Thousands of clinical trials have investigated the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Much of the interest stems from the anti-inflammatory effects of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
Since one of the main characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is inflammation, it’s not surprising that there is a great deal of interest in whether these fatty acids can help relieve RA symptoms.
Over the years, researchers have repeatedly put omega-3s to the test against this painful form of arthritis.
And the outcomes are quite promising. Several studies report that taking omega-3 fatty acids can help:
- Reduce the number of tender or swollen joints
- Result in less morning stiffness
- Decrease levels of joint pain
- Increase grip strength
- Reduce time to fatigue
- Lower the use of NSAID pain relievers
How Do Omega-3s Work to Help Crush Arthritis Pain?
The EPA and DHA in omega-3 fatty acids produce anti-inflammatory molecules called resolvins. These lipids work within your body to help terminate inflammatory action and regulate the immune system. At the same time, these fatty acids tend to reduce the expression of genes that promote inflammation.
And here’s something else: people who consume the most omega-3s are less likely to have certain autoantibodies that precede the development of RA. (Autoantibodies are immune proteins that mistakenly target the body’s tissues and organs.) Combined, this presents a strong case for the use of omega-3 fatty acids in the fight against RA, which is both an autoimmune and inflammatory disorder.
What is the Best Dosage and How Long Should You Take It?
Omega-3 is found in cold-water fish, such as salmon or mackerel. But it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get a large enough dose from food sources alone. That’s because the research shows that a dose of three to six grams daily appears to have the greatest effects.
This makes it a good idea to invest in a high-quality fish oil/omega-3 supplement and start taking it every day. It takes about three months to see noticeable signs of improvement, so be patient. And keep in mind that the longer you take them, the more chances you have for remission.
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Dana Nicholas is a freelance writer and researcher in the field of natural and alternative healing. She has over 20 years of experience working with many noted health authors and anti-aging professionals, including James Balch, M.D., Dr. Linda Page, “Amazon” John Easterling and Al Sears M.D. Dana’s goal is to keep you up-to-date on information, news and breakthroughs that can have a direct impact on your health, your quality of life… and your lifespan. “I’m absolutely convinced that America’s misguided trust in mainstream medicine – including reliance on the government to regulate our food and medicine supply – is killing us, slowly but surely,” she cautions. “By sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years I hope I can empower others to take control over their own health.”