Countless studies point to the health benefits of fish-derived Omega-3 fatty acids, which is why many experts recommend adding more oily fish to the diet. Now, a report published in the journal Gut examines the role of Omega-3 fats and bowel health.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston analyzed the results of two large-scale studies—the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study—and determined that a diet rich in Omega-3 EPA and DHA may help prolong the survival of patients diagnosed with bowel cancer.
In all, more than 1,600 study participants developed bowel cancer. Taking into account factors such as diet, weight, exercise, medications and alcohol and tobacco use, researchers were able to determine that those individuals had a lower risk of death from the disease if they regularly consumed more Omega-3 fats from fish—up to 41% lower based on the amount of Omega-3 in the diet.
Although this analysis focused on patients with bowel cancer, previous studies have linked high Omega-3 intake with improved bowel function and digestion in healthy individuals—along with benefits for a healthy heart, brain, joints and even mood. Still, many Americans fall short of the recommended amount of Omega-3 fats. Eating more oily fish and taking a daily fish oil supplement are simple ways to boost your daily Omega-3 intake.