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Omega-3s Protect Against Skin Cancer

Omega-3s Protect Against Skin Cancer

Clams, shrimp, salmon . . . which one can do nice things for your skin? Salmon has the edge.

Research suggests that dining on fish high in omega-3 fatty acids—such as salmon—could decrease your odds of developing potentially precancerous skin growths called actinic keratoses.

The fish factor
In a 5-year Australian study, people who ate a serving of tuna, salmon or sardines at least once every 5 days were almost 30 percent less likely to develop the troubling skin spots, compared with people who ate little or no fish. Why? Maybe because these fish are particularly high in omega-3s, fats that seem to help calm inflammation in skin cells. They are also a good source of vitamins D and A, two other nutrients known for either cancer-fighting or age-fighting qualities. 

Care about keratoses?
Actinic keratoses result from years of sun exposure and may appear to be something as insignificant as a rough or scaly patch of skin that won't go away. Not all of them turn into cancer, but you should have a dermatologist examine any changes in your skin's texture or appearance.

Recipe corner
Ready for some fun, quick, healthy and tasty new takes on fish? Try these recipes:

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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