How Eating Omega 3 Fatty Acids Help Ease Arthritis

By on August 19, 2014
sushi omega 3 fatty acids

When it comes to Arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases, there are many different diets that may be effective to correct the disintegrating tissues of your joints. It is imperative to make sure your body is strong and healthy, and diet can be one of the best methods to ensure this. In any diet, fats are always a contentious issue, but while there are many different fats you should cut back on, Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the few that you should not. The Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids are many; it is one of the nutrients that our brains require constantly in order to function, they encourage normal growth and development in children, they can also reduce the risk of developing heart disease, as well as decrease inflammation.

What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

There are three Omega 3 fatty acids that are critical to the body: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The first two are found in fish, while the latter is found in nuts and certain plants. These have been found to play a critical role in warding off arthritis, though most studies pertaining to arthritis have used rheumatoid arthritis, as it causes severe inflammation to the joints and tissues.  EPA and DHA have been found to lessen joint pain and stiffness, as well as provide a boost to the efficacy of anti-inflammatory medications. They can also lessen depression, and boost your emotional state.

EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and trout. ALA can be found in flaxseed and flaxseed oils, as well as walnuts, tofu, canola oil. Some vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, kale and spinach contain ALA in small amounts as well. These nutrients are essential to allowing the body to perform routine functions, such as blood clotting and the construction of cell membranes within the brain. Each food or vegetable keep joints healthy & can provide amazing protection against inflammation.

Studies have shown the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids

There have been numerous studies completed in reference to Omega 3’s effect on arthritic conditions. The Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that Omega 3 converts into compounds, such as resolvins, that are far more potent than the original acids.  Resolvins are so powerful that they bring inflammation to a halt. In several double blind studies, it has been indicated that omega-3 acids found in supplements, such as fish oil, can help to lessen the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. In 2007, a study found that when patients suffering from arthritis take 300 mg of krill oil each day, their symptoms lessened significantly. They found that the volunteers had far less inflammation, stiffness, pain and function impairment after one week. Lastly, a study in Advances in Therapy discovered that patients with moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis in their hip or knee who were given 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate, along with a 200 mg dose of Omega 3, had far greater pain reduction and less symptoms than those who only received glucosamine.

Is it better to use supplements or the foods?

omega 3 fatty acids help arthritis painThe American Dietetic Association believes that it is more beneficial to gain these nutrients from food than from supplements. Various foods contain different levels of EPA, DHA and ALA, while the American Dietetic Association says that foods are better than Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplements, but almost no one in western countries get sufficient levels of Omega 3’s from food, and in fact, because most diets are high in the antagonistic Omega 6 Fatty Acids present in vegetable oils, the minimum requirements for Omega 3 Fatty Acids are even higher.  The swollen and aching joints characteristic of  Arthritic conditions can be lessened through the use of proper supplements, as well as nutrients from delicious and healthy foods, however, most people will want to take supplements and avoid the Polyunsaturated Vegetable Oils that antagonize Omega 3’s, in order to get the pain relieving and anti-inflammatory benefits of these healthy oils.

REFERENCES:

  • Journal of the American Dietetic Association‘n-3 Fatty Acids: Food or Supplements doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.04.025 Authors: Penny M. Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD; Alison M. Hill, PhD
  • The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Fish Oil

About Author
Kelly Everson is an American author and MA in English literature. She is a health article writer who has written numerous articles/online journals on stretch marks, pregnancy, sleep disorders and joint pain problems. She is also passionate about health, beauty and fitness. She is regularly contributing for Examiner, Consumer Health Digest & Health line.

About Kerri Knox, RN

The author is a Registered Nurse and Functional Medicine Practitioner. With 20 years of experience in health care, she has the unique perspective of being solidly grounded in both Conventional Medicine and Alternative Medicine. She can help you to to find and repair the underlying causes of chronic illness, while empowering you to take charge of your own health. She is the owner and author of this blog and website.
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