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Fish oil reduces rheumatoid arthritis joint pain

Taking a fish oil supplement alone or combined with evening primrose oil reduces joint pain in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This is suggested by a small human study that Serbian researchers at the University of Kragujevac published in Nutrients.

The researchers divided 60 women with rheumatoid arthritis into three groups. All women were on low doses of methotrexate and corticosteroid hormones. When necessary the women took painkillers.

The participants in the first group took 5 fish-oil capsules a day for 12 weeks. Each capsule contained 1 g fish oil, 300 mg DHA and 200 mg EPA. The researchers used the supplement Omega-3 Cardio, manufactured by Natural Wealth. []

The participants in the second group took 2 capsules of the same supplement every day, plus capsules containing evening primrose oil. Each capsule contained 1300 mg evening primrose oil, 949 mg linoleic acid and 117 mg gamma linoleic acid. That supplement was also manufactured by Natural Wealth.

The third group got no supplements - not even placebos.

The study was funded by the Serbian government, not by the supplements industry.

The participants who took supplements had significantly less trouble with sensitive joints. Click on the figures below for a larger version.

Fish oil reduces rheumatoid arthritis joint pain

Fish oil reduces rheumatoid arthritis joint pain

At the end of the 12 weeks all groups reported that their joints were less swollen. The reduction was a little stronger in the supplementation groups than in the control group.

The supplementation reduced the amount of pain the participants had and lowered the activity of the arthritis.

Fish oil reduces rheumatoid arthritis joint pain

Fish oil reduces rheumatoid arthritis joint pain

"The intake of fishoil alone or combined with evening primrose oil [...] induced a significant improvement in the clinical status of patients with rheumatoid arthritis," summarised the researchers. "Further research with a large number of patients over a longer duration is needed to confirm the long-term efficacy of these supplementations."

Nutrients. 2017 Mar 25;9(4).

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