Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Will Omega-3 Fish Oil Help the Pain?

If you suffer from rheumatoid or other types of arthritis, taking fish oil may help relieve the pain. Omega-3 fatty acids have natural anti-inflammatory activity, as opposed to omega-6 fatty acids which stimulate the release of inflammatory compounds. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oil; omega-6 in cooking oils.

Researchers have been studying dietary aspects that contribute to disease for a number of years. Yet, some doctors are still skeptical about suggesting fish oil for arthritis. Most mainstream medical practitioners still stand by the use of over the counter or prescription drugs, despite the adverse side effects and risk of liver damage, as well as the kidney damage that is associated with long-term use.

Common Sense Choice - Fish Oil

It seems illogical to choose a treatment that could cause health problems over one that solves them. Numerous studies have shown that the benefits of increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids to those that suffer from arthritis include pain reduction, reduced morning stiffness and reduced usage of anti-inflammatory drugs. So, what’s the drawback? Why do doctors hesitate to recommend this therapy?

Fish Oil Therapy Requires Patience

It could be because the benefits of fish oil supplementation are not as immediate as the effects of a pain pill. Most studies indicate that it takes 4-6 weeks for omega-3 fatty acids and other nutritional therapies to have a noticeable effect.
Many doctors believe that people who suffer from arthritis will not have the patience that it takes to stick with a regimen that does not provide immediate relief. While it is true that some patients are non-compliant, it is also true that most people will do anything that it takes to improve their health. Doctors should, at the very least, tell their patients about all of their options.

Increase Physical Activity

Being overweight is one of the things that put stress on the joints. Increased physical activity can help people maintain a healthy weight and actually improves joint function. Swimming pool work-outs are ideal for those that suffer from joint pain. Yoga is also beneficial, as long as the patient starts at the beginner level and works at his or her own level of flexibility. Gradually, flexibility improves with increased physical activity and much joint pain is resolved.

Follow a Nutritious Diet

In addition to taking fish oil, people with joint pain should attempt to move to an “anti-inflammatory” diet. There are several outlines available on the internet describing how to eat to naturally reduce inflammation. The foundations of these diets are fruits and vegetables. Most dietary fat should be omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 cooking oils should be limited. Stop frying; boil, broil or bake.

Choose the Best Fish Oil Source

You need to choose fish oil supplements carefully. They should be molecularly distilled to remove contaminants, such as mercury and PCBs. Distillation also concentrates the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the oils. If you try a supplement and see no improvement after eight weeks, it is likely due to the quality of the brand.

Your choice of fish oil should provide a minimum of 430mg of omega-3 fats. Take two per day. You might also try a dietary supplement that contains glucosamine, chondroitin and green lipped mussel lipids. Those nutrients are highly beneficial for arthritis, too. For more information on arthritis protocol, see my website listed below. Thanks, Larry L. Taylor

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