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Question:
Can taking fish oil or calcium supplements increase my risk of prostate cancer? My doctor recommended that I stop taking them since I have an enlarged prostate.

Answer:
The evidence regarding fish oil and prostate cancer is mixed: some observational studies have found an increased risk among men with high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, but fish oil supplementation has not been found to increase the risk of prostate cancer. There are studies currently underway that are investigating this issue.  

Similarly, the research on calcium supplementation and prostate cancer is far from conclusive. However, the evidence suggests that most men over the age of 50 can probably get all the calcium they need from foods, and should limit their total intake from foods and supplements.

See the Fish Oil Review and the Calcium Supplements Review for more about prostate cancer risk.

For more about products for an enlarged prostate, see Prostate Supplements Review.


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Raymond11240   September 4, 2016
Several studies have shown that calcium supplements increase calcium deposits in the arteries of the heart leading to heart attacks. That is an obvious connection that has been missed until recently.

ConsumerLab.com   September 6, 2016
Thank you Raymond, you can read more about this in the Calcium Supplements Review: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/calcium/#heartattack

JOHN550   February 15, 2015
So if getting calcium from foods is acceptable for men over 50, is milk one of those foods?

Helen692   April 26, 2015
See the Dr. Mirkin website on milk and on calcium. He cites studies showing that drinking significant amounts of milk is not a good idea for adults, partly because it contains galactose, that is a needless sugar.
I have a relative, middle-aged male with rather low levels of testosterone. He loves milk and happens to have an enlarged prostate. Maybe it's a coincidence, but it's worth understanding these relationships better.

Robert11233   September 4, 2016
I have corresponded with Dr. Mirkin on this matter and he agreed that drinking lactose free milk solves that problem.

This CL Answer initially posted on 2/15/2015. Last updated 8/4/2017.

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