Fish Oils Give Hope to Crohn's Patients

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Fish Oils Give Hope to Crohn's Patients

Crohn's disease is characterized by periods of active disease interspersed with periods of remission. Now researchers at the University of Bologna report that fish oils prevent relapses. Their experiment involved 78 patients with Crohn's disease who had been classified as having a high risk of relapse. Half the patients were randomly selected to receive nine fish oil capsules daily, the other half received nine placebo capsules daily. The capsules were enteric-coated so as to ensure that they dissolved in the small intestine instead of in the stomach.

The results of the fish oil therapy were spectacular. While 69 per cent of the patients in the control group had a relapse during the one-year study period, only 28 per cent in the therapy group did. At the end of the one-year period 59 per cent of the patients in the fish oil group were still in remission as compared to only 26 per cent in the placebo group. The researchers conclude that fish oil therapy (with enteric-coated capsules) is effective in preventing relapses in patients with Crohn's disease in remission. (Note: This study was supported in part by Tillotts Pharma of Switzerland, the manufacturer of the enteric-coated fish oil capsules).

The New England Journal of Medicine, June 1996

Canadian Health Reform Products Ltd.

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