Surprising findings on omega-3 fats, trans fats, and prostate cancer risk


Former Editor, Harvard Health

For men who are concerned about their prostate health, one consistent recommendation over the years has been to add to their diets healthy fats, like the omega-3 fats found in fatty fish, and to cut back on unhealthy fats, like trans and saturated fats. A report in the American Journal of Epidemiology muddies the waters on this.

A study of men taking part in the nationwide Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial found a link between high intake of heart-healthy omega-3 fats and increased risk of developing aggressive, high-grade prostate cancer, while high intake of artery-damaging trans fats was linked to a lower risk.

Should these results prompt men to scale back on fish and eat more processed food? No. Experts I talked with recommend staying the course when it comes  to dietary fats. Read my full report on the Harvard Prostate Knowledge blog.


  1. khalid

    what is the beast source of omega fatty acid and where we find the orgenal zing in foods or herbals

  2. Tom Parker

    I think despite this study it is pretty safe to say that trans fats should be avoided. You only have to look at how they are made and the foods that contain them to see that they are bad news.

  3. Jams

    What an experience. I would be glad to sign any statement or verify any comment that praises your products. As a customer that started ‘Pumping’ in my sixties, I would be happy to explain to all that your products can be used by any male `Senior Citizen’ with complete confidence.

    Thank you
    Hashmi hakeem
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  4. Jimmy

    Yes we should, and the more natural and better source we can get our omega’s from should surely have greater effects for our body without other harmful things having to be processed by system too. I wish we could all eat organic and fish more but we all cant eat perfect everyday for optimal nutrition standards. But like they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cures. That’s why I take the cleanest best multi-vitamin daily loaded with beneficial health keep fighting what wants to ail me, and I dont feel full and bloated from to many meals either. I also use flexitor for more omega 3’s and essential fatty acids, it’s great for decreasing joint pain and stiffness from trying to keep up.
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  5. Leah

    As we all know, prevention is the best cure. There’s no harm is we try it.

  6. newport

    Nice post

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  7. Ken

    Omega-3 Fatty acids and zinc are critical to the proper function of the prostate gland. The prostate gland contains more zinc than any other organ in the body, and biopsies of cancerous prostate tissue showed a deficiency in zinc. Regarding fish, fresh wild caught and not farm raised is better. The study on Omega-3 didn’t indicate whether the fish was farm raised or wild caught, and what the farm raised fish were fed.

  8. Nev Smith

    Yes, another confusion in the ever murky waters of to do or not to do, whenever we reduce something that is “bad” for us it turns out its not so bad after all and vice versa…as someone above stated use your intuition and everything in moderation….maybe the french have something with their glass of red a day…lower heart disease and lower cancer rates?
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  9. MP Sidhu

    My mother was the greatest doctor after all.Her panacea for all ills was:eat everything but in moderation. She would prepare delicious meals with the stuff grown in our kitchen garden.She had big No for restaurant meals.She never took any medicines.What took her away from us was a treacherous fall which fractured her femur and she never recovered from the shock.She was ninety. Her mental abilities were perfect till the end.Erosion of moral values,lack of distinct divide between good and bad and other problems of modern life styles are doing this to us.We are embroiled in the Shakesperean dilemma” To be or not to be”. We ought to evolve a third alternative.

  10. Ginger

    I get so confused trying to keep up with the studies. I say we just eat right and stop worrying. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.

  11. Jay

    Each new test comes up with a new result. When I begin to follow a particular diet, a new test comes up with a new diet pattern. This is very confusing.
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  12. Rex

    The Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)and Omega-3 fat increases gradually as cows are turned to the pasture and decreases when cows are fed grain diet.
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  13. G

    A HIGH intake of any highly refined “rancid” polyunsaturated fat will increase your risk for prostate cancer or any other cancer. And this includes omega-3 fish oil supplements. These supplements should preferably be kept in the freezer to keep them from becoming as rancid as the highly refined deodorized “rancid” polyunsaturated vegetable and seed oils many people cook with. These highly refined polyunsaturated cooking oils also increase one’s risk for prostate cancer. They turn to trans-fats when heated as well. The more they are reused, the more trans-fats created.

    We should be getting our omega-3’s from cage-free (or free-range) eggs, grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, grass-fed lamb, free-range fed pork, organic butter from grass-fed dairy, etc.

  14. Janet Avila

    On what scale were these tests conducted? (How many men, and for how long?) I get so tired of trying to do the right thing! I am very knowledgeable about health and nutrition, but sometimes I think it would be better to use your own intuition. For example,no limit on fresh vegetables, fruits, and Whole grain foods.These tests make ya feel like a yo-yo!
    What next?!

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