Fish Oil Relieves Symptoms
Fish Oil and Rheumatoid Arthritis
of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating systemic inflammatory disease afflicting millions of Americans and millions more world wide. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by higher than normal levels of leukotriene B4 and interleukin 1 in the human body. Recent studies have shown that supplementation with fish oil may help to reduce levels of leukotriene and interleukin whereby relieving the inflammation, stiffness and severe tenderness associated with arthritis.
Fish Oil and Rheumatoid Arthritis Analysis
Joel Kremer a doctor of medicine at Albany College along with other medical researchers concludes concerning fish oil supplementation and rheumatoid arthritis that consumer 3-6 grams of fish oil daily for 12 weeks or more will significantly reduce join pain and stiffness in those suffering from arthritis. Additional studies indicate that some patiets taking fish oil will recover enough to allow them to discontinue high doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac and naproxen. Dr. Kremer allow asserts that taking fish oil has also be found to be useful in the treatment of IBS (inflammatory bowel disease syndrome).
A recent analysis was performed by Harvard Medical Schools covering 10 double-blind, randomized clinical studies to determine the effect if any that fish oil has on 8 common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. These symptoms included number of tender joints, number of swollen joints, level of stiffness, grip strength, erythrocyte sedimentation rates and overall assessment of the severity of the disease. The analyzed studies included nearly 400 participants who took regular doses of fish oil supplements for over three months. Of the 8 symptoms measured by the studies revealed that the group taking fish oil experienced a marked decrease in the number of tender joints and a much shorter duration of morning stiffness.
Over 13 randomized clinical trials provide evidence supporting claims that there are significant benefits for rheumatoid arthritis patients who take fish oil supplements. One 15-week study involved 50 rheumatoid arthritis patients all with diets that included less than 10 grams per day of omega-6 fatty acids. Fifty percent of the group were give 40 mg/kg body of fish oil daily (about 3 to 6 grams) while the other half of the group was given a placebo resembling fish oil. While no noticeable changes were observed during the first 8 weeks of the study after week 15 significant improvements were observed in the patients that were taking fish oil. These included a decrease in tenderness joints and joint stiffness, increase in grip strength and all overall general decrease in the severity of the disease.
Some doctors have concluded that dietary fish oil supplements should now be considered part of standard therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.
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A number of references in this text were taken from the following sources:
Kremer, Joel M. n-3 fatty acid supplements in rheumatoid arthritis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71 (suppl), January 2000, pp. 349S-51S
Fortin, Paul R., et al. Validation of a meta-analysis: the effects of fish oil in rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Vol. 48, 1995, pp. 1379-90
Cleland, Leslie G. and James, Michael J. Fish oil and rheumatoid arthritis: antiinflammatory and collateral health benefits. Journal of Rheumatology, Vol. 27, October 2000, pp. 2305-06 (editorial)