BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7047.1682 (Published 29 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1682

Fish oil has been recommended as a treatment for several chronic inflammatory diseases, but it tastes unpleasant and has side effects such as flatulence and diarrhoea. Enteric coated capsules of fish oil are more acceptable, and a controlled trial of treatment with these capsules has shown that it benefits patients with Crohn's disease (New England Journal of Medicine 1996;334:1557-60). The study, of 78 patients treated for one year, found that 23 (59%) of those given the active preparation stayed in remission as compared with 10 (26%) of those given the placebo. A tenth of the patients given active treatment dropped out because they had side effects.

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is well established as a diagnostic technique for assessing diseases of the biliary tract, but it is not without risk. A leading article in “Gut” (1996;38:799-800) puts the risk of clinical acute pancreatitis at between 1% and 5%, while as many as half those investigated may develop hyperamylasaemia. Deaths have occurred. Research groups are trying to identify the risk factors for this complication and to find treatments that prevent its development.

Between 1985 and 1993 in the United States the rates of teenage homicide (both as victims and as perpetrators) more than doubled, with …

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