This is huge.
Although we shouldn’t be one bit surprised.
Time and again, in study after study, we’ve see the remarkable power of omega-3 fatty acids. Specifically we’re talking about EPA and DHA–the long-chain omega-3s.
What do they do? What DON’T they do?
They keep your brain healthy and help prevent cognitive decline.
They reduce depression.
They reduce oxidative damage linked to air pollution exposure.
For those of you who have a prostate, consider it protected from inflammation and cancer by generous o-3 intake.
And last year, here’s how one researcher summed up o-3 heart defense: “We now have tremendous and compelling evidence from very large studies, some dating back 20 and 30 years, that demonstrate the protective benefits of omega-3 fish oil in multiple aspects of preventive cardiology.”
So…should we EVER be surprised when omega-3s are shown, once again, to be more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?
But still…this is huge.
All in the family
British and Italian researchers divided 55 subjects into two groups. For six months, about half received a daily supplement that contained two grams of EPA. The other half received placebo.
In the EPA group, the number of bowel polyps and the size of bowel polyps were significantly reduced. In the placebo group, the number and size of polyps increased.
That’s impressive. But here’s what’s huge: Before the study, all subjects were diagnosed with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). In other words, they were all genetically inclined to produce bowel polyps that frequently develop into cancer.
When a supplement protects healthy people from cancer, that’s significant. But when a supplement protects people who are at high risk of a specific cancer…that’s huge.
But wait–it gets even bigger…
The authors of the study also note that the effectiveness of EPA was similar to COX-2 inhibitors, which also curb polyp growth. In fact, if you’re diagnosed with FAP, your doctor will almost certainly prescribe Celebrex or something similar.
And the difference between the two treatments?
COX-2 inhibitors are prescription, non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that sharply increase risk of internal bleeding and heart attack when regularly used.
EPA, on the other hand…well, just go back a few paragraphs for that “protective benefits…in…preventive cardiology” quote.
Only one word for it: huge.
To Your Good Health,
“Eicosapentaenoic Acid Reduces Rectal Polyp Number and Size in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis” Gut, Published online ahead of print 3/18/10, gut.bmj.com
“Omega-3 Review: Half a Gram Needed for Heart Benefits” Stephen Daniells, NutraIngredients-USA, 8/4/09, nutraingredients-usa.com