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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Nov;187(5):1389-94.

Evening primrose oil and fish oil for severe chronic mastalgia: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Vrije Universiteit University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of evening primrose oil and fish oil on breast pain in premenopausal women with severe chronic mastalgia, in a randomized double-blind factorial clinical trial.


One hundred twenty women were placed randomly into four groups: (1) fish oil and control oil, (2) evening primrose oil and control oil, (3) fish and evening primrose oils, or (4) both control oils during 6 months. Corn oil and corn oil with wheat germ oil were used as control oils. The change in the percentage of days with breast pain after 6 months of treatment was analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis.


The decrease in days with pain was 12.3 % for evening primrose oil and 13.8% for its control oil (P =.73); the decrease in days with pain was 15.5% for fish oil and 10.6% for its control oil (P =.28).


All groups showed a decrease in pain. Neither evening primrose oil nor fish oil offered clear benefit over control oils in the treatment of mastalgia.

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