The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Effect of omega-3 and -6 on colorectal adenoma risk

    ├é┬áResearchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands have studied the relationship between omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and the risk of colorectal adenoma — a benign tumor.

    First, the details.

    • 861 patients with colorectal adenoma or free of this condition were studied.
    • Associations between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid blood levels and colorectal adenoma risk were made using endoscopy.
    • The results were adjusted for age, gender, and alcohol intake.

    And, the results.

    • Higher omega-3 blood levels were associated with a significantly lower risk of colorectal adenoma.
    • Higher blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (both omega-3s) and the omega-3/-6 ratio were associated with lower colorectal adenoma risk, but not significantly.
      • When the amount of omega-3 increases relative to omega-6, the ratio goes up.
    • In contrast, increased total omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid (an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) were associated with a significant increase in the risk for colorectal adenoma.

    The bottom line?
    Apparently, this is the first evaluation of omega-3 and -6 in the same study.

    But caution, Susan Allport, author of “The Queen of Fats,” warns that omega-6 fatty acids are not “bad.” In fact they are essential for health. We just have too many of them.

    9/24/08 20:52 JR

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