In the first study of its kind, researchers with the University of Manchester found that Omega-3 fats could help to increase your skin’s immunity to cancer and infection. Who would have thought that some fatty fish could keep you cancer-free?
Protecting the Skin with Fish Oil
Other similar studies have been done on rats or in other environments, but this particular human study is the first of its kind, says Professor Lesley Rhodes, Professor of Experimental Dermatology from the Photobiology Unit Dermatology Centre at the University’s School of Medicine and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.
“There has been research in this area carried out on mice in the past but this is the first time that there has been a clinical trial directly in people. It has taken a number of years to get to this stage and the findings are very exciting. This study adds to the evidence that omega-3 is a potential nutrient to protect against skin cancer. Although the changes we found when someone took the oil were small, they suggest that a continuous low level of chemoprevention from taking omega-3 could reduce the risk of skin cancer over an individual’s lifetime.”
Published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the research said that consuming fish oils regularly could reduce your risk of skin cancer. The researchers say the Omega-3 fats so prominently found in fatty fish actually decrease “sunlight-induced immunity suppression” or immunosuppression. This immunity naturally helps protect the body against skin cancer and infection, so staying up on your Omega 3 intake could, in turn, assist this mechanism.
Study subjects consumed about one and a half servings of fatty fish each day and were exposed to summer midday sun levels through a sunlight machine. Those participants who received the fish oil had immunosuppression about 50% lower than those who didn’t take the supplement.
“Skin cancer has been one of the fastest growing types of cancer, and numbers will likely continue to increase,” said Dr. Helen Rippon, Head of Science with the Association of International Cancer Research. “It is always exciting to see research that AIRC has funded generating such promising results, and we look forward to seeing future developments in this area.”
The research is promising, but far from the first we’ve learned about the many benefits of Omega-3 fats. I just recently reported how a diet rich in omega 3’s was actually found to inhibit breast cancer tumor growth by a whopping 30%! Not produced by the human body, we must consume these fats through dietary sources like salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds, to name a few. Alternatively, pick up a high quality krill oil supplement.