One more reason to take Omega-3 daily

Back in September 2009, Dr. Izzy said in this video that everybody should take omega-3 supplement daily.

On Sunday, Dr. Izzy added one more reasons for people to take omega-3 in a regular basis, especially for those who are prone to colon cancer with premalignant polyps in the bowel. There are evidences that taking this omega-3 fatty acids on a regular basis reduced significantly the risk of developing these polyps as Dr. Izzy mentions in the video.

Late in his life my father had problems with his colon. Based on the work of Dr. Gardner back in 1950th, most of the medical doctors know now that polyps and colon cancer are hereditary.

That’s why family history is such an important factor for doctors to decide when and why someone needs to get a colonoscopy. They may find if those polyps are the ones that make someone prone to colon cancer or not.

When I was 52, my doctor asked me to get a colonoscopy because of my family history. I think they took out five or so polyps then, but I was told that all were benign. Two years ago, I went for my 5 years follow up. They took another polyp away but again, it was benign. Oops, that means another 3 years and I have to go again. Yuuk! 😆

Now let’s see what other experts said about this.

A search for “Omega 3 polyps” in pubmed site provided 18 references including:

  • the work of G. L. Eastwood in 1998, which cited a few references from late 1980 – 1990 on the use of omega 3 in cancer treatments.
  • the work of an Italian group back in 1992 which concluded that in their short-term trial, fish oil appeared to exert a rapid effect that may protect high-risk subjects from colon cancer, and
  • the lastest work that is published in British Medical Journal, March 2010 edition which says that the EPA holds promise as a colorectal cancer chemoprevention agent with a favourable safety profile.

However, all these research papers were written for the consumptions of medical community, and all of them are Greek to me. Fortunately, Guardian (UK) has translated the last paper on the list into a plain English report for people like you and me with no medical background, — Fish oil may reduce bowel cancer risk for genetically vulnerable. For example, instead of using EPA as in the title of the paper, which stands for Eicosapentaenoic acid, one of the two most widely studied omega-3 fatty acids, the author simply used Fish oil in his title.

  • If you need more info, I found that the Cleveland Clinic provides an easy to follow explanation that I believe was put up on to the website in 2006.
  • If you need a short description on what is the symptom of polyps and how to find it out, Mayo Clinic site provided a simple and easy to follow explanation and all related information one page at a time.

Here is what you can find about FAP on Cleveland Clinic site:

FAP is an inherited colorectal cancer syndrome and accounts for 1 percent of all cases of colorectal cancer. The “F” stands for familial, meaning it runs in families; “A” stands for adenomatous, the type of polyps detected in the colon and small intestine that can turn into cancer; and “P” stands for polyposis, or the condition of having lots of colon polyps. The gene for FAP is on the long arm of chromosome 5 and is called the APC gene.

Patients with FAP develop hundreds to thousands of colon polyps, usually starting in the teens. All patients will develop colorectal cancer from the colon polyps usually by age 40. Patients with FAP must have the colon, and sometimes the rectum, removed to prevent colon cancer.

Since the abnormal gene that causes FAP is present in all of the body’s cells, other organs may develop growths.

With all these info, definitely, I’m going to keep omega 3 in my daily supplements list. From the fact that polyps may start in our teens, I think if you have a family history of polyps or you are prone to colon cancer, please don’t wait until you reach my age before going to talk to your doctor. 🙂

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