There is strong evidence that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can help reduce arthritis and joint pain, working as an anti-inflammatory.
Two of the fatty acids, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), help to reduce inflammation that occurs in arthritic joints, thereby reducing pain as well, according to Healthline
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In addition to helping arthritis joint pain, omega-3 fatty acids are often recommended to help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
A May 2008 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information
found evidence that dietary omega-3 fats work as treatment of inflammatory joint disease.
"There is high level evidence … for symptomatic benefits from fish oil use in rheumatoid arthritis, and there is biologic plausibility for its clinical effects," the study said. "Fish oil also has safety advantages in reducing cardiovascular risk via direct cardiovascular effects and via non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-sparing. This is an important aspect of fish oil use, given the increased cardiovascular risk in rheumatoid arthritis."
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Doctors say omega-3 fatty acids are part of a comprehensive treatment plan to help arthritis sufferers.
"You've got to take a whole-body approach to treating arthritis pain," Sharon Plank, a physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School Center for Integrative Medicine, told WebMD
Scientists have some immune system concerns about people who ingest too many omega-3 fatty acids, so talk to a doctor about your diet and supplements before making changes.
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