Not much attention has been heeded to the consumption of fish and its effect on cancer risk. It has been associated with affecting cardiovascular diseases. However, now NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) has conducted investigations into fish consumptions and risk of particularly selected neoplasms, by collecting data from 1983 up to 1996 in Italy.
The investigations reveal a consistent pattern of preventive action against digestive tract cancer risk by the consumption of fish. Inverse association in case of the larynx, ovarian and endometrial cancers was also found as well as multiple myeloma. As for the risk of cancers pertaining to liver, breast, bladder, gallbladder, thyroid, kidney or lymphoma, no pattern of risk of cancer was found in relation to fish consumption. Hence, the study suggests that comparatively smaller amounts of fish intake could work as a favorable indicator for several cancer risks, particularly digestive tract cancer.
Another study regarding the association of fish intake with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer was conducted. 478,040 men and women were observed in European countries between 1992-1998, who at the time of enrollment, were free of cancer. Factors related to diet and lifestyle were considered. After an average follow-up of about 4.8 years, 1,329 cases of colorectal cancers were reported. Relationship with respect to processed and red meat, poultry, and fish intake and risk of colorectal cancer was investigated. A proportional hazards model was adjusted in accordance with sex, age, weight, physical activity, height, smoking habits, fiber and dietary fiber, alcohol consumption.
It was found that there was a positive risk factor for colorectal cancer in association with red and processed meat intake as compared to low risk. In contrast to this, high intake of fish was linked with reduced risk of colorectal cancer. The association has been indicated at by multiple prospective studies included in the investigation, however, two of them statistically supported it. No particular association with poultry was found.
Fish intake comes with benefits and is a better alternative to red meat. However, as recommended always, your doctor’s advice is a key step to be taken if you pursue adding more quantity of fish into your diet.