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Fish oil part of osteoarthritis self-management

Wednesday May 9th, 2018

Improved diet and weight loss are crucial to self-management of osteoarthritis, according to a new analysis.

Fish oils and cholesterol reduction can be part of an effective treatment plan, according to researchers at the University of Surrey, UK.

Professor Margaret Rayman and her team explain in the journal Rheumatology recently that the current treatment options in osteoarthritis are very limited, therefore patients would benefit greatly from some ability to self-manage their condition.

The team believe that diet may have the potential to affect osteoarthritis, so they examined previous research.

This led to three major findings. Firstly, they concluded that overweight and obese osteoarthritis patients "should implement a weight-loss strategy incorporating exercise tailored to mobility".

Secondly, they state: "Increasing consumption of long-chain n-3 fatty-acids (oily fish/fish oil supplements) may improve pain and function in osteoarthritis patients."

Lastly, they suggest that reducing raised blood cholesterol and increasing intake of rich vitamin K sources may benefit osteoarthritis.

Specifically on the topic of oily fish, the researchers believe that long-chain omega-3 fatty-acids could explain the link between metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes and osteoarthritis risk or progression of the disease.

Professor Rayman says: "Not only does a good diet and regular exercise keep us fit and healthy, but as we have learned from this study, it can also lessen painful symptoms of osteoarthritis."

Co-author, Professor Ali Mobasheri, added: "A combination of good diet and regular exercise are necessary to keep joints healthy; you can't have healthy joints with just one, you need both.

"Lifestyle should also be considered when attempting to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis.

“Patients can't expect miracles with dietary interventions if they are overweight and drink or smoke heavily. Evidence shows that smoking and heavy drinking negatively affects body energy metabolism and inflammatory markers in the liver which may promote inflammation and disease in the body."

Thomas, S. et al. What is the evidence for a role for diet and nutrition in osteoarthritis? Rheumatology 17 April 2018; doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/key011

Tags: Diet & Food | Pharmaceuticals | Rheumatology | UK News

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