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Can Fish Oil Reduce Breast Cysts?

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" class="bodyimage" /> Q. I recently began taking fish oil for heart health. I have fibrocystic breasts, and after about a week on fish oil I noticed a reduction in the number and size of the cysts.

Is there any evidence that fish oil can eliminate these bumps? I am thrilled, since I was always a little nervous that I might overlook a serious lump thinking it was a cyst.

A. We have not found any studies showing that fish oil can make breast cysts go away. Since you are taking the fish oil for your heart anyway, keep on taking it. Cysts in the breast are not dangerous, but they can make it more difficult to detect a problem during breast self-exams.
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I am not a person to eat much fish, and in fact my Mom has always discouraged it because she and her mother, my grandmother, are/were allergic to fish and shellfish. Almost 10 years ago, however, I began taking fish oil for chronic pain (LBP/DDD/Fibro) and also because I lost my father to heart disease at 71 (a man who had spent many years as a vegetarian and had been given a clean bill of health at his physical just weeks before he died).

Within weeks of taking fish oil daily on the recommendation of my chiropractor, I noticed that my fibrocystic breasts, which had been repeatedly aspirated, calmed down dramatically (the pain if not the actual cysts). Concurrently, I also had random "cysts" floating around in my feet, something my mother had also experienced in her elbow and feet (at a loss, I would actually try to pop them as excruciating as it was). In particular, the cysts in my feet were tender and painful because I had to walk on them daily!

Meanwhile, the podiatrist I consulted didn't believe me because they were not superficially visible (and the X-rays were not diagnostic). Fortunately, after taking the fish oil for about three months, I noticed that all but one "cyst" disappeared with the regular consumption of high-quality EPA/DHEA supplementation (a brand sold only in healthcare offices).

Fish oil does work, and if it's not working it's probably rancid (unfortunately, a lot of store brands are). I really hope that more study is conducted into high-quality fish oil supplementation --- it's best use may not even be for the heart!

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