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16 September 2010

Omega-3, vitamins C and E may boost pancreatic health

Increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by over 30 percent, suggests new research.

Data from residents in the San Francisco Bay Area found that consuming at least 850 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day was associated with a 53 percent reduction in the risk of pancreatic cancer, compared to intakes of between 330 and 580 milligrams per day.

According to findings published in the International Journal of Cancer, benefits were also observed for intakes of vitamin C and E, the highest average intakes associated with 31 and 33 percent reductions, respectively, compared with the lowest average intakes.

On the flip side, researchers from the University of California San Francisco report that high intakes of saturated fats and certain monounsaturated fatty acids may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer – the fourth most common cause of cancer mortality in the US and the cause of 33,400 deaths among men and women in 2007.

“Results from this large population-based case-control study provide additional evidence that dietary factors and use of supplements may affect risk of pancreatic cancer,” wrote the researchers, led by Paige Bracci from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

“Our results showing increased risk of pancreatic cancer with increased saturated fatty acid intake and decreased risk with high intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acid and of vitamin C and E from supplements contribute new data to the epidemiologic literature on pancreatic cancer,” they added.

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