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Omega 3 Curbs Precancerous Growths

A purified form of an omega 3 fat cuts the number and size of precancerous bowel growths (polyps) in people who are predisposed bowel cancer.

Furthermore, this particular omega 3 (eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA) seems to be as effective as the prescription medicine used to treat familial bowel polyps, but without the associated cardiovascular side effects.

The researchers base their findings on 55 patients, all of whom had previously undergone surgery and were being monitored by endoscopy -- a procedure involving a camera on the end of a flexible tube passed through the rectum.

Twenty eight of the patients were randomly assigned to six months of treatment with a highly purified form of EPA. The other 27 were given the same amount of a placebo. The number of polyps increased by almost 10 percent among those treated with the placebo, but instead fell by more than 12 percent among those treated with the EPA capsules.

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