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Omega-3s Proven to Inhibit Breast Cancer Tumor Growth

In a landmark study published recently in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada have proven that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fats found in cold water fish, such as salmon, and in certain plant foods, such as walnuts) can inhibit the growth of breast cancer tumors by 30 percent, especially if started early in life.

While advocates of omega-3s have long believed that diet may significantly help in preventing cancer, epidemiological and experimental studies to back up such claims have been lacking, and human studies have been inconsistent - until now.


“It’s a significant finding,” said David Ma, a professor in Guelph’s Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, and one of the study’s authors. “We show that lifelong exposure to omega-3s has a beneficial role in disease prevention - in this case, breast cancer prevention. What’s important is that we have proven that omega-3s are the driving force and not something else.”

Known as an expert on how fats influence health and disease, Ma believes the study will lead to more research on the benefits of healthy living, and on using diet to reduce cancer risk. “There are inherent challenges in conducting and measuring diet in such studies, and it has hindered our ability to firmly establish linkages between dietary nutrients and cancer risk,” Ma said. “So we’ve used modern genetic tools to address a classic nutritional question.”

The modern genetic tools used by Ma and his research team enabled them to genetically engineer mice that uniquely produce omega-3 fatty acids and develop aggressive mammary tumors. Then, Ma’s team compared those mice to other mice that were genetically engineered only to develop aggressive mammary tumors.

The results provided solid evidence that the mice producing omega-3s developed only two-thirds as many tumors - and any tumors they did develop were 30 percent smaller than those in the control mice.

"This model provides a purely genetic approach to investigate the effects of lifelong omega-3s exposure on breast cancer development. To our knowledge, no such approach has been used previously to investigate the role of omega-3s and breast cancer," said Ma. "The fact that a food nutrient can have a significant effect on tumor development and growth is remarkable, and has considerable implications in breast cancer prevention.”


This entry was posted in Health Tips by Dr. Don Colbert.

Don Colbert, MDDon Colbert, M.D. has been board certified in Family Practice for over 25 years and practices Anti aging and Integrative medicine. He is a New York Times Bestselling author of books such as The Bible Cure Series, What Would Jesus Eat, Deadly Emotions, What You Don't Know May be Killing You, and many more with over 10 million books sold. He is the Medical Director of the Divine Health Wellness Center in Orlando, Florida where he has treated over 50,000 patients. He is also a internationally known expert and prolific speaker on Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Colbert is on the Medical Advisory Board for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has been featured on Dr. Oz, The O'Reilly Factor, ABC World News, BBC, Readers Digest, News Week, Prevention Magazine and many prominent Christian TV programs. He is also the TV host of his newly syndicated TV program "Dr Colbert’s Health Report." Dr. Colbert formulated Divine Health to meet the public's demand for higher quality supplementation. Dr. Colbert believes in treating the whole person; the mind, the body and the spirit.

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10 Responses to Omega-3s Proven to Inhibit Breast Cancer Tumor Growth

  • Joy Woods on April 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm said:

    Is olive butter enriched with omega-3 serves a good supplement and source of omega-3?

  • Dr. Don Colbert on April 2, 2013 at 2:23 pm said:

    Olive Oil contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important in preventing cardiovascular disease and are particularly high in oily fish such as salmon and flax seed oil.

  • Janis Davis on April 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm said:

    This would tell me that if I had not been taking omega-3 and 6 plus using olive oil and eating salmon and walnuts (all nuts), my possibility of a diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma (having biopsy tomorrow) would be greater and the size much larger. Of course, I didn't consume these at a much younger age but at least for the past 15+ years---now 68 yrs old.
    Would love a response! Janis

  • paula on April 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm said:


  • Ruth Hollon on April 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm said:

    According to your book "What would Jesus eat?" can we have whole wheat Zesta crackers?

  • Dr. Don Colbert on April 3, 2013 at 9:25 am said:

    Just be weary of the high salt content. They are ok to have in moderation.

  • I'm interested in the amount needed for prevention of cardiovascular and mammary health. Is more recommended once you've been diagnosed?

  • Sandy on April 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm said:

    What specific Omega-3s were in the study, and what was the daily dose? Thanks!

  • gail gardner on April 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm said:

    Whata do you suggest for someone who has Gastroparesis and Barrett's Esophagus. I have troulbe eating alot of things . please help

  • modupe on April 14, 2013 at 10:11 am said:

    Hi, want to know if EVENNING PRIMEROSE has omega 3s and 6s. If it could cause any hazard to the body including cancer