The Omegas, Prostaglandins & Inflammation JoAnn Guest Dec 24, 2004
Anti-inflammatory Potential of Essential Fatty Acids in UC, IBS &
From "Omega-3 Oils,"
by Donald Rudin, MD and Clara Felix,
In one study, doctors in Bologna and Turin, Italy, gave fish-oil
capsules three times a day for one year to thirty-nine Crohn's
patients for about eight months. A similar control group of thirty-nine
patients received capsules that contained neutral oils.
The fish-oil capsules were specially formulated to
reduce fishy odor and to improve absorption of Omega-3 EPA and DHA.
Reducing the odor was important, because until the trial was over,
neither the doctors nor the patients knew which patients had gotten
After a year of ingesting 2.7 grams of EPA and DHA every day,
twenty-three of the patients who received the fish oils were still
in remission. By contrast, only eleven of the thirty-nine control
patients stayed in remission.
In Crohn's disease, bowel tissue contains abnormally high levels of
inflammation- producing, bad prostaglandins from Omega-6
ARA (arachadonic acid).
In the patients taking the fish oil whose illness remained in
remission, redblood cell levels of ARA plunged,
while levels of
Omega-3 EPA and DHA rose greatly.
In general, laboratory tests indicated that inflammation decreased
in the fish oil patients, but increased in the control patients.
is another chronic inflammatory disease, usually of the large
intestine, in which ulceration and erosion of the bowel tissue
cause severe diarrhea and loss of blood, as well as weakness and
As in Crohn's disease,bowel tissue shows high levels of "bad,"
ARA-(arachadonic acid)produced prostaglandins.
The worse the symptoms, the higher the levels of these trouble-
In one study, conducted by William Stenson of Washington University
School of medicine, twenty-four patients with active ulcerative colitis
who took fish- oil capsules for four months showed a big drop in "bad"
These patients also showed bowel tissue healing and reduced rectal
bleeding,and they gained badly needed weight.
The capsules contained 5.4 grams of EPA and DHA.
Moreover, seven patients who were also getting prednisteroid steroid
drugs,were able to cut their dosages in half.