Fish Oils and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Several reports show that fish oils reduce pain and swelling in the joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Most doctors feel that rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which a person's immunity attacks joints, instead of doing its job of killing germs. Many doctors feel that this condition is started by infection, and others feel that it may be caused by diet. Polyunsaturated fats are classified into omega-3s and omega-6s. Omega-6s found in many vegetable oils form arachidonic acid that can destroy cartilage in joints. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease production of arachidonic acid to reduce pain and swelling. Several double-blind, placebo-controlled trials show that taking extra omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils and whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts, and reducing omega-6s in extracted vegetable oils, helps reduce pain and swelling in rheumatoid arthritis. Also see reports #J106 and #J159.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids and rheumatoid arthritis. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 2001, Vol 4, Iss 2, pp 115-121. PC Calder, RB Zurier. Calder PC, Univ Southampton, Inst Human Nutr, Bassett Crescent E, Southampton SO16 6PX, Hants, ENGLAND

Checked 5/3/09

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