Fish Oil Help For Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Omega 3 fish oil may be the best rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain reliever. And, since it has no side effects, omega 3 fish oil is certainly the safest arthritis pain reliever.

Advil, Aleve, Motrin and Nuprin (NSAIDs or nonsteroidl anti-inflammatory drugs) are not particularly safe, according to the New England Journal of Medicine (1999; 340 (24): 1888-99). They may be the most common pain relievers on the market, but they're also responsible for over 100,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths from severe gastrointestinal problems each year in the U.S. alone.

And that's not all. Heart disease is also being linked to NSAIDs. The discredited Vioxx, for instance, before it was removed from the market, was believed to be responsible for many thousands of heart attack deaths.

And heart disease caused by pain relief drugs is not something two million Americans who suffer from RA need. They already have, according to the Mayo Clinic, twice the risk of heart failure and sudden cardiac death.

But there's hope for arthritis sufferers. Omega 3 fish oil provides effective pain relief and protects against heart disease.

In numerous studies, NSAID use was reduced or totally eliminated when arthritis sufferers found fish oil to significantly lessen the severity of their morning stiffness and the number of their painful joints.

For example, in one recent long term fish oil study, reported in the Journal of Rheumatology (October 2006), seventy five percent of participants who took fish oil supplements were able to stop taking NSAIDs for pain relief. But what makes this particular study important is the fact the fish oil participants were also able to lower their total triglyceride levels, raise their HDL cholesterol levels and significantly improve their total cholesterol/HDL ratios.

"Anti-inflammatory doses of fish oil," the researchers concluded, "should be considered in patients with RA as a means of reducing CV risk."

Dr. Robert Oh, after reviewing over 75 fish oil clinical studies, concluded that "Fish saves lives." (Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 18: 28-36) Dr. Oh asserts that "Physicians must recognize this potential life-saving treatment choice in patients with cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis."

Dr. Oh strongly recommends that all doctors advise their patients to follow the guidelines of the American Heart Association to eat fatty fish from two to three times a week or to get between 650 and 1,000 mgs a day of fish oil omega 3 fatty acids DHA (docosahenaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) from supplementation.

And rest assured that fish toxicity is not a risk. Drs. Dariush Moxaffarian and Erik Rimm of the Harvard University School of Public Health recently published research that showed fish oil benefits to be 300 to 500 times greater than any toxic risk. The doctors concluded mercury risk despite the negative press was just "background noise." (Journal of the American Medical Association 2006, Vol. 296: 1885-99)

If you want relief from arthritis pain, as well as protection from heart disease, the best thing you can do is eat a lot of fatty fish - at least 2 or 3 times a week. Even better, also take daily fish oil supplements. They work for both your heart and your joints.

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