Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids may help in the prevention of both early and late stage oral and skin cancers, according to a study published in the journal Carcinogenesis.
The focus was mainly on a type of cancer called squamous-cell carcinoma. This is one of the major forms of skin cancer affecting the outer layers of the skin (mainly made up of squamous cells). The researchers point out that squamous-cell carcinoma can also occur in the lining of the digestive tract, lungs and other areas of the body.
The research was carried out in vitro meaning, they grew cell cultures in a lab. They used cell cutlures from several different cell lines inlcuding both malignant oral and skin cancers, alongside pre-malignant cells and normal skin and oral cells. When the researchers carried out these in vitro tests by adding fatty acids into the cell cultures, results showed that omega-3 fatty acids induced cell death in malignant and pre-malignant cells and the doses that did not affect normal cells.
Professor Kenneth Parkinson, head of the oral cancer research group says:
“We found that the omega-3 fatty acid selectively inhibited the growth of the malignant and pre-malignant cells at doses which did not affect the normal cells.”
This is very promising for the prevention and possible treatment of oral and skin cancers.
Since omega-3s cannot be made in the quantities that our bodies require, it is essential to get them from diet. Foods like salmon, flax seeds, sardines and walnuts should be part of your diet. If they aren’t consider taking a good quality supplement like Pathway Super Omega.