April 2, 2009
Study: Omega 3 Shrinks Tumors in Mice
Egyptian researchers have reported findings that the omega 3 fatty acid found in fish oils are able to shrink the size of tumors in mice as well as help boost the healing properties of a chemotherapy drug.
A.M. El-Mowafy and colleagues from Mansoura University in Egypt studied the effects of the fatty acid, called docosahexanoic acid, or DHA, on tumors growing in mice.
Additionally, researchers looked at how well omega 3 worked with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin.
"Our results suggest a new, fruitful drug regimen in the management of solid tumors based on combining cisplatin and possibly other chemotherapeutics with DHA," El-Mowafy said in a statement.
"DHA elicited prominent chemo-preventative effects on its own, and appreciably augmented those of cisplatin as well."
The addition of fatty acid to the chemotherapy drug also reduced the toxicity and injury to kidney tissue, researchers said in BioMed Central's peer-reviewed Cell Division.
The study adds to the list of findings that omega 3 fatty acids pack a powerful health boost. In March, researchers found that a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids -- the kind found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines -- protected against advanced prostate cancer even in men more at risk of the disease.
On Monday, German researchers found that patients who are taking drugs to reduce their risk of heart disease gain no extra benefits by adding a dose of omega-3 fatty acid to their daily regimen.
"The OMEGA trial found no significant differences in the rates of heart attack, stroke, sudden cardiac death or death from any cause among patients assigned to guidelines-based optimal medical care alone or optimal medical care plus Omega-3 fatty acids," researchers wrote in the study presented at the 58th conference of the American College of Cardiology in Orlando, Florida.
Their findings contradict those of previous studies which suggested that omega-3 supplements were beneficial in reducing the risk of heart attack.
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