NMA: Nonprescription Medicines Academy

Marine Fatty Acids May Protect Against Breast Cancer

August 22nd, 2013

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 26 eligible publications—encompassing 21 independent prospective cohort studies and 883,585 participants—found an association between higher consumption of dietary marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (including dietary supplements) and a lower risk of breast cancer.

Eleven studies from 11 independent cohorts investigated fish intake (all varieties). These studies represented 13,323 breast cancer events among 687,770 participants. Overall fish intake was not associated with risk (RR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.93–1.14).

Seventeen articles from 16 independent cohort studies investigated marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake. These articles represented 16,178 breast cancer events among 527,392 participants. Higher consumption of marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids was associated with a 14% reduction in risk of breast cancer (RR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.78–0.94; I2 = 54%). Dose-response analysis indicated breast cancer risk was reduced by 5% per 0.1 g/day increment of dietary marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake (RR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.90–1.00; I2 = 52%).

BMJ. 2013;346:f3706. [Published 27 June 2013]