Fatty Acids

Omega-3’S & Skin Cancer

Ana B. Remos

Encouraging news from a study published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition".

Are you forgetting to take your Omega-3’s? If you’re not incorporating this popular supplement into your diet, then your skin is missing out! Not only do Omega-3 fatty acids fight off a multitude of illnesses, but also promote cell renewal, and now, according to new research, may help protect against skin cancer. A recent study published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” by researchers at the University of Manchester found that taking Omega-3’s regularly, increases the skin’s immunity to sunlight, which may lower the risk of skin cancer over an individual’s lifetime.

Photo: Nataliia Anisimova / 123RF Stock Photo.

Now, just what exactly does this mean? Cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Oscar Hevia explains: “Omega-3 oils are now considered important to the health of our immune, nervous and cardiovascular systems. In this study, researchers were able to demonstrate that the immune response in the skin of those subjects who were taking Omega-3 oils, recovered well after exposure to ultraviolet light. Exposure to ultraviolet light weakens the skin’s immune response, and a weak immune system increases the risk of cancer”.

If Omega-3 helped boost the skin’s immune responses, and this could mean a possible reduction of skin cancer, its use is recommended, although this study did not look at the immune response to skin cancers specifically, but rather to allergy-producing substances. Although the news is encouraging, further study is necessary to conclude the direct effect of Omega-3 on skin cancer.

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