I am intrigued with the possible insulin connection to hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer, so a study in the Journal of Physiology caught my eye. Researchers in Canada found that omega-3 fatty acids may help regulate insulin sensitivity and build muscle mass. The study, which used steers as subjects, concluded that omega-3s can jumpstart the protein synthesis in the skeletal muscle that slows down with age and causes insulin resistance and loss of muscle mass.
Patients who have gone through chemotherapy might benefit from omega-3s for another reason: These fatty acids have been shown to be beneficial to heart health, which could help with the damage that might be done to the heart muscle by Adriamycin, one of the most common chemo drugs.
Omega-3s come from oily fish like tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and swordfish. Flaxseed, walnuts and wheat germ contain some omega-3s, but not at the levels of fish oil.