Omega 3 and Cancer Recovery

By: Theresa Greenwell

Research involving omega-3 fatty acids has revealed a positive, direct effect on health concerns.  Over the last several years, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have been shown to be able to help modulate levels of inflammation and oxidative stress.  One particular area of interest for use of omega-3 has been for those suffering from gastrointestinal cancer. Several studies have been conducted but many of these have included smaller study groups and limited methods of evaluation.


A recent study in BMC Cancer (BioMed Central Cancer– May 2017) reviewed several studies in regards to omega-3 use in patients with gastrointestinal cancer after surgery to remove malignancies. Researchers reviewed 9 randomized controlled studies which included 693 patients in all.   These studies looked at the effect of omega-3 on CRP, TNF-a, IL-6, T-cells, as well as many other markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.


Researchers found that the studies evaluated clearly showed support for the use of omega-3 for those with GI cancer after surgery.  Not only was there a significant drop in inflammation, there was an increase in immune function and improved recovery.  Even more significant, postoperative hospital stays were reduced for those patients taking omega-3.


More and larger studies are necessary to confirm exactly how omega-3 can be used to benefit other patients for other diseases.


To read more on this study: