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Arthritis Relief With Omega 3 Fish Oil

May 1, 2007

Michael Byrd

Omega 3 fish oil is a very effective rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain reliever. In fact, it may be the best since it doesn't have any serious side effects.

The most commonly prescribed pain relievers for RA are NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). But they're not safe. NSAIDs, such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin and Nuprin, according to the New England Journal of Medicine (1999; 340 (24): 1888-99), cause severe gastrointestinal complications that are responsible for 100,000 hospitalizations and over 16,000 deaths annually. And that's just in the U.S.

But that's only half the story, because NSAIDs are now being linked to cardiovascular disease. Many experts believe Vioxx, for example, was responsible for tens of thousands of fatal heart attacks.

NSAID pain relief medication that increases the risk of heart attack death is the last thing two million American arthritis sufferers need. According to Mayo clinic research, arthritis patients already have more than twice the risk of heart failure and sudden cardiac death. Why should they take the chance of NSAIDs increasing the risk?

There's good news, however, for arthritis patients. Fish oil omega 3 fatty acids offer both valuable pain relief and heart disease protection.

In numerous studies, fish oil has been shown to be so effective at significantly reducing the number of painful joints and severity of morning stiffness of arthritis sufferers that many patients were able to reduce or totally eliminate the use of NSAIDs.

Fish oil is such an effective pain reliever that in one recent arthritis study 75% of the patients totally eliminated their use of NSAID pain medication (Journal of Rheumatology, October 2006). But that's not all fish oil did in this study. It also raised the participant's good HDL cholesterol, greatly improving their cholesterol/HDL ratios, as well as significantly reducing their triglyceride levels.

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

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

Dr. Oh also suggests that physicians follow the guidelines of the American Heart Association and recommend all patients eat two fatty fish meals per week or get 650 to 1,000 mgs of omega 3 fish oil DHA (docosahenaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) fatty acids per day through supplementation.

If the negative press has you concerned about fish toxicity, don't be alarmed. Mercury risk is just "background noise," according to Drs. Dariush Moxaffarian and Erik Rimm of the Harvard University School of Public Health. They recently published research in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2006 Vol. 296: 1885-99) that showed the health benefits of fish outweigh any toxicity risk by as much as 300-500 to 1.

Would you like to get good arthritis pain relief and prevent heart disease at the same time? Then you want to eat fatty fish at least two or three times a week and take a good high quality daily omega 3 fish oil supplement. It's the best thing you can do for both your joints and your heart.

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