The Link Between Eating Fish and Exercising and Colon Cancer Recurrence


If you have (or have had) colon cancer, you now have one more reason to eat omega-3-packed fish and exercise regularly. Dr. Dirk and Northstar explain the connection between colon cancer and eating fish and regular exercise.

According to a multinational study of more than 1,500 colon cancer patients, eating fish more than twice a week and getting more than 60 minutes of moderate exercise on a weekly basis can prevent the cancer’s recurrence.

Researchers found that study participants who ate fish fewer than two times per week and got less than one hour of exercise per week were more than twice as likely to have a recurrence of their colon cancer.

Though the study does not provide a clear cause-and-effect relationship between colon cancer risk and eating fish and exercising, researchers hypothesize the omega-3 fatty acids in fish may have something to do with the reduced risk of cancer recurrence.

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish reduce inflammation in the body that can damage blood vessels and cause heart disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, eating one to two servings of fish each week can reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack.

Exercise is also important for heart health and is good for your energy levels and mental and emotional state. Exercise, like omega-3s, prevents inflammation in the body and staves off obesity—two risk factors for colon cancer, heart disease, diabetes and several other health conditions.

Wondering what type of fish to eat? Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and tuna contain the highest amounts of omega-3s, but you can get your dose of omega-3 fatty acids from just about any fish. Just keep in mind that frying your fish is not as healthy as grilling or baking it.

What are you having for dinner tonight?