A new purified form of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid may help reduce the number and size of precancerous polyps in individuals who are at a high risk of inheriting bowel cancer, a recent study has found.
Lead investigator Mark Hull, professor at the University of Leeds in the UK, says that treatment with specially prepared fish oil appears to be as effective as Celebrex, which is prescribed to people with an elevated genetic risk of developing precancerous polyps in bowel, a condition known as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), according to Health Day News.
In the study, Hull and his colleagues monitored 55 patients who were suffering from FAP. A total of 28 patients were given a daily dose of purified omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, known as EPA, while the others were treated with a placebo.
After six months of follow-up, the research team observed a 12 percent reduction in the number of polyps in the EPA group, while the placebo group showed an increase in both the number and size of precancerous polyps.
“There is definitely a clinical need for an effective, preventative therapy that is both safe and well-tolerated, as the existing drug therapy for FAP can be associated with an increased risk of heart attack in older individuals,” concluded Hull.