If you are suffering from the pain of osteoarthritis, an alternative treatment for the chronic pain you may want to consider is the osteoarthritis diet. While there is no ‘osteoarthritis diet’ per se, there are effective supplemental or even alternative treatments for the ever-present pain brought about by osteoarthritis. This includes certain foods and nutritional supplements you should exclude and foods and supplements that you should include in your diet. In this article, we are going to look at the addition of fish oil to the diet of those suffering from osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It is also one of the diseases that results in chronic pain syndrome. Around 12% of the world’s population is affected by it. Women aging 45 and above are the ones who usually suffer from osteoarthritis, but it can practically happen to anyone. This certain condition is typically caused by wearing out of the cartilage in one’s joints. And, as the cartilage lessens in the body, the bones start to rub onto one another during movements that involve the joints. Thus, agonizing pain is felt and joint mobility can be limited to the point that they get stuck.
Use of Fish Oil For Arthritic Pain Relief
A study on the use of fish oil supplements for pain relief in conditions such as osteoarthritis was done by Dr. Joseph Charles Maroon of the Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA. In this study of 250 patients were asked to take fish oil supplements that contained 1200 mg of EFAs. One hundred and twenty five of the original 250 returned questionnaires sent out and, of these, 59% were able to discontinue their NSAID pain meds.
The fish oils in the study were eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. These essential fatty acids (EFA) have been shown to reduce the pain of inflammation that occurs in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. While osteoarthritis pain is due to the breakdown of joint cartilage, as the disease progresses, inflammation does occur. It is this inflammation and the pain that it causes that fish oil helps.
Osteoarthritis Diet and Fish Oil
Another essential thing to take into consideration in regards to osteoarthritis diet and treatment is the regular intake of Omega-3. These advantageous fatty acids are most commonly found in fish oil and in flax. Omega 3 can be found in oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout. They are known to deliver anti-inflammatory effects and are proven to lessen soreness in the joints caused by osteoarthritis. Health experts suggest consuming foods rich in Omega-3 to people who already have the disease and to those who are looking to prevent it from ever happening.
As the normal diet does not usually contain enough Omega-3 fatty acids, food supplements of fish oil are often necessary to assure the proper daily intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.
“Indeed the most effective dose of fish oil in this study was the same as you would get from taking an individual portion of canned fish three or four times a week. This natural food, which is relatively cheap and easy to prepare, offers an ideal source of the fish oil that appeared to work best for the patients with osteoarthritis.” said Dr. Frank Ryan, a well-known and established expert with Omega-3, which is the star in osteoarthritis diet.