Omega fish oils and colitis

Colitis is a chronic condition of the digestive system characterized by inflammation of the large intestine or colon. It affects the tissue lining of the gastrointestinal system which comprises of the small intestine and large intestine. The colon performs the function of collection and storage of waste that results from digestion. From the colon, the waste is pushed towards the anal canal from where it is expelled from the body during bowel movements.

There are a variety of factors that could cause inflammation of the colon. Bacteria and viruses can commonly result in infections of the large intestine. These are generally conditions that arise from consuming contaminated food. The C difficile bacteria cause a condition called pseudomembranous colitis which usually occurs in individuals who are on a course of antibiotic treatment. The antibiotics alter the balance of bacteria in the colon and the levels of C difficile bacteria increase. These bacteria, release a toxin which results in diarrhea. Ischemic colitis occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the large intestine become narrow, leading to loss of blood supply and inflammation. Inflammatory bowel disease can be of two types, ulcerative colitis which is an autoimmune disease, and crohn’s disease which can affect any part of digestive system. Microscopic colitis occurs when the layers of the intestinal wall become bloated with lymphocytes or collagen, resulting in inflammation. Chemical colitis occurs when chemicals cause inflammation of the colon, such as due to an enema.

Omega 3 fatty acids, which are contained in fish oil, possess anti-inflammatory properties and as such are beneficial in alleviating inflammation. Studies have shown that individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis have reported improvement with daily intake of fish oil. Studies have also shown that omega 3 fatty acids may not necessarily be effective in preventing inflammation, but do positively affect existing inflammation. Besides fish oil, there are other natural remedies as well that aid the treatment of colitis. Drinking the juice of cabbage or eating cabbage is known to be effective in relieving inflammation. Many individuals also obtain relief from eating ripe papaya or drinking papaya juice. Buttermilk consumed three times daily is beneficial in alleviating inflammation of the colon. Another effective home remedy that is commonly used to treat colitis is to add a mixture of a teaspoon of drumstick juice and a teaspoon of honey to a glass of coconut water and drink twice daily.

answered by G R

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