Angelina Jolie didn't get the memo in time, but apparently consuming omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) could reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 14 percent, new research indicates.
The review, published in the British Medical Journal by researchers from Zhejiang University in China, looked at data from more than 800,000 participants, including 20,000 with breast cancer. The team looked at studies from 26 publications and research conducted throughout the U.S. Europe and Asia.
Among the findings was a strong link between a diet high in fish-based PUFAs and the decreased link for developing breast cancer. According to the researchers, there was a 5 percent lower risk of breast cancer per every 0.1 gram a day increment of marine-based omega-3 PUFAs. While a 14 percent cancer risk reduction was noted coming from a fish source, the researchers found that alpha linolenic acids, plant-based omega-3 PUFAs, did not show any significant protection or reduced risk.
The researchers noted in their publication, "In this meta-analysis dietary intake of marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, but not alpha linolenic acid was associated with a lower risk of breast cancer," adding that the research "provides solid and robust evidence that marine omega-3 PUFA are inversely associated with risk of breast cancer."
"Our findings have important health implications," the team wrote. "The prevention of breast cancer continues to be an important health issue for researchers, especially with regard to the investigation of relations between breast cancer, diet and lifestyle."
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