New Thinking on Fish Oil and Osteoarthritis

We all know that fish oil is great for your brain, skin, and joints, as well as serving an important function in every single cell in your body. New research is now linking fish oil to the treatment of osteoarthritis, the degenerative and painful condition that results in the deterioration of joints, cartilage, and bone. It is the leading form of chronic disability in the US (affecting around 27 million people).

Joint Deterioration

Osteoarthritis begins with a deterioration in the cartilage that surrounds bone. Collagen makes up a major proportion of the cartilage and connective tissues that form the supportive framework around bones. When this collagen begins to break down and disappear, all of the secondary problems that constitute the manifested symptoms of osteoarthritis begin.

New Research

New research has identified that fish oil may, in fact, slow the progression of osteoarthritis, and in people that are not yet showing symptoms, it may help their joints and bones stay healthier for longer. The study, carried out by the University of Bristol, compared two groups of guinea pigs, one of which was fed a diet rich in omega 3 (a major constituent of fish oil and flaxseed oil), while the other was fed a regular diet. The study found that the group whose diet was rich in omega 3 fared much better than the other. This has spurred researchers to study the effects of omega 3 in humans more closely and has prompted governments to publish guidelines on recommended intakes of omega 3.


Although finding similar results in humans may take some time, these positive results are very encouraging for the osteoarthritis community. Existing treatment for osteoarthritis is very limited and does not go far beyond pain management. Recommendations are a healthy exercise regime, a weight management program, and including omega 3 in your diet, either as part of a meal or in fish oil or flaxseed supplements.

Submitted by Earth Turns


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