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Posted on 03-20-2012

Morning folks!  In today's unhealthy western society the chances of men acquiring prostate cancer is even greater than that of women getting breast cancer.  Yet the Inuit (Eskimos) people have virtually no signs of prostate cancer. Why is this?  This review from the Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention Journal from September 2003 explains.


Incidence and mortality rates for prostate cancer are reported to be low among Inuit.

We conducted an autopsy study in 1990-1994 among 61 deceased males representative of all deaths occurring in Greenland and found only one invasive prostate cancer.

Histological data were available for 27 autopsies and revealed no latent carcinoma.

Our results suggest that in situ carcinoma is rare among Inuit and that their traditional diet, which is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and selenium, may be an important protective factor.

Abbreviations: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids = n-3 PUFA Se = selenium.

"Inuit display an extremely low incidence rate of prostate cancer."
Several factors have been proposed as protective agents against prostate cancer. "n-3 PUFA and Se are probably the most promising."

"Fish consumption and n-3 PUFA intake were recently reported to protect against prostate cancer in a prospective cohort of 6272 Swedish men."
[Terry P., Lichtenstein P., Feychting M., Ahlbom A., Wolk A. Fatty fish consumption and risk of prostate cancer. Lancet,
357: 1764-1766, 2001.]

In the autopsies performed in this study, concentrations of n-3 PUFA in adipose (fat) tissue and Se in liver were measured.

"All but one prostate specimen was macroscopically benign."

"It is interesting to note that the prostate carcinoma case was a 73-year-old male with a low n-3 PUFA concentration."

The omega-6 (veggie oils, most nuts, flower oils)/omega-3 (fish oil, flax oil) ratio was 12.1/1 in this prostate cancer case compared with 4.56/1 for the entire group.

"The Inuit diet is composed of traditional seafood (fish and sea mammals) and is rich in Se and n-3 PUFA."

The essential trace metal Se is found in high concentrations in fish.


"Considering the recent scientific evidence that both Selenium (Se) and omega-3 fatty acids act as strong protective agents against prostate cancer and given the exceptionally high intake of these nutrients by Inuit through their traditional diet, we conclude that the low incidence of prostate cancer in this population may be attributable to their high Se and n-3 PUFA intakes."


  1. 1)  The Inuit have a low incidence and mortality of prostate cancer.

  2. 2)  This low incidence of prostate cancer is attributed to the Inuit diet, which is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and selenium.

  1. 3)  Fish is rich in both omega-3 fatty acids and selenium.

  2. 4)  In this study the average ratio of omega-6/omega-3 was 4.56/1.

  3. 5)  In the one case of prostate cancer found at autopsy, the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 was 12.1/1.

    In our western society are diet is usually in a 20:1 ration of omega 6:3 fatty acids.  Your goal should be a 1:1 ratio as most optimum.  Research is showing that the cause of most if not all disease is cellular level inflammation, which occurs naturally when the 6:3 ratio is out of balance.  Unfortunately our environment is toxic enough that I no longer advocate consumption of seafood (particularly shellfish and long lasting fish) as the mercury content is no longer safe.  Look for a high quality fish oil that will give at least 2,750mg/day of combined EPA and DHA.  You get what you pay for with fish oil so I advocate to stay away from box stores and Costco.

    Have a blessed day!


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