Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements may help reduce the risk of breast cancer, a new study suggests. The findings, though preliminary, are very intriguing, said Marie Savard, M.D. on Good Morning America.
As part of a larger study investigating a link between cancer and supplements, 35,000 women completed an extensive survey using 15 different supplements, with fish oil being the only one found to have a significant effect.
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The women who took fish oil on a regular basis reduced their risk of breast cancer by 32 percent, the study found.
"Any news about finding something simple -- like lifestyle, or adding a supplement -- to reduce the risk of breast cancer is important," said Savard.
There are two already proven benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, she said: reducing the risk of a second heart attack or death in those who have already suffered a heart attack, and improving blood fats and healthy cholesterol.
Omega-3 fatty acid is an essential vitamin, which means it's something your body can't produce on its own. "They are so essential -- they are the building blocks of your brain, nervous system and every cell," said Savard. She suspects that as research continues, it will bring to light more and more information about the benefits of omega-3.