The relevance of serum levels of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and prostate cancer risk: A Meta-analysis


  • Michael Chua St. Luke's Medical Center (Philippines) · Institute of Urology
  • M.C.D. Sio
  • M.C. Sorongon
  • M.L. Morales Jr.



Long chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Prostate Cancer risk, Serum level, Meta-analysis


Objective: Our objective was to systematically analyze the evidence for an association between serum level long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) and prostate cancer risk from human epidemiological studies.

Study Procedures: We searched biomedical literature databases up to November 2011 and included epidemiological studies with description of long chain n-3 PUFA and incidence of prostate cancer in humans. Critical appraisal was done by two independent reviewers. Data were pooled using the general variance-based method with random-effects model; effect estimates were expressed as risk ratio with 95% confidence interval (CI). Heterogeneity was assessed by Chi2 and quantified by I2, publication bias was also determined.

Results: In total, 12 studies were included. Significant negative association was noted between high serum level of n-3 PUFA docosapentaenoicacid (DPA) and total prostate cancer risk (RR:0.756;95% CI 0.599, 0.955; p = 0.019). Likewise, a positive association between high blood level of fish oil contents, eicosapentaenoicacid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and high-grade prostate tumour incidence (RR:1.381; 95% CI 1.050, 1.817; p = 0.021) was noted; however, this finding was evident only after adjustment was done on interstudy variability through the removal of a lower quality study from the pool.

Conclusions: High serum levels of long chain n-3 PUFA DPA is associated with reduced total prostate cancer risk. While high blood level of EPA and DHA is possibly associated with increased high-grade prostate tumour risk.


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How to Cite

Chua, M., Sio, M., Sorongon, M., & Morales Jr., M. (2013). The relevance of serum levels of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and prostate cancer risk: A Meta-analysis. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 7(5-6), e333–43.