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Fish oil may fight breast cancer

Other over-the-counter supplements fail to show protection

A large survey of postmenopausal women has found that fish oil may guard against breast cancer. Although the study wasn’t designed to show a cause-and-effect relationship, it sets the stage for an upcoming trial of fish oil consumption that may clarify the issue.

Meanwhile, 14 other over-the-counter dietary supplements had their hopes dashed, showing no apparent benefit against breast cancer, researchers report in the July Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

While other studies have found that fish oil supplements or a diet high in fish shows promise against cardiovascular ailments, (SN: 2/15/97, p. 101) the new study is the first to suggest a link between fish oil and a lower risk of breast cancer, says study coauthor Emily White, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

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