Omega-3 supplements are being studied in relation to rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
According to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics, fish oil is the most popular supplement taken by US adults.1 Fish oil contains omega-3, a group of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (FAs) studied for everything from cardiovascular disease to cancer to diabetes to arthritis.2
In an interview with Rheumatology Advisor, Sara Tedeschi, MD, MPH, a rheumatologist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, explained that research interest in omega-3 stems from its anti-inflammatory effects. “It has been recognized for decades that omega-3 [FAs] decrease the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines,” she said.
Omega-3 FAs consist of 2 main types: long-chain and short-chain. Long-chain FAs include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are derived from marine animals such as fish, seals, mussels, and krill. The primary short-chain omega-3 FA is alpha-linolenic acid, a plant-based FA derived from seeds, nuts, and vegetable oil, which Dr Tedeschi said is only “partially converted to EPA and DHA after ingestion.” The body’s inefficiency at converting alpha-linolenic acid is why omega-3 supplements typically use marine oil, a direct source of EPA and DHA
Read full article: Marine Oil Supplementation for Rheumatoid Arthritis
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