Positive Link between Fatty Acids and Cancer Fatigue

Omega-3 fatty acids have earned another gold star in their crown! Recent research evidenced that higher intake of omega-3's are a positive link between cancer fatigues. By taking fish oil supplements or eating fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna or trout, individuals may find a boost in their daily energy.

Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Cancer Survivors

Reportedly, chronic fatigue lingers even after an individual has had completion of successful therapy. The reasons fatigue remains following treatment is still a mystery to mainstream medicine. According to a recent report in the "Journal of Clinical Oncology", sleep deprivation and lack of exercise may play a part, as well as chronic inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids ("good fats") act as anti-inflammatories. They contain healing properties that can block or reverse damage done by Omega-6 or "bad" fats. The typical Western diet includes an excess of bad fats and a shortage of good fats.

Fatty acids in meat and polyunsaturated vegetable oils, such as safflower, corn and sunflower oils are Omega-6 acids. These fats promote inflammation and their mission is to damage and destruct body cells.

The study, conducted by Ballard-Barbash and co-workers, studied fatigue in 633 breast cancer survivors to determine a potential link between adequate intake of Omega-3 fatty acids and chronic exhaustion. The participants who took fish oil supplements demonstrated a reduced risk of fatigue.

Considering all of the participants, 42% were fatigued three years following diagnosis of breast cancer. Researchers also examined the breast cancer survivors according to weight, age and race. Final analysis was that those who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids all had a decreased risk of fatigue.

Results of Various Studies

Ongoing studies support weighty evidence that cancer sufferers should consider taking fish oil supplements, containing omega-3 fatty acids. Breast cancer is a complicated illness that likely results from a variety of environmental and genetic facets.

Natural practitioners have long established that the lower the nation's fat intake, the lower the breast cancer rates. We are also aware that our immune systems can be supported and enhanced by taking adequate amounts of fish oil supplements and eating fatty fish.

Fish Oil and CancerNumerous studies show that omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of cancer and heighten the effectiveness of mainstream medical treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation. Due to lack of scientific data, ongoing studies have been suggested to offer "picture proof" before conventional medicine is accepting of natural therapeutics.

Omega-3s linked to less fatigue and inflammation

A French study followed 56,007 women to form the conclusion that risk of breast cancer risk reduced in those taking omega-3 and heightened in participants whose omega-6 intake was higher.

A recent study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, found that women with breast cancer, who sustain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood present with less chronic fatigue than their counterparts with high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. It is exciting that this link was defined by testing participant's blood levels, rather than the diet survey methodology of previous studies. In simple words, these are real statistics!

Fats in Blood Linked to Chronic Fatigue

This study followed 633 breast cancer survivors, whose blood was tested 1,5 years following initial breast cancer diagnosis. In addition, the women participated in the standard assessment for fatigue.

Their blood was examined for indicators of inflammation, including C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A protein. Final results proved the researcher's hypothesis that the more omega-3 fats in the bloodstream, the lower fatigue and inflammation present in the physical body.

Conclusion: Until conventional medicine steps up to the plate, it seems prudent to take fish oil supplements. Whether, as a preventative life style option or a natural treatment alternative for cancer survivors, fish oil will cover all the bases.


  • Alfano CM, Imayama I, Neuhouser ML, Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Wilder Smith A, Meeske K, McTiernan A, Bernstein L, Baumgartner KB, Ulrich CM, Ballard-Barbash R. Fatigue, Inflammation, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acid Intake Among Breast Cancer Survivors. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Mar 12. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Thiébaut AC, Chajès V, Gerber M, Boutron-Ruault MC, Joulin V, Lenoir G, Berrino F, Riboli E, Bénichou J, Clavel-Chapelon F. Dietary intakes of omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the risk of breast cancer. Int J Cancer. 2009 Feb 15;124(4):924-31

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