Study Says, You Can Relieve Arthritis Symptoms with Fish

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Consuming oily fish at least twice a week, reduces the swelling in joints that were affected by arthritis, study has revealed. Adding more marine life into your meal plans could help calm inflammation.

Consumption of fish at least twice a week may help in reducing inflammation and joint pain in persons with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), that is according to a new analysis that was currently published in Arthritis Care & Research.

Fish oil supplements have been known to help in improving pain, and increase remission rates in RA patients taking triple therapy. This is among the first studies that showed that fish itself, which has lower concentrations than supplements of the active ingredients, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), may be just as good.


In the study Dr Tedeschi, Rheumatology Fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and her team of researchers, examined the diet of 176 patients with arthritis, the majority of whom were middle-aged white females that have longstanding rheumatoid arthritis and were taking medication.

Less than a quarter, or 17.6% frequently consumed fish, while 19.9% rarely ate fish, but many used fish oil supplements.

Dr Tedeschi said, “In conclusion, their team, observed significantly lower DAS28-CRP (the scoring method for arthritis symptoms), among participants consuming fish more than twice a week, as compared to those eating fish less than once a month.

While the magnitude of difference in DAS28-CRP was striking between the lowest and highest categories of fish consumption, this was a cross-sectional study and they cannot draw firm conclusions about the impact of frequent fish consumption on RA disease activity.

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“Reverse causation is a possible explanation for observing a linked between frequent fish intake and lower disease activity. Therefore, prospective studies are still needed to minimise this potential source of bias.”

“Cohort studies cannot control for unmeasured confounders, and a randomised controlled test would be required to provide firm evidence that greater fish consumption can help in lowering rheumatoid arthritis disease activity.”

Which Fish are Best for Arthritis?

According to Arthritis Foundation, the best sources of marine omega-3’s are fatty fish, including tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines.

Consuming a 3- to 6-ounce serving of these fish at least 2-4 times a week is recommended for protecting the heart and lowering inflammation.

Many fish that are rich in omega-3’s are also high in mercury, and this can cause brain and nervous system damage when consumed in large enough quantities.

“It is essential to choose the smaller fish that have less mercury”. Smaller fish are have lower mercury content, by virtue of their position near the bottom of the food chain. When larger fish such as king mackerel, swordfish, shark and tuna feed on large numbers of small fish, mercury from all of those fish accumulates in their bodies.

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photo credit: pixabay

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