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Scientists are trying to determine the role of the consumption of fish in preventing the development of colorectal cancers. They also want to learn if it matters whether the fish is oily. Researchers have known for some time that epidemiological studies examining fish intake and omega-3 fatty acid intake give inconsistent results. However, laboratory-based studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in oil-rich fish, should help to prevent colorectal cancers. These studies do not support a protective role for the omega-3 fatty acids sourced from plants in relation to cancer prevention. The problem with epidemiological studies is that they are often based on questionnaire data on food intake, which may only have few questions relating to fish intake. The omega-3 content of fish can vary widely, and this is not easily accounted for in these types of studies. Also, few of the studies separate the fish and plant sources of omega-3. To overcome these limitations, some scientists would like to undertake intervention studies. Researchers believe it is important to look at whole foods at levels that can be fairly easily integrated into the diet, and this is why they are undertaking the current research. Contact: Elizabeth Lund, Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UA, England, U.K. Phone: +44 1603 255000. Fax: +44 1603 507723. Email:
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Apr 1, 2006
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