Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Omega-3 fatty acids no help in managing Crohn's disease, study finds

TORONTO — A Canadian-led study says omega-3 fatty acids do not help in the management of Crohn's disease.

Many sufferers use omega-3 supplements in the belief they reduce relapses, a practice that may trace back to a small Italian study that suggested relapses dropped 33 per cent in people taking the supplements.

But a new study, based on two larger trials, found the supplements did not prevent relapses in people suffering from the painful inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract.

The study was published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lead author Dr. Brian Feagan of the Robarts Research Institute at the University of Western Ontario says small, single centre trials like the Italian study have been shown in the past to overestimate the true effects of a treatment being tested.

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