Prevent breast cancer with Omega-3
The numbers are a real cause for alarm: It is estimated that in Europe, 430,000 new cases of breast cancer are encountered each year. In the USA, 1 in every 8 women may develop this disease, 7% of which before reaching the age of 40.
Because October is the international Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this issue simply cannot be left undiscussed, and neither can the work done by Barbells for Boobs and the communities. This universally recognised non-profit organisation dedicates itself to the early detection of breast cancer, and has united athletes from all over the world in order to raise funds to further this cause.
But what if it were possible to prevent breast cancer by dietary means?
In what way can fats influence breast cancer and its prevention?
Fats are essential for good health, but their intake must be well thought out and should not be excessive. Nowadays, the typical diet is overly rich in saturated fats and Omega-6, and contains too little of Omega-3 compared to the diet on which our genetic patterns are based. In other words:
- Saturated fats are a major cause of obesity, high cholesterol and the development of several types of cancer.
- Omega-6 is synthesised by the body in inflammatory molecules, that promote coagulation and cell growth.
- Omega-3 however is converted by the body into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), molecules with anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulant and anti-proliferative properties.
When these two fatty acids are consumed in the correct amounts, they help control the inflammatory processes in the body. As the development of cancer depends to a great extent on inflammatory processes, which are stimulated by cancer cells, it is fundamental to maintain control of these mechanisms.
In order to keep the body from becoming a chronically inflammatory environment, it is important to bring the ingestion of these fatty acids into balance, by reducing the Omega-6 intake and increasing that of Omega-3.
What are the recommended amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6?
The ideal daily intake ratios lie somewhere between 1:4 and 4:1, i.e.: 1 g of Omega-6 and 4 g o Omega-3, or 4g of Omega-6 and 1 g of Omega-3. In what nowadays is considered a normal diet however, the ratio is closer to 16:1, meaning 16 g of Omega-6 and 1 g of Omega-3.
Just as important as the ingested amount of Omega-3 are the respective amounts of DHA and EPA.
Several types of food are known to be important Omega-3 sources, like nuts and seeds, and some types of fish. The percentage of the fats from these sources that is actually converted into DHA and EPA is actually rather small. In that sense, the solution to having healthy DHA and EPA levels in the body is the use of quality supplements.
Robb Wolf, a retired biochemist and author of the best seller “The Paleo Solution – The Original Human Diet”, recommends DHA/EPA ingestion of about 2 g per day.
At this time, the supplement with the most Omega-3 and DHA/EPA concentrations is Omega-3 Ultra Concentrate by Crossgen. Check it here:
What are the benefits of Crossgen Omega-3 Ultra Concentrate?
- Works against factors that can favour the development of chronic conditions
- Improves the ability of muscles to recover
- Favours protein synthesis
- Enhances concentration and brain function
- Increases energy levels
- Has anti-inflammatory effects
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Helps get rid of bad cholesterol (LDL)
Both Omega-6 and Omega-3 are essential for a healthy and well-functioning body. In order to achieve a greater quality of life, making sure that the consumed quantities of each are correct can be a major step forward.
Regarding the connection between health conditions and the high levels of Omega-6 in food, professor and diet and health researcher Dr. Elliot Berry once said:
“You know, I don’t believe in much besides God, of course, and the importance of the Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio.”
Mammary tumor development is directly inhibited by lifelong n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Volume 24, Issue 1, Pages 388–395, January 2013
Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease, Dietary patterns and chronic disease, VandenBorn L., Am J Clin Nutr, 79(3):523-4.2, March 2004
The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids, Biomed Pharmacother, 56(8):365-79, October 2002