Less omega-6, more omega-3, less breast cancer
Throw all those so-called healthy margarines and sauces containing linoleic acid out of your diet and replace corn oil and sunflower oil with one containing fewer omega-6 fatty acids - like olive oil. And add oily fish to your diet, or other foods that contain relatively large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. According to a Chinese meta-study this will reduce the chance of breast cancer in women.
The omega-3:omega-6 ratio
According to critical nutritionists we eat more polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega-6 kind that is good for us. The body uses these to manufacture inflammatory factors, which play a role in a number of processes including the metastasis of prostate cancer, psychoses and depressions, and overweight.
According to the critics, humans are designed for a diet in which there is a balance between polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega-6 and the omega-3 type.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, in oil-rich algae and plankton, but also in plant-based foods such as linseed, chia seed and walnuts. Omega-3 fatty acids inhibit inflammatory reactions in the body.
In 2014 nutritionists at Zhejiang University published a meta-study in BMC Cancer for which they used the findings from 11 prospective epidemiological studies. The researchers had data on 274,134 adult women in total.
Some studies looked at the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in the blood, and others at the ratio in the diet. Both types of studies found that the risk of breast cancer decreased the more omega-3 fatty acids a diet contained and the less omega-6 fatty acids.
The Chinese calculated that improving the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids could reduce the chance of breast cancer by several tens of percent.
"A higher intake ratio of omega-3:omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer among females," the researchers conclude. They expect that an improvement in the fatty acid composition also improves the prospects of women already diagnosed as having breast cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2014 Feb 18;14:105.
Salmon, mackerel and other oily fish improve post-breast cancer chances 26.07.2017
Omega 3 fatty acids reduce cancer mortality 04.02.2015
Fish oil capsules may protect against breast cancer 21.08.2010
Cancer Prevention & Survival