Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fishy Boobs

Last week, a study was published that showed that in a group 35,000 women (50 to 76 years of age) living outside of Seattle, WA, those that had taken fish oil supplements 4-7 times a week had a 32% reduction in the risk of developing breast cancer.  This is exciting news for breasts every where!  

However truth be told, this study doesn't really prove that the fish oil caused the reduction in risk.  This was one of those studies where women were asked a bunch of questions about their supplement practices and then the Dr. Dorks correlated that information with diagnoses of breast cancer.  While it could be that the fish oil alone led to a reduction in risk, it could also be that women who took fish oil supplements also did other things that reduced risk for breast cancer.  For example, I take fish oil supplements but I also eat pretty healthy, go to the doctor regularly, minimize stress as much as possible, take a winter vacation (for my vitamin D), choose local and organic produce when possible, plus I breast fed...A LOT, etc.  In fact, most people who take supplements also have other healthy habits that may influence cancer risk.  As such, it remains to be determined whether fish oil is breast, I mean best for reducing breast cancer or if it's something else that was not measured in this particular study.   

That said, there are a bunch of other reasons why fish oil is a good thing: heart health, anti-inflammatory action, optimizing brain function, maintaining a healthy immune system, and potentially a bunch of other things. 

So what's the best way to get fish or a supplement?  If it's fish, is farm raised okay or is wild caught always better?  What supplement is best and how much to take?  Why is Mrs/Dr T posing all of these questions and not answering them? 

Stay tuned....

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