Omega-3s linked to reducing osteoarthritis effects

Jasmine Phu

October 18, 2011

Omega-3s linked to reducing osteoarthritis effectsOmega-3 fatty acids may help those suffering from painful osteoarthritis, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Bristol, published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

To conduct the study researchers started one group of guinea pigs – who naturally develop osteoarthritis – on a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, while a control group was fed a standard diet.

From the tests, scientists found that those who consumed omega-3 were able to reduce the affects of osteoarthritis by 50 percent, in comparison to those in the control group.

Although testing hasn't been performed on humans, researchers are confident that taking in more of the fatty acid may help seniors who also suffer from the disease.

"The possibility that omega-3 fatty acids could prevent osteoarthritis from developing has been a tantalising one," said author Alan Silman. "This current research in guinea pigs is exciting as it brings us closer to understanding how omega-3 might fundamentally interfere with the osteoarthritis process, and that it could potentially be taken as a treatment."

Caregivers worried about a loved one aging at home may want to start buying them foods with omega-3s like salmon. As arthritis affects the joints, falls can also be common in suffers of the disease, so installing a senior alert system may also help a loved one. This way if they fall when no one is around, they can call for help in an instant.