Update from the medical world about omega-3 supplements...

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Sarita
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   Posted 4/9/2008 12:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Just thought I would share my newfound knowledge from the Journal of the American Medical Association (a very reputable, rigorously peer-reviewed journal in the medical world)...

The most recent study involving the use of omega-3 fatty acids in an attempt to maintain remission in Crohn's patients showed that use of these supplements did NOT decrease the likelihood of disease recurrence, as we might have hoped it would.

This study, which involved over 350 patients, comes several years after one group showed some evidence of Crohn's patients benefitting from taking omega-3 supplements to maintain remission. The older study only involved ~75 patients, which may have contributed to the discrepancy in the test results...the smaller the sample size, the less sure you can be about the results.

In this most recent and larger study, there was no statistical difference in disease activity among people taking the omega-3 versus those taking a placebo.

They did, however, notice a significant decrease in the omega-3 group's triglyceride levels, so they are at least good for something!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.


RedAdmin
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Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 1017
   Posted 4/9/2008 6:14 AM (GMT -7)   
This may be what they discovered, but they also tell us that there is no scientific evidance that diet will affect our disease. I give DHA to my daughter to help with her ADHD and with the begining symptoms of CD. I know that if she does not take it for a few days she gets really backed up and I would rather she take this than something with a lot of man made chemicals in it.

thanks for the update I am sure others will find it useful.
Red (Lee Ann)
 Happy Bunny 
      When life gives you lemons, squirt juice in your enemy's eyes.


Illini
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 4/9/2008 8:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Good to know, and in my opinion, kind of sad... I had read the paper from 1996 and it seemed promising.

But it won't stop me from taking omega-3 supplements. I asked my GI if I could start and he said of course, he takes fish oil supplements himself. :)
 


Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 4/9/2008 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I say if something is working for someone, regardless of what the studies say, as long as it has no known deleterious side effects, it's OK in my opinion. I myself started taking omega-3 a long time ago with the hopes my bowel problems would be relieved. It hasn't made a lick of difference (I've been taking them for over a year now), but it was worth a shot because the potential benefits outweighed the risks. Now, if you were taking a pharmaceutical that has no known benefit but several side effects, I would be much more cautious...but I don't think omega-3s can hurt. Just like I don't think making major dietary changes, if you are getting the nutrients you need, is harmful whatsoever. We have to do what works for us!

I figured it's always good to get the information out there, no matter what. Education is the key...
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.


sjkly
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 4/9/2008 2:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Omega 3s seem to make my arthritis medications work better. They are not enough by themselves to keep the inflamation out of my joints but they do seem to help so I will keep taking them even if they aren't having much effect on other things.
Sj

CrazyHarry
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 4/9/2008 5:00 PM (GMT -7)   
whatever. there are a lot of "natural" anti-inflammatory herbs and remedies out there for the FDA to say doesnt work.

i think the best reason to take omega 3 supplements is that the standard american diet is extremely deficient in this EFA. yes, salmon has omega 3 but you need the ocean/wild caught salmon, not the farm raised as the omega 3 in the farm raised mutates into omega 6 (this is documented). it is best from an animal source, like cod liver (far superior to fish oil), in that it is in a usable form for your body. the plant version, ALA, found in walnuts, almonds and flax seeds, must be transformed by your body into a more readily usable form. plus cod liver gives you natural vitamins A and D - your fortified pasteurized homogenized milk doesnt do that.

here is some more info for you (sorry i didnt annotate this for any one wanting to check up on this):


Essential fatty acids (EFAs) cannot be created by the body and thus must be obtained through diet. The two primary EFAs are omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, and aiding in the reduction of symptoms from hypertension, depression, joint pain and problems associated with rheumatoid arthritis, and some skin ailments. There is current research indicating that omega-3s can increase the immune system, helping protect us from all sorts of illnesses.

Omega-6 fatty acids are found in plant based foods, such vegetable oils, grains, and cereals. Omega-6s are good for healthy skin, lowering cholesterol, and aid in the clotting function of blood.

The American diet is overwhelming heavy in omega-6s. New research is showing that the beneficial effects essential fatty acids have on health are attained through a balance of omega-3s and omega-6s, roughly a ratio of 4 parts omega-3s to 1 part omega-6s. Most of us are severely short on omega-3s. A disproportion of EFAs high in omega-6s can promote chronic inflammation, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and auto-immunity. This means you need to begin including more omega-3 rich foods into your diet.
Crazy Harry

---------------------------------------------
Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07


Sarita
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 4/9/2008 5:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not saying they're not beneficial, by any means. Omega-3s have been proven to lower triglycerides and decrease certain types of inflammatory responses, among other benefits. I'm just saying that they haven't been shown to be effective in this trial in maintaining 375 patients' remission from Crohn's disease. It is what it is.
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.


CrazyHarry
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 4/9/2008 6:17 PM (GMT -7)   
that is what i understood as your intention. i was just throwing in my 2 cents (and some change) that even if a study can "prove" omega 3 has no anti-inflammatory properties it is still a good thing to take for many other reasons. so no hard feelings. thanks for the post though. always interesting to read this kind of stuff.
Crazy Harry

---------------------------------------------
Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07


broomhilda
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 4/9/2008 9:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I can't tolerate the oil caplets. I would like to try cod liver oil but I'm to freaked out by the Omega 3's. I get mine mostly from wild caught salmon. Couldn't take the Omega 3's long enough to determine if it helped my CD or not.
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.


jhess
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/9/2008 9:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know how well this helps me or my son (both of us with CD), but it sure helps him with his IBS.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 4/9/2008 9:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm planning on continuing with my omegas 3-6-9...it's something our bodies need and do not produce.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


Krica
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 4/10/2008 3:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, i take fish oil, a high dose, folic acid, and i am on homeopathic treatment as well. I have stricture, i am doing very well at moment, not systoms of the disease. That is quite suprise, because my esticture is very narrow.
 
I take also imuram 150 mg a  day.
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