Omega-3 for arthritis

Carrying extra weight is more than just a matter of being uncomfortable in your trousers that you bought last summer. Obesity, and even just being overweight, carries a whole range of health dangers with it. While this is certainly true and you should make every effort to keep your weight at a happy, healthy level, new research has suggested that perhaps one of the health problems previously associated with weight gain might be a bit more complex than that.

Osteoarthritis is arthritis that arises from wear and tear on the joints and it has been assumed that carrying excess weight would contribute to that wearing down process. As these researchers observed however, that doesn’t explain osteoarthritis of the hands and other joints that don’t bear weight.

To see if there is a link between fat in the diet and arthritis, these researchers fed three different diets to mice with arthritis of the knee.

One group was fed a diet high in saturated fat which is known to increase cholesterol levels and promote inflammation in the body.

A second group was fed a diet high in omega-6 fats from corn oil, soybean oil, nuts and seeds.

The final group was fed a diet high in omega-3 fats from flax seed and fish oil.

The results showed that arthritis incidence was associated with the type of fat consumed but not with body weight. Mice that had diets high in saturated fat or omega-6 experienced worsening of their arthritis while those fed omega-3 fats had healthier joints. The omega-3 fats did not reverse the joint damage but they did slow the progression of the arthritis. Additionally the researchers noted that the mice given omega-3 fats showed much more rapid wound healing than other mice.

Since the modern Western diet features far more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids and since the omega-3 oils will slow the disease but not cure it, the message seems to be that changing your diet before arthritis begins is the key. It seems an ounce of omega-3 really is worth a pound of cure.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

You May Also Like

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 05 28t121831.547

Daily Rituals for Radiant Skin and Mindful Living

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 05 10t151116.716

Harmony – empowering women for over 30 years

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 05 15t112753.315

Kidney stones

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 24t115032.107

Nifty Noodle