Eat fish three times a week to cut your risk of bowel cancer, says research

Eating three portions of fish each week could cut your risk of developing bowel cancer, suggests new research.

So you might was the load up on the salmon.

Experts from the University of Oxford and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) looked at the diets of 476,160 people through questionnaires.

The surveys included detail on people’s fish intake – including all sorts of fish; white, fatty, oily, and lean.

Researchers found that those who ate fish on a regular basis were 12% less likely to experience bowel cancer than people who ate less than one portion of fish a week.

If you’d like to get super specific, they found that the key amount of fish to cut your bowel cancer risk is 359.1g of fish each week. Crack out the scales.

Symptoms of bowel cancer:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy

All fish consumption was found to be a great thing, but oily fish in particular is linked to a lower risk of bowel cancer. People who ate 123.9g of oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, saw a 10% lower risk of bowel cancer. A typical portion of fish is around 100g, so even adding one portion of oily fish a week could be beneficial to your health.

It’s thought that this is because fatty and oily fish are an extremely rich source of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (good fats, basically), which are believed to have a protective effect in the body and prevent inflammation.

The research was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund in order to strengthen its dietary advice to the public.

Lisa Wilde, director of research and external affairs at Bowel Cancer UK, said: ‘Making simple changes to your lifestyle can help stack the odds against bowel cancer.

‘Including wholegrains, fibre and fish in your diet, being of a healthy body weight, having regular physical activity, avoiding processed meats and limiting red meat, can all make a real difference.’

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