Fat, fish, fish oil and cancer

C. P.J. Caygill*, A. Charlett, M. J. Hill

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    259 Citations (Scopus)


    There is an ecological association between total and animal fat consumption and colorectal and breast cancer risk. Mortality data for breast and colorectal cancer for 24 European countries correlated, as expected, with the consumption of animal, but not vegetable, fat. There was an inverse correlation with fish and fish oil consumption, when expressed as a proportion of total or animal fat, and this correlation was significant for both male and female colorectal cancer and for female breast cancer, whether the intakes were in the current time period, or 10 years or 23 years before cancer mortality. These effects were only seen in countries with a high ( > 85 g caput-1 day-1) animal fat intake. This evidence suggests that fish oil consumption is associated with protection against the promotional effects of animal fat in colorectal and breast carcinogenesis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)159-164
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


    • Animal fat
    • Breast cancer
    • Cancer prevention
    • Colon cancer
    • Fish
    • Fish oil


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