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Studies find that Fish Helps Reduce Risk of Colon Polyps in Women

healthy food According to the New York Times, a new study indicates that women who consume omega-3 fatty acids from fish show a reduced risk for one kind of colon polyp.

While animal studies have pointed toward omega-3 fatty acids as possibly having anti-cancer effects, the results from human studies have been inconclusive. To gain more answers, researchers recruited 5,307 colonoscopy patients, 60 percent of them men, at two Tennessee hospitals over a seven-year period.

Of all the patients studied, 2,141 people had polyps, leaving 3,166 polyp-free controls. All patients were interviewed about diet, health habits and medical history.

After taking age, race, body mass index, smoking and other factors into account, the researchers found that women who consumed three or more servings of fish a week were 33 percent less likely than women in the lowest fifth to have adenomatous polyps, a type likely to become cancerous.

The researchers found no effect in men, and no effect of omega-3 consumption on hyperplastic polyps, which are more likely to be benign.

The American Cancer Society and the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) agree that screening for average risk individuals begins at age 50. Dr. Cofrancesco recommends routine colonoscopies if you are over the age of 50 or have a family member that has had colon cancer. If you are intimidated about having a colonoscopy, you can view our article: “Taking the Scary out of Colonoscopy.”

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