A randomized trial of dietary intervention with essential fatty acids in patients with categorized cysts

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1990;586:288-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1990.tb17819.x.


Two hundred women with breast cysts proven by aspiration were entered into a randomized double-blind trial of Efamol (evening primrose oil) at a dose of 6 capsules daily or equivalent placebo dose for a year. Cysts were categorized by initial electrolyte composition, and follow-up continued for 1 year posttherapy. Recurrent cyst formation in the first year was slightly (but not significantly) lower in the Efamol group compared with the placebo-treated group. The Efamol treatment was well tolerated as the dropout rate was only 7% and equal in both the active and placebo groups. The initial electrolyte composition did not predict for cyst recurrence.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Fatty Acids, Essential / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease / analysis
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Oils
  • Potassium / analysis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recurrence
  • Sodium / analysis
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Fatty Acids, Essential
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Plant Oils
  • evening primrose oil
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid
  • Sodium
  • Potassium