Older women may be able to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by taking daily fish oil supplements, according to a new study.
Lead investigator Emily White, an epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and her colleagues recruited more than 35,000 postmenopausal women who had no history of breast cancer, and asked them to complete a dietary questionnaire regarding their intake of non-vitamin, non-mineral specialty supplements.
After six years of monitoring the participants, the researchers found that a total of 880 women had developed breast cancer. When analyzing the questionnaires, they discovered that women who routinely took fish oil supplements had a 32 percent reduced risk of developing invasive ductal breast cancer, the most common form of the disease.
The results of the study "reinforce something that most of us feel in our hearts but are struggling to prove," David Pearlstone, chief of the division of breast surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center, told CNN.com. "Fish oil probably is really good for you in a lot of ways, but the data has been [slow] in coming."
White and her colleagues note that the findings need to be replicated in a randomized trial to confirm the link between fish oil supplements and a reduction in breast cancer.