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Nov 18, 2013 04:42 PM EST

Low-Fat Diet, Fish Oil Supplements Lowers Chance Of Prostate Cancer Recurrence

Men with prostate cancer who adhered to a low-fat diet and took fish oil supplements saw a change in the cancer tissue in their prostate, researchers at University of California, Los Angeles found.

Men on the strict regimen had lower levels of pro-inflammatory substances in their blood and a lower cell cycle progression score, which predicts cancer recurrence than men who ate a typical Western diet.

Researchers said their findings are significant and may be ground-breaking because lowering the cell cycle progression score may help prevent prostate cancer from reoccurring or becoming more aggressive.

"We found that CCP scores were significantly lower in the prostate cancer in men who consumed the low-fat fish oil diet as compare to men who followed a higher fat Western diet," William Aronson, a clinical professor of urology at UCLA, said in a statement. "We also found that men on the low-fat fish oil diet had reduced blood levels of pro-inflammatory substances that have been associated with cancer."

The study is a follow-up to a 2011 study led by Aronson and his team that found a low-fat diet with fish oil supplements eaten for four to six weeks prior to prostate removal slowed the growth of cancer cells in human prostate cancer tissue compared to a traditional, high-fat Western diet.

From the 2011 study, researchers found the diet had increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and decreased levels of the more pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids from corn oil in the cell membranes, which could directly affect the biology of the cells, Aronson said.

Researchers concluded men on the low-fat fish oil diet were able to change the composition of their cell membranes in both the healthy cells and the cancer cells in the prostate.

"These studies are showing that, in men with prostate cancer, you really are what you eat," he said. "The studies suggest that by altering the diet, we may favorably affect the biology of prostate cancer."

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