Why Everyone With Colon Cancer Must Take Fish Oil

Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD

December 4, 2023


We already know from previous studies that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids lowers your risk of getting colorectal cancer.

Now a new study strongly suggests that fish oil, which is high in omega-3, may significantly boost survival even after a patient gets the disease.

The authors start off their report by stating, “Experimental evidence supports an antineoplastic [anti-cancer] activity of marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids [the EPA and DHA found in fish oil].” But since no one had studied the effect of these oils on colorectal cancers, they decided to look into it.

To do the study, they analyzed the dietary records of almost 200,000 men and women between the ages of 40-75. All of them completed a detailed questionnaire about their medical history, diets, supplements, and other lifestyle factors at the beginning of the study. They repeated the questionnaire every two years.

The study went on for 26 years. During that time, 1,659 came down with colorectal cancer. And when the researchers analyzed how their intake of fish oils affected their ability to survive the disease, they discovered some amazing results.

The patients who were consuming at least 300 mg of fish oil per day at the time of their diagnosis were on average 41% less likely to die from their cancers than those who had been consuming less than 100 mg a day. But that’s not even the best news. Those who increased their fish oil intake once they found out they had the disease had even better results. By increasing their EPA and DHA intake by only 150 mg a day, these men and women were able to decrease their risk of dying from the cancer an incredible 70% compared to those who did not increase their intake.

According to Andrew T. Chan, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and lead author of the study, “Our findings provide the first line of population-based evidence for the benefit of marine omega-3 PUFAs [fish oils] on colorectal cancer survival.

Patients with colorectal cancer who increased their intake from their levels before diagnosis experienced a substantial reduction in colorectal cancer specific mortality and a moderate reduction in all-cause mortality.”

It doesn’t get a lot better than this. Taking a simple supplement not only reduces your chance of getting this disease, but also decreases your chance of dying from it if you do get it. Everyone fighting colorectal cancer should clearly be taking at least 1,000 mg of concentrated fish oil every day.

As the study shows, just doing that will decrease their chance of dying from the disease by 70%. And please keep in mind that these results were not just from the fish oil alone. All of the patients had standard care, including surgery and chemotherapy in addition. It just points out how absolutely important it is to integrate natural therapies along with traditional anti-cancer therapies for the best possible results.


Jenkins, Kristin. “Dietary Omega-3s Linked to Lowered CRC Mortality.” July 23, 2016. http://www.medpagetoday.com/.

Song, M., X. Zhang, et al. “Marine ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis.” Gut, 2016 July 19.

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