Posts Tagged ‘fish oil’

Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer?

July 15, 2013 6 comments

Omega-3 fish oil is clinically proven to improve heart health and support brain function.

The topic of omega-3s and prostate cancer risk has been in the news lately.  The stories are based on a new study in the Journal National Cancer Institute that found that higher Omega-3 fatty acid levels were associated with increased risk of prostate cancer. After reviewing the research with well-known Omega-3 expert Bill Harris, PhD, we continue to advocate the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids either through food or supplements.  Here’s our take on the study:

  • Omega-3 fish oil is clinically proven to improve heart health and support brain function.
  • The investigators did not test whether giving fish oil supplements (or eating more fish) increased prostate cancer risk; it looked only at blood levels of Omega-3 which can be influenced by intake, other dietary factors, metabolism and genetics.
  • The findings of this study do not mean that Omega-3’s themselves play any role in the development of prostate cancer. For example, it is possible that some component of the fish these patients was consuming was carcinogenic, in which case the Omega-3 levels were just a marker of specific fish intake.
  • It’s important to put these findings into perspective. Consider that based on the National Vital Statistics Report for deaths in the US in 2010, there we about 28,500 deaths from prostate cancer and 207,500 deaths from heart disease, a 7.3 times rate of death for heart disease.
  • Another piece of the picture is to compare prostate cancer rates in Japan vs. the US. According to the World Foundation of Urology, prostate cancer incidence in North America and Northern Europe is 63 per 100,000 white men and 102 per 100,000 African-American men. In Japan the rate is 10 per 100,000 men. Since the Japanese typically eat about eight times more Omega-3 fatty acids than Americans do and their blood levels are twice as high, you’d think their prostate cancer risk would be much higher, but the opposite is the case.

In conclusion, the benefit of fish oils strongly outweigh the possible risks and we would not encourage men to change their diet as a result of this study, but to speak to their doctor if they have any concerns about prostate cancer.

Read the full response to study from Bill Harris, PhD.

Fish Oil – How’s it made?

January 19, 2011 2 comments

By Jill Turner, VP of Operations, Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements

We recently received an email asking us about how fish is processed to become fish oil.

Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 is a blend of sardines and anchovies, both small, cold water fish. The fish are wild caught off the Peruvian coast, as the Humboldt Current makes this part of the world particularly full of marine life.

While sardines aren’t a popular menu item here in the U.S., they are very popular in other parts of the world, so our blend is more heavily weighed towards anchovies as much of the sardine catch ends up being diverted to the global dinner table. The anchovies used are typically about 18 inches long, and they are processed whole. To extract the omega-3 fatty acids, the fish are cooked in order to liquefy the fats. The fish are then placed in gigantic drum which is rotated at high speed. The centrifugal force of the rotating drum separates the oil out from the fish.

The oil then goes through a multi-step purification, concentration and deodorization process that takes about 16 weeks before it is ready to be encapsulated, bottled and sold.

After the oil is removed, the remaining fish solids are then processed to use for fish meal. The fish meal is a food ingredient used in making feed for chickens, pigs, and farmed raised fish. Fish meal is also used as a high quality organic fertilizer for gardens and lawns.

For more information about Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements, visit our website.