Fish Oil and Crohn's Disease

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Fish Oil and Crohn's Disease

Reference: Belluzzi A, Brinola C, Campieri M, et al. Effect of an enteric-coated fish-oil preparation on relapses in Crohn's disease. N Eng J Med 1996; 334:1557-60.

Summary: Male and female patients with Crohn's disease, in remission for 3 to 12 months, were randomized to receive either three enteric-coated fish oil capsules daily or placebo for one year. The fish oil capsules delivered a total of 1.8 g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 0.9 g of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily. Relapse of active disease, based on an elevation of the Crohn's Disease Activity Index (which looks at several symptoms, including hematocrit, body weight and opiate use for diarrhea control) for two weeks, occurred in 69% of the 39 patients receiving placebo and 28% of the 39 patients taking fish oil. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, serum alpha-2 globulins and serum alpha-1-acid glycoprotein levels were all significantly improved in patients taking fish oil compared to the placebo group. Arachidonic acid was shown to be almost completely gone from erythrocyte membranes in study participants taking fish oil, replaced largely by EPA and DHA. Though four patients taking fish oil and one taking placebo reported diarrhea, it did not stop when they dropped out of the study and stopped treatment. There were no other adverse effects.

Natural Product Research Consultants, Inc.

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