Omega-3 fatty acids may help women survive breast cancer, according to a study published in the journal Cancer.
A team of researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill found that women diagnosed with breast cancer who ate the highest amounts of fish or long chain omega-3 fatty acids were at a 34-percent reduced risk of death of all causes during a 15-year follow-up period.
The researchers, let by N.K. Khankari, pulled data from a population-based follow-up study conducted on Long Island, New York, of 1,463 women newly diagnosed with first primary breast cancer. During the 15-year follow-up, 485 of the subjects died.
The women in the highest quartile of tuna intake were 29 percent less likely to die from all causes, compared to those in the lowest quartile, according to the researchers. The women who consumed the most other baked/broiled fish, dietary long-chain omega-3 PUFAs, DHA or EPA, were 25 percent, 29 percent or 25 percent less likely to die from all cause, respectively, compared with those having the lowest intakes.
“Long-chain omega-3 PUFA intake from fish and other dietary sources may provide a potential strategy to improve survival after breast cancer,” the study concluded. The findings were noted on foodconsumer.com.
Earlier studies have linked higher omega-3 intake with a reduced risk of breast cancer. Another suggests a lifelong diet rich in the acids can inhibit the growth of breast cancer tumors by 30 percent.