Omega-3s may help prevent skin cancer

Omega-3s may help prevent skin cancer

  • According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually.” This is more than prostate, lung, colon, and breast cancers combined.
  • Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common forms of skin cancers. About 90 percent of these cancers are caused by UV ray exposure, and an estimated 3,170 people will die from them this year.
  • Studies are suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may  help prevent skin cancer.
  • In 1994, research was started at the University of Manchester to examine the effects of fish oil on skin inflammation caused by solar radiation. Inflammation is well known as a major contributor to many types of cancers in almost every organ.
  • The research done at Manchester included a small clinical trial comparing participants who took fish oil to those taking a placebo. The results showed that the participants who took fish oil were more resistant to sunburn than those on the placebo.
  • Another study led by Lesley Rhodes, M.D., a dermatology professor and inflammation expert confirms the anti-cancer benefits of fish oil.  The results confirmed the skin protecting benefits of fish oil. The study also showed that fish oil had the ability to protect against sunlight-caused immune suppression, which hurts the body’s ability to fight skin cancer. Dr. Rhodes stresses that fish oil should not be an alternative to protecting the skin against the sun, but as an additional step to preventing cancer.
  • As a general rule:Eating cancer preventing foods,  wearing sunscreen and keeping out of burning mid-day sun-rays are key to  preventing skin cancer.
  • 1. Rhodes, Lesley. “The Potential of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Prevention of Non-melanoma Skin Cancer.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 06 March. 2013.
  • 2. Skin Cancer Foundation.” Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC). N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.
  • 3. “Taking Omega-3 Supplements May Help Prevent Skin Cancer, New Study Finds.” The University of Manchester. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 March. 2013.
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