07 February 2009

Can fish oil replace drugs to treat Crohn's?

It's too bad anti-inflammation drugs, cortisone, steroids and immune system suppressors have to be used with this disease.

Fish oil enjoys fame for helping to reduce inflammation in joints (1-2), which would suggest it might be helpful in Crohn's disease. But the fish oil hope for this inflammatory disease was extinguished last month; as study showed it caused no adverse effects, but had no beneficial effects either (3). Shucks.


1. Calder PC. Session 3: Joint Nutrition Society and Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute Symposium on 'Nutrition and autoimmune disease' PUFA, inflammatory processes and rheumatoid arthritis. Proc Nutr Soc 2008;67:409-18.

2. Adam O, Beringer C, Kless T et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of a low arachidonic acid diet and fish oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatol Int 2003;23:27-36.

3. Turner D, Zlotkin SH, Shah PS, Griffiths AM. Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) for maintenance of remission in Crohn's disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009;CD006320.

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