Increased intakes of omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E
may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by over 30 percent, suggests
Data from residents in the San Francisco Bay Area found that consuming at least 850 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day was associated with a 53 percent reduction in the risk of pancreatic cancer, compared to intakes of between 330 and 580 milligrams per day.
According to findings published in the International Journal of Cancer, benefits were also observed for intakes of vitamin C and E, the highest average intakes associated with 31 and 33 percent reductions, respectively, compared with the lowest average intakes.
“Our results showing increased risk of pancreatic cancer with increased saturated fatty acid intake and decreased risk with high intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acid and of vitamin C and E from supplements contribute new data to the epidemiologic literature on pancreatic cancer,” wrote the researchers.
Bracci and her co-workers analysed data from 532 people with pancreatic cancer and compared this with data from 1,701 cancer-free individuals.
The researchers noted that the antioxidant properties of the vitamins may explain the benefits since they “are known to have anticarcinogenic effects. Vitamins C and E can block reactive oxygen species, reducing oxidative stress and thus reducing cancer-causing mutations.
“Vitamins C and E may also alter pancreatic cancer risk through their ability to stimulate immune function,” they added.