the study, though it wasn’t as significant.
This study follows on the heels of other recent omega-3/cancer studies, such as the study that found that fish oil reduces risk of breast cancer.