Fish Oil Found to Reduce Pain of Osteoarthritis
A study from the University of Surrey has found that taking a fish oil supplement could help reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis, and improve their heart health.
The review of previous studies looked at the link between diet and the management of pain in people with osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the UK. It is a condition that causes the joints to become painful and stiff. The severity of the symptoms varies between people and between joints in the body.
It is a long-term condition and there is no cure. Treatments are available to help reduce the symptoms, including pain medication.
Diet and arthritis
Research has found several links between arthritis symptoms and diet. In addition, there is research to show that a good diet can help protect against heart disease, which can be a complication of arthritis.
Essential fatty acids, such as those found in fish, have been linked with arthritis in various studies, due to the way they reduce inflammation in the joints.
Fish oil capsules
This research study, published in the journal Rheumatology, involved analysing 68 previous studies on the link between diet and osteoarthritis.
The research found that a low-dose supplement of fish oil (the equivalent of one and a half capsules a day) could reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis.
Previous recommendations have included people with arthritis having at least 2.7g per day of omega-3 fatty acids, which means eating two portions of fish a week, as well as taking a supplement such as fish oil capsules.
Fish oil has previously been linked with heart health, and this current research found that taking a fish oil supplement also improved the cardiovascular health of people with osteoarthritis.
As well a fish oil, the research found that increasing the intake of foods that are high in vitamin K, such as kale, spinach and parsley, also benefited people with osteoarthritis.
The research also found that reducing body weight for those who were overweight or obese helped ease symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Margaret Rayman, Professor of Nutritional Medicine at the University of Surrey, said: “The importance of a good diet and regular exercise should never be underestimated. Not only does it keep us fit and healthy, but as we have learned from this study, it can also lessen painful symptoms of osteoarthritis.”
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