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Fish Oil Won't Fight Cancer

They may be great for the heart, but the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil supplements do nothing to prevent cancer.

Fish oil, seen as beneficial for reducing heart disease risks, probably doesn't help prevent cancer, according to a review of studies involving more than 700,000 patients.

Researchers examined data from 38 studies that tracked patients for up to 30 years, and said most showed there is no cancer protection from omega-3 fatty acids. Although a few studies found some risk reduction for cancers of the breast, prostate and lung, those studies were relatively small and not definitive, said Dr. Catherine MacLean, the lead author and a researcher at the Rand Corp. and Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.

"It doesn't mean that omega-3 fatty acids don't have other health benefits it's just that reducing cancer risk isn't one of them," MacLean said.