Help us to stop bowel cancer

Study finds new link between omega fatty acids and bowel cancer

Monday 3 July 2017

A study by the University of Aberdeen has found that a higher concentration of the molecules that breakdown omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a higher chance of survival from bowel cancer.

This is the first time that molecules linked to the breakdown of omega–3 have been associated with less spread of the tumour and a greater chance of survival for a patient.

The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, measured the proportion of the enzymes responsible for the metabolism of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in tumours found in bowel cancer patients, and compared it to the patient’s survival.

Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, says:

“Around half of bowel cancer patients will have disease that has spread or is likely to spread to other parts of the body, when it is much harder to treat. This interesting study, highlights the potential benefits of omega 3 in preventing this spread, therefore increasing chances of survival.

“However this was a lab-based study, and further research is needed to help us understand how much omega-3 people should be aiming to include in their diets.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer.  Furthering our understanding in this area could help improve and develop bowel cancer treatments and outcomes for patients in the future.”

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