Marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids have a stronger punch than flaxseed and other plant-based oils in cancer prevention, being eight times more effective at inhibiting tumor development and growth, according to researchers. The findings are from a study at the University of Guelph in Canada titled, “Marine fish oil is more potent than plant based n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the prevention of mammary tumours,” recently published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
“This study is the first to compare the cancer-fighting potency of plant- versus marine-derived omega-3s on breast tumor development,” researchers said. “There is evidence that both omega-3s from plants and marine sources are protective against cancer and we wanted to determine which form is more effective. The mice were exposed to the different omega-3s even before tumors developed, which allowed us to compare how effective the fatty acids are at prevention. It’s known that EPA and DHA can inhibit breast tumor growth, but no one has looked directly at how effective these omega-3s are compared to ALA.”
Exposure to marine-based omega 3s reduced the size of the tumors by 60-70%, and the frequency of tumor occurrence by 30%. For plant-based omega-3s, however, higher doses were required to deliver the same effect.