GRANADA, Spain--A study appearing in the January Journal of Nutrition (132, 1:11-9, 2002) (www.nutrition.org), reported that long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) may improve the intestinal damage and condition-specific inflammation of ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory disease appearing in the large intestine and rectum. The condition is characterized by recurrent episodes of abdominal pain, as well as fever, chills and diarrhea.
In a two-week study, rats with experimental ulcerative colitis were given diets containing either monounsaturated or LC-PUFAs in the form of olive oil, fish oil or animal-based phospholipids. Rats fed fish oil showed significantly less macroscopic and microscopic colonic damage compared to the olive oil and phospholipid groups. The study's authors, from the University of Granada, wrote that these results suggest that a balanced diet containing omega-3 LC-PUFAs could reduce the inflammation and mucosal damage of ulcerative colitis.