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Omega-3 and arthritis: Study finds link between fish consumption and joint disorder

By Nathan Gray+

22-Jun-2017

Omega-3 and arthritis: Study finds link between fish consumption and joint disorder

Regular consumption of omega-3 rich fish could reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, new data suggests.

People with with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who consumed fish more than two times per week were found to have lower disease activity – including swollen and tender joint counts – when compared to those who ate fish never or infrequently.

Writing in Arthritis Care & Research, the team behind the study said the 176 patients were assessed for RA scores via the DAS28-CRP scale while fish intake was measured by by a food frequency questionnaire assessing usual diet in the past year.

Led by Dr Sara Tedeschi from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, the team revealed a possible dose-response relationship between omega-3 intake and RA scores – with the study indicating a graded association, which showed increasing servings of fish were linked with incrementally lower levels of disease activity.

“This is a novel analysis of the relationship between consuming fish as a whole food, rather than consuming fish oil supplements, and rheumatoid arthritis disease activity,” the author – who noted that the reduction in DAS28-CRP scores seen between the highest and lowest categories of fish consumption (of 0.49) “is approximately one-third the magnitude of previously reported pre- and post-treatment differences in DAS28 among methotrexate users.”

"If our finding holds up in other studies, it suggests that fish consumption may lower inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis disease activity," said Tedeschi.

Source: Arthritis Care & Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1002/acr.23295
“The relationship between fish consumption and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis”
Authors: Sara K. Tedeschi, et al