It has been known for a long time that colorectal cancer incidence is low in areas with high intake of fish. It was discovered that particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) among the Omega 3 fatty acids is responsible for this effect. Progression from benign adenoma to the most advanced colon cancer has been correlated with a stepwise reduction of mucosal EPA, reinforcing the suggestion that reduced long chain EPA may influence the early stages of colon cancer development.
Clinical trials are in progress with ALFA™ a high purity, oral form of EPA to examine this link.
Fish oil, which is commercially available as a food additive, contains EPA in mostly ethyl ester form, which is poorly absorbed in the body. For therapeutic use, high doses are required over a long period of time. It is not practical to administer EPA as fish oil, because compliance would be low due to the large volume of capsules required, and other unpleasant side effects associated with fish oil use.
ALFA™ is absorbed faster and in a greater quantity than EPA in ethyl ester form, which is commonly found in commercially available capsules and oils. It is extracted from fish oil according to a proprietary process and administered as a capsule by a patented formulation, which releases the Free Fatty Acid EPA to the small bowel. Each capsule contains 500mg Free Fatty Acid form EPA. To put this in perspective with other fish oil’s available: 4 capsules of ALFA™ are required to administer 2 grams of free fatty acid EPA, which equates to around 30 capsules of currently commercially available omega 3 fatty acid as ethyl ester from fish oil!
ALFA™ is currently undergoing trials. The first study completed looked at the effect ALFA™ may have on the bowel and showed that a number of patients had beneficial changes. These results indicated that by taking ALFA on a regular basis, over a period of six months, they may help in maintaining a healthy bowel.
Further trials are in progress. The first takes the original study further and should help to confirm the original findings and another trial will look at a younger group of patients.
If you are interested in learning more about ALFA™, please contact via Contact Us page