Humans have been consuming omega-3 fats from natural fish, nut and seed sources for countless generations. Our core genetic structure depends on a regular supply of the long chain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA to form cell wall structures and perform millions of metabolic functions that we normally associate with vibrant health.
Imbalance of omega-3 to omega-6 fats cause a surge in inflammatory cytokines that can lead to the painful and debilitating condition known as osteoarthritis. New research published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage has shown for the first time that omega-3 fats supplied by fish oil could "substantially and significantly" reduce the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis as we age.
Omega-3 Fat Supplementation Slashes Osteoarthritis Disease Progression in Half
Researchers from the University of Bristol in England tested the effect of omega-3 fats on a breed of guinea pigs that are genetically predisposed to develop arthritis. Guinea pigs were chosen for this study as they develop osteoarthritis in a similar manner to humans. Anecdotal reports over the years provide support for the beneficial effect of fish consumption on joint health. Dr. John Tarlton from the Matrix Biology Research Group and his team set out to confirm the impact of omega-3 fatty acids, either sourced from fish oil or flax oil, to prevent or slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.
The team fed one group of guinea pigs a diet including full-spectrum omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA) and compared the results to a second control group of non-supplemented animals. Typical degradation of collagen in cartilage and the loss of molecules that give it shock-absorbing properties were both reduced in the omega-3 supplemented group. Researchers noted that omega-3 fats reduced disease by 50 per cent compared to the control group.
Omega-3 Fats Found More Effective Treating Arthritis than Dangerous Medications
Upon examination of the results, Dr. Tarlton explained “there was strong evidence that omega-3 influences the biochemistry of the disease, and therefore not only helps prevent disease, but also slows its progression, potentially controlling established osteoarthritis.” This is a critical finding, as most people suffering from arthritis are prescribed a plethora of ineffective pain medications that dramatically increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease or suffering a heart attack.
At the present time there is no known cure or effective treatment from those experiencing the debilitating effects of osteoarthritis, and omega fat imbalance from a poor diet causes excessive joint inflammation and needless suffering. Researchers performing this study concluded “Most diets in the developed world are lacking in omega-3, with modern diets having up to 30 times too much omega-6 and too little omega-3. Taking omega-3 will help redress this imbalance and may positively contribute to a range of other health problems such as heart disease.” Most health-minded individuals will want to supplement with a molecularly distilled form of fish oil (minimum 1200 mg EPA/DHA content) each day to combat inflammation and osteoarthritis.