Take the pain out of your arthritis

About one percent of the U.S. population suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, a condition in which the joints become inflamed leading to redness, warmth, swelling and pain. Individuals typically experience this type of inflammation in their hands, wrists or knees; but occasionally it may affect the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood or nerves (1). Although medications can be prescribed to help people with this condition, they don’t come without their risks. A few years back a powerful drug used to treat arthritis called Vioxx was recalled because it led to cardiovascular complications in a number of people taking it.

For those looking for more natural ways to treat their arthritis without the side effects, omega-3 fatty acids may be the answer. A recent study looked at the impact of supplying omega-3 fatty acids to individuals with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (2). For two weeks individuals were given omega-3 fatty acids intravenously (eg, parenteral nutrition) after which they then took omega-3s orally in capsule form for the following 20 weeks. After one week of infusion, the group that received the omega-3 fatty acids had significantly fewer swollen joints than those who did not. By the study’s end, the omega-3 group had benefitted both from supplementation intravenously and orally and had decreased swollen and tender joints compared to the group that received no treatment.

1) Rheumatoid Arthritis Overview. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/guide/rheumatoid-arthritis-basics. Accessed: May 27, 2010.

2) Bahadori et al. {omega}-3 Fatty Acids Infusions as Adjuvant Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr.2010; 34: 151-155.

Nothing contained in this blog is intended to be instructional for medial diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical concern or issue, please consult your personal physician immediately.

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About Dr. Barry Sears

Dr. Barry Sears is a leading authority on the impact of the diet on hormonal response, genetic expression, and inflammation. A former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Sears has dedicated his research efforts over the past 30 years to the study of lipids. He has published more than 30 scientific articles and holds 13 U.S. patents in the areas of intravenous drug delivery systems and hormonal regulation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. He has also written 13 books, including the New York Times #1 best-seller "The Zone". These books have sold more than 5 million copies in the U.S. and have been translated into 22 different languages.

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