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The "Fishy" Way To Prevent Colorectal Cancer

Based on the huge European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study of some half-million patients from 10 countries, people who eat fish regularly greatly improve their odds of avoiding colorectal cancer versus those who eat red meat.

By the numbers:

  • The risk of colorectal cancer climbed by almost half for every 100 grams of red meat a patient consumes each day.
  • Sausage consumption (100 grams daily) alone increased one's colorectal risks by 70 percent.
  • In contrast, eating fish (100 grams daily) cut those risks in half.
  • Patients who ate less than 14 grams of fish daily increased their chances of colorectal cancer by 40 percent in comparison to those who ate more than 50 grams a day.

Even more interesting, the benefits of eating fish didn't change regardless of the amount of red meat one consumes.

Once again, scientists credited these results on the protective effect of long-chain, polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, known to inhibit cancer (even though researchers were unable to differentiate between their patients' intake of fatty fish versus other fish). But, as you know, fish consumption is very problematic as well, due to the rapid accumulation of mercury in the food chain -- a toxic, horrible product of our environment.

That's why I so strongly recommend, to balance the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats in your diet, you consume a high quality fish or cod liver oil daily.

As far as eating red meat, a study I posted earlier this year addressed that same connection to colorectal cancer. My response to the red meat/colorectal cancer link remains the same as it was earlier: I suspect the problem stems from the source of the meat -- likely processed and chock full of hormones and antibiotics you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy -- and the way it's cooked.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 97, No. 12, June 15, 2005: 906-916

Nutra ingredients.com June 15, 2005

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