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New omega-3 fatty acids preparation could protect against precancerous bowel polyps

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A purified form of omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to reduce the size and number of precancerous growths in patients genetically predisposed to bowel cancer, according to findings published this week in the journal Gut.

In the (small) study, 55 patients diagnosed with familial adenomatous polyposis were randomly assigned to consume a daily dose of a highly purified form of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid EPA (which is found in fish) or a placebo for six months. The researchers found:

Significant differences between the two groups of patients. The number of polyps increased by almost 10% among those treated with the placebo, but fell by more than 12 percent among those treated with the EPA capsules, representing a difference of almost 22.5 percent...

...Similarly, polyp size increased by more than 17 percent among those in the placebo group but fell by more than 12.5 percent in those taking the EPA capsules, representing a difference of just under 30 percent.

Photo by Jacob B¯tter

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