June is National Outdoors Month and everyone is encouraged to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather this month has to offer. Warm temperatures are beckoning us, daylight hours are extended and the sun is shining. But, we’ve all heard the warnings. The sun can be dangerous. Practice sun safety by avoiding prolonged exposure and using sunscreen. Reapply after swimming. If only there was something more you could do to avoid skin cancer. Recent research suggests there is.
A study conducted at the University of Manchester suggests that taking omega-3 supplements may help prevent skin cancer. The study was the first clinical trial to examine the impact of fish oil on the skin immunity of volunteers. Researchers analyzed the effect of taking omega-3 supplements on 79 healthy volunteers.
Results of the study, funded by the Association for International Cancer Research, found that people who consumed 5 grams of omega-3’s a day experienced 50 percent less suppression to their immune system when they were exposed to up to 15 minutes of sun. Specifically, it reduced sunlight-induced suppression of the immune system, known as immunosuppression, which affects the body’s ability to fight skin cancer and infection. The findings were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The results of this study are important in the battle against skin cancer because previous research has shown that sunscreens are often applied inadequately and only worn at the beach or poolside. However, researchers stressed that omega-3’s are not a substitute for sunscreen and physical protection, and that omega-3’s should be regarded as an additional small measure to encourage sun safety. Taking an omega-3 supplement could also lead to a wide range of potential health benefits including improved cardiovascular health and reduced inflammation.