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Written By: Dr. Barry Sears Creator of the Zone Diet

Written by Dr. Barry Sears
on June 01, 2010

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. New call-to-action

References:

  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.

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