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Research & Development In Brief

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Fish oil may cut breast cancer risk: Use of fish oil supplements reduces the risk of breast cancer in a seven-year study of 35,016 women aged 50 to 76 years in the Vitamins and Lifestyle cohort. But the study in the July issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention points out the use of other "specialty" supplements taken for menopausal symptoms, such as black cohosh, dong quai, soy and St. John's wort, were not similarly associated with reduced breast cancer risk. Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of California also say fish oil use was associated with reduced risk of invasive ductal, but not lobular, carcinoma. They hypothesize fish oil's benefit may come from its anti-inflammatory properties. Despite the inverse association between some breast cancer risk and fish oil use, the researchers do not advocate promoting the substance for prevention because their work was a first prospective study and does not consider timing of exposure or dose. Future studies are necessary, they add

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