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Omega-3s May Help People Prone to Bowel Cancer

A recent study found that omega-3s may help reduce dangerous polyps among people who are prone to bowel cancer.

Polyps are precancerous growths in the bowel that often develop into tumors that may require the removal of large sections of the intestine.

The study was conducted by researchers with the University of Leeds, England, and published in the March 2010 online issue of the journal Gut.

Fifty-four people with a genetic mutation that prompts the development of polyps took part in the study. 27 participants were randomly assigned to receive a two gram daily dose of a new, highly purified form of omega-3 essential fatty acids. The other 27 participants were given a placebo.

After six months, the number of polyps present in the group receiving omega-3s had fallen by 12%. In contrast, the group taking the placebo saw a 10% increase in the number of polyps present.

Additionally, polyp size decreased by 12.5% in the group taking the omega-3 supplement and increased by 17% in the group taking the placebo.

The purified form of omega-3 used in the study is found naturally in some fish such as salmon and mackerel as well as in some nuts such as walnuts, brazil nuts and macadamia nuts. If you find it difficult to incorporate more fish or nuts into your diet, you can also take a high quality fish oil supplement.

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