I imagine that the lady you met must have been newly diagnosed. I have had ulcerative colitis since 1996. Most of the people that I know with u.c. take omega-3, though perhaps more commonly as fish oil. All of my gastroenterologists have agreed that it can be a useful adjunct to other therapies. In fact, one of the drug companies is developing a supplement drink that combines omega-3’s with the soft fiber found in bananas, vitamin D and some other foods that are very beneficial to u.c., but hard to get in the right propotions. In general though, doctors seem reluctant to recommend diet-only solutions. I have a relatively mild case, but have had two bad flare ups. Consequently I take two of the drugs listed in addition to fish oil. I am hopeful that one day I will get off the other meds, but for now I just take a very low dose of the drugs thanks largely, based on my self-experimentation, to the omega-3s.
The lady I met (who had ulcerative colitis) had had the problem for 14 years. She had not previously heard of using flaxseed oil. “This is your lucky day,” I told her, not because I told her to try flaxseed oil but because I could tell her a good dose (at least 2 T/day). How much is crucial information.
It is very difficult to do experiments, even self-experiments, that measure the effect of different doses of flaxseed oil on ulcerative colitis. I’m sure they haven’t been done. It was her lucky day because I’m pretty sure I was the only person in the world who could have told her with confidence what dose to take. (Which I could do because of the optimize brain –> optimize body principle .) The gastroenterologists who recommend omega-3 as useful additions — they couldn’t say what the best dose is. The drug company making a supplement drink can’t say what the best dose is.
Until you know the best dose of a drug or nutrient — the one that delivers the largest possible effect — you are very likely to underestimate its effectiveness. If Tom starts using a large-enough dose of flaxseed oil he may no longer need other medications.