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Posted on 01-25-2013

Good morning!

A recent article in the April 2012 edition of Nature Reviews Rheumatology found omega 3 fatty acids supplements (best found in fish oil) can help folks who suffer form common osteoarthritis (not the hand deforming kind).

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1) “Recently reported associations between synovitis, cartilage damage and blood levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in patients with osteoarthritis suggest that fish oil supplements might be beneficial additions to the therapeutic regime in this disease.”

2) Osteoarthritis (OA) is characterized by degeneration and loss of articular cartilage, and accompanying synovial inflammation (joint capsules).

3) Synovitis can cause swelling, tenderness and restricted movement in OA patients.

4) In OA, inflammatory cytokines (IL-1B, TNF, IL-6) amplify the pathophysiologi- cal processes that result in joint damage.

5)  In OA, low-grade inflammation influences the long-term outcomes in patients.

6)  Treatments that safely reduce the inflammation underlying cartilage degeneration in OA are important.

7) Blood levels of long chain omega-6 (n-6) and omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids correlate with MRI evidence of synovitis in the knees of patients with OA.

8) The inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty (you get from various cooking oils) acids derived from arachidonic acid are greater than the anti-inflammatory effects derived from the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

9) The“availability of arachidonic acid for production of inflammatory chemicals could be a predisposing factor for the cause of pain in early OA.[Key Point]

10) The n-6 (AA) and n-3 (EPA) fatty acid ratios could be more important than the absolute amounts of these fatty acids.

11) “EPA and DHA reduced expression of degradative enzymes and inflammatory cytokines.”

12) Long-term fish oil treatment at anti-inflammatory doses inhibits prostaglandin E2 synthesis.

13) Established benefits for omega-3-rich supplements in patients with rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Reduced symptom severity

  • Increased remission

  • Improvement in markers of cardiovascular risk (reduced by 50%)

  • Decreased use of NSAIDs (ibuprofen, etc.)

14) “The reduced use of NSAIDs is important as these drugs—whilst providing a prompt analgesic effect—have not been shown to improve long-term outcomes in RA, and their use can distract clinicians from prescribing more effective long-term disease-suppressing agents.”

15) “Moreover, NSAIDs are associated with an increased risk of potentially life- threatening gastrointestinal bleeding and serious thrombotic cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction and stroke.” [Important]

16) “The NSAID-sparing effect and the direct collateral cardiovascular benefits are important potential advantages of fish oil use for long-term analgesia in a disease such as osteoarthritis.”

17) Treatment with omega-3 fatty acids “has the potential to play a key part in the management of patients with osteoarthritis.”

18) The omega-3 fats in dietary fish oil, EPA and DHA, inhibit the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid cascade into the inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes such as PGE2 and LTB4.

19) “Competitive inhibition of arachidonic acid metabolism by EPA and DHA could reduce inflammation, pain and synovitis.”

20) EPA and DHA suppress chondrocyte metalloproteinases production, and dietary fish oil has a protective effect on cartilage and subchondral bone in OA.

Folks, in a nutshell this tells us we need to reduce our consumption of the usual cooking oils and start consuming more fish oil (in supplement form).  I do not recommend eating seafood anymore as our environmental toxins such as mercury just make it too toxic to eat.  Even the EPA recommends limiting your consumption!  Cook your foods using ONLY coconut oil as it does not turn trans when heated (all other oils do) and use olive oil on your salads with a vinaigrette. For fish oil, the preparation we have here at WellnessOne is from Metagenics.  1 teaspoon a day is all you need to reach the average recommended dose of 3g (or 3,000 mg) per day.  This is 1000 more antiinflammatory than medication and actually helps your brain and heart as well!  

Have a blessed weekend!

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