Daily consumption of fish at recommended level lowers risk of colorectal cancer
New Delhi: Regular fish consumption at recommended level lowers the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), probably through exposing the person to long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFAs), according to a recent study published in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The study further found that plasma levels of n-3 LC-PUFA were not associated with CRC risk but there may be differences in risk at different colon regions.
There is an unclear association between fish intake and long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFAs) and colorectal cancer. Elom K. Aglago, Nutrition and Metabolism Section, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France, and colleagues examined the association between fish consumption, dietary and circulating levels of n-3 LC-PUFAs, and ratio of n-6:n-3 LC-PUFA with CRC using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.
The researchers estimated dietary intake of fish (total, fatty/oily, lean/white) and n-3 LC-PUFA by food frequency questionnaires were given to 521,324 participants in the EPIC study. Out of which 6291 individuals developed CRC on a median follow up of 14.9 years. Levels of phospholipid LC-PUFA were measured by gas chromatography in plasma samples from a sub-group of 461 CRC cases and 461 matched individuals without CRC (controls).
Key Findings of the study include:
- Total intake of fish, fatty fish, and lean fish were inversely associated with CRC incidence.
- Intake of total n-3 LC-PUFA was also associated with reduced risk of CRC, whereas dietary ratio of n-6:n-3 LC-PUFA was associated with increased risk of CRC.
- Plasma levels of phospholipid n-3 LC-PUFA were not associated with overall CRC risk, but an inverse trend was observed for proximal compared with distal colon cancer.
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Read the full study on Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology