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The simplest thing you can do to support breast health

by Barlean's on October 10, 2016


Many women are concerned with breast health. If you are among them, there are some basic lifestyle changes you can make to protect your breasts, such as maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and breastfeeding if possible. Now, there’s a new step to put on the list, according to a review of studies published in the British Medical Journal, and it’s a relatively easy one — taking a daily omega-3 supplement.


By pooling data from more than two dozen clinical studies, the researchers concluded that increasing intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as EPA and DHA from fish and other marine sources could support breast health.*[i]


A team of Chinese researchers analyzed data from 26 studies from the United States, Europe, and Asia which together enrolled a total of over 800,000 participants. They found women with the highest intake of marine omega-3 PUFAs enjoyed better breast health than those who consumed the least.*


The results were dose dependent, which means the more omega-3s women consumed, the better their odds were of having good breast health.* That doesn’t mean you have to go overboard, though. For people taking blood thinners, high amounts of omega-3 could increase the risk of bleeding. In fact, the study noted that a little goes a long way: an increase of as little as 100 mg a day was associated with a positive effect.*


That’s not much if you’re eating a lot of foods that have a high concentration of omega-3s. For instance, a serving of salmon contains a little over 2,000 mg of DHA/EPA. You can also easily get that amount through supplementation, as the average regular-strength fish oil supplement provides between 300-600 mg per day.


For the most part, cold-water fish are the best sources of DHA and EPA. Vegetarian? Flax oil contains ALA, which can be partially converted by the body into DHA and EPA. Additionally, a 1-ounce serving of seaweed or kelp can contain anywhere from 4 to 134 mg.[ii] And fortified milk and eggs can add to your total as well.


* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.



[i] Zheng J, et al. BMJ. 2013 Jun 27;346:f3706.

[ii] Paturel A. What is omega-3 and what are good food sources of omega-3 fatty acids? Eating Well.


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