Fish Oil And Arthritis

Although there are approximately 100 different types of arthritis, the two most common types are Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis and they are the focus of this article.

Here, you’ll learn that fish oil with Omega 3 has been shown to be effective reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and that, while not yet established with sufficient scientific certainty, there are reasons to hope that fish oil is also effective combating the more common osteoarthritis.

Fish Oil And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Fish Oil And ArthritisRheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a nasty autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints with resulting pain and stiffness.

Most clinical studies examining the relationship between fish oil and arthritis have focused on RA.

And a number of those studies have found that fish oil helps reduce the symptoms of RA, including joint pain and morning stiffness.

In one study, published in the October 2006 Journal of Rheumatology, 75% of the study participants were able to reduce their need for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) while taking fish oil.

Another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, indicated that fish oil reduced interleukin-1beta production, resulting in a significant reduction in morning stiffness and painful joint symptoms in RA patients.

However, unfortunately, the studies show that fish oil only treats the symptoms of RA, it does not appear to slow progression of the disease.

Fish Oil And Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis which is caused by chronic degeneration of the cartilage and synovial membrane of the joints, leading to pain and stiffness. It mainly affects people from middle-age on.

No studies have proven that fish oil helps relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis, however there is reason to suspect that it might.

Here’s why.

Osteoarthritis involves an inflammatory process, and fish oil with Omega 3s has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, the reasoning goes, fish oil can help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

A study done in 2004 at the University of Pittsburgh dealt with neck and back pain caused by disc disease and arthritis. The study found that 59% of the participants were able to stop taking pain medication altogether after replacing their ibuprofen with a therapeutic dose of omega 3 fish oil – 1,200 mg a day.

According to one of the heads of the study, Joseph C. Maroon, M.D.:

“It is important for patients to understand that less toxic alternatives to anti-inflammatories are available. Previous studies have shown that omega-3 EFAs prevent blood clots, reduce pain, enhance the immune system and cause dilation of the blood vessels. In fact, as of September of this year, the FDA now recognizes that omega-3 EFAs can prevent coronary artery disease. Two clinical trials also have shown that arthritis patients who take fish oils could eliminate or sharply reduce their use of NSAIDs.”

The Best Fish Oil For Fighting Arthritis

In view of the established benefits of taking fish oil for rheumatoid arthritis and the hoped-for-but-not-yet-proven benefits of taking fish oil for osteoarthritis, you may decide to take a fish oil supplement.

If you do, be sure to choose a supplement that is molecularly distilled for purity and comes from a trusted producer such as Xtend-Life Natural Products of New Zealand.

Return to the fish oil facts home page from fish oil and arthritis.