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Omega-3 may help prevent bowel cancer

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

Consumption of a purified form of omega-3 fatty acid may reduce the number and size of precancerous polyps in individuals genetically predisposed to bowel cancer, according to a new study.

Researchers from St. James's University Hospital in the UK monitored 55 patients who were at an elevated risk of developing familial adenomatous polyposis, which is an inherited condition characterized by polyp development in the large intestine and colon, according to Health Day News.

In the study, a total of 28 patients were randomly assigned to be treated for six months with two grams of a highly purified form of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid per day, while the others were given a placebo treatment.

At the point of follow-up, the research team discovered that the number of polyps decreased by more than 12 percent among those treated with the nutrient, while increasing by nearly 10 percent in those in the control group.

Furthermore, participants taking omega-3 fatty acid experienced an average polyp size decrease of more than 12 percent. In contrast, precancerous bowel growths increased by more than 17 percent among those taking the placebo.

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