Fish Oil EC and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Several ground breaking studies point to the therapeutic value of omega-3 fatty acids found in stabilized fish oil concentrates, especially in the promotion of cardiovascular health and combat against inflammation. The omega-3 fatty acid, eicosapentanoic acid [EPA], has anti-inflammatory properties which were reviewed in an editorial by Dr. Humphrey J. Hodgson, DM, in the New England Journal of Medicine on June 13, 1996. An article entitled “EFFECT OF AN ENTERIC-COATED FISH-OIL PREPARATION ON RELAPSES IN CROHN’S DISEASE” from Dr. Andrea Belluzzi, MD and colleagues accompanied this editorial (NEJMed. June 13.96).

Mounting evidence supports the early findings of Dr. Belluzzi and colleagues that Crohn’s disease may be maintained in remission in a significant proportion of patients by the use of enteric coated fish oil preparations. The advantages of enteric-coated fish oil include lack of adverse effects that cause poor compliance. These effects include unpleasant taste, halitosis, flatulence and diarrhea, especially at high doses. In addition, enteric coating delays the release of fish oil and protects it from gastric acid, with resulting enhanced bioavailability of the active omega fatty acids.

High doses of fish oil are required often to suppress inflammation and the dose has to be titrated to a clinical effect. Of course, this is only possible with a formulation of fish oil that contains high concentrations of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid EPA in an enteric coated capsule. This formulation of enteric coated fish oil permits targeted delivery to the site of maximum absorption of active omega-3 fatty acids in the small bowel. The enteric coat prevents destruction of the active omega-3 fatty acids by stomach acid. Large capsules of fish oil may not provide optimal absorption because these capsules open in the stomach and much of the active constituents of the capsules are destroyed by stomach acid. This makes the high concentration, enteric coated fish oil is one of the best dietary supplement sources of fish oil in the market.
Enteric coated fish oil is available as a dietary supplement. Dietary supplements are not intended to diagnose, prevent or treat any disease.

Liquid fish oils are unpleasant to take and they are often spontaneously oxidized as soon as the cap is removed from the bottle. Some may even have heavy metal contamination. Natures Benefit, inc. recommends that people with inflammatory bowel disease discuss the benefits of high concentration fish oil in enteric coated format with their healthcare-givers.

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