Research reveals eating more oily fish like salmon could reduce risk of bowel cancer, which kills 25 Canadians every day
Three or more portions a week of oily fish, like salmon, cuts the risk of bowel cancer, which kills about 25 Canadians a day, states a new study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
The researchers examined the association between risk of colorectal cancer and fish consumption, dietary and circulating levels of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, and the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The study was published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) in order to help strengthen its advice to the public on bowel cancer.
University of Oxford researchers, alongside IARC researchers, examined the diets of 476,160 participants who filled in surveys about how often they consume certain foods.
These included detail on the participants’ fish intake, including white, fatty, oily, and lean fish. Results showed that eating 359.1g of any fish per week led to a 12 per cent decreased risk of bowel cancer, compared with eating less than 63.49g a week.
People who ate just 123.9g of oily fish a week experienced a 10 per cent lower risk of bowel cancer. Oily fish include salmon, sardines and mackerel. A typical portion of fish is around 100g.
The researchers concluded that: “Consumption of fish appears to reduce the risk of colorectal (bowel) cancer and should be encouraged as part of a healthy diet.”
Both fatty and oily fish are an extremely rich source of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA), which experts believe have a proactive effect in the body. Non-fatty fish.
Dr. Marc Gunter, Lead Researcher from the IARC, said that their findings demonstrate eating fish should be encouraged as part of a healthy diet.
Dr. Anna Diaz Font, head of research funding at the WCRF, said: “This large study adds to the scientific evidence suggesting that consuming fish could reduce the risk of bowel cancer.”
Colorectal cancer statistics
Colorectal cancer is the 2nd most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers). It is the 2nd leading cause of death from cancer in men and the 3rd leading cause of death from cancer in women in Canada.
In 2017, an estimated:
- 26,800 Canadians were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. This represents 13% of all new cancer cases in 2017.
- 9,400 Canadians died from colorectal cancer. This represents 12% of all cancer deaths in 2017.
- 14,900 men were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 5,100 died from it.
- 11,900 women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 4,300 died from it.
- On average, 73 Canadians were diagnosed with colorectal cancer every day.
- On average, 26 Canadians died from colorectal cancer every day.