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Eating Fish Can Help Treat Arthritis: Study

Fish along with having a lot other health benefits, is also a rich source of Omega-3s acid which is believed to lessen the effect of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Eating Fish Can Help Treat Arthritis: Study

Fish is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids which can cure Rheumatoid Arthritis


  1. More than 50 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  2. Omega 3s tamps down inflammation on cellular level.
  3. Fish should be consumed twice a week
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic systemic disease that affects your joints, connective tissues, muscle, tendons, and fibrous tissue. It tends to strike during the most productive years of adulthood, between the ages of 20 and 40, and is a chronic disabling condition often causing pain and deformity.

More than 50 million adults worldwide suffer from arthritis. That's 1 in every 5 people over age 18. Almost 300,000 children have arthritis or a rheumatic condition. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis which is a degenerative joint disease affecting the articular cartilage. It is associated with ageing and tear in the joints that have been stressed for a prolonged period of time like the knees, hips, fingers, and lower spine region. Farming for 1-9 years increases the risk of osteoarthritis 4.5 times; farming for 10 or more years increases the risk 9.3 times. Worldwide estimates are that 9.6% of men and 18.0% of women aged over 60 years have symptomatic osteoarthritis.

Also read: Should You Exercise With Arthritis?

According to the previous researches, it was found that regular intake of fish oil supplements high in Omega 3 fatty acids relieve joint pain associated with arthritis. Omega 3s is known to interfere with immune cells called leukocytes and enzymes known as cytokines, which are both key players in the body's inflammatory response. They help to tamp down inflammation in the body on a cellular level.

To see if this only happened when the whole fish was eaten, researchers probed ahead. According to a new study in Arthritis Care & Research, people suffering with RA who ate fish twice a week reported less joint swelling and tenderness than those who rarely or never did, and the findings suggest that the more fish they ate, the more their disease became under-active.

Dr Sara Tedeschi, lead author of this study, explains that fish consumption may lower inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis disease activity. Fish consumption has been noted to have many beneficial health effects, and our findings may give patients with rheumatoid arthritis a strong reason to increase fish consumption.

The study involved 176 individuals with RA, all of whom were part of the Evaluation of Sub-clinical Cardiovascular Disease and Predictors of Events in RA cohort study. They were divided into four groups based on the frequency of their fish consumption

1) Never to once per month

2) Once each month to less than once per week

3) Once each week

4) More than twice per week

The subjects answered a questionnaire on their diet over the past year. Authors looked at responses to questions about how often people ate tuna, salmon, sardines and other fish prepared raw, broiled, steamed or baked. They did not however look at how often people ate fried fish, shellfish or fish in mixed dishes because these meals tend to be lower in omega-3 fatty acids.

Must read: Best Exercises For Arthritis

To assess disease activity among participants, the Disease activity scoring system measuring swelling, tenderness, pain, and blood markers of inflammation among patients with RA was used.

The median score for participants was 3.5, an average of half a point lower for people who ate the most fish (twice a week or more) compared to those who ate the least (once a month or never).

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"With this type of improvement, we would generally expect that a patient would feel noticeably better and If our findings can be replicated in other populations and over longer periods of time, we may be able to show one specific reason for people with RA to eat more fish," says Tedeschi.


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