U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
Belchertown, MA
A 63-year-old male asked:

In addition to eating salmon, i take fish oil caps because of family history of alzheimer's. should i give them up because of link to prostate cancer?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Werner
Cardiology 46 years experience
Yes and no: The evidence that suggests there is a protective effect from fish oil against alzheimer's is weak and tentative. I wouldn't take it for that indication. While we're at it, the link showing reduced heart disease is weak too. The strong link is eating fish. Your salmon is good.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 46 years experience
Dr. Werner is correct, and I'm also totally unimpressed with the new claim about a link to prostate cancer. Especially when the claim makes no sense biologically, look for a confounding variable. Perhaps people who take fish oil capsules / eat fish are more health conscious, go to the doctor more, and get prostate cancer diagnosed more often. Generally, be skeptical about "health news items" that show correlations that don't make sense -- they're generally not a good guide to planning your life. Enjoy eating your salmon for its own sake.
Jul 18, 2013
Dr. Alvin Lin
Dr. Alvin Lin commented
Geriatrics 32 years experience
Excellent points, Dr. F.
Jul 28, 2013
Dr. Calvin Weisberger
53 years experience
Fish oil: The fish oil link to prostatic ca is not proven as far as I am aware.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Nov 2, 2015


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.