In today’s society we are being bombarded with health information and advice about how to maintain our health. It can be overwhelming for many of the individuals who truly do wish to be healthy, but aren’t sure where to start.
Our bodies are comprised of different systems. Each system has its own needs in order to stay functioning at optimal level.
A great source of pain for many lies in the musculoskeletal system. More specifically, in the joints of the body. The joints of the body are at risk of wear and tear because of their mechanical function. Our joints are what allows us to move in every direction. We walk, talk, sit and bend because of our joints. When these joints are injured, our range or motion is decreased because of the pain that we feel in our joints. Pain can be the result of arthritic changes in our joints, inflammation or physical damage.
Recent studies claim that regular consumption of fish oil can help to reduce inflammation resulting in a decrease in joint pain. We already know that fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. The theory is that the omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA, which are found in fish oils, work to block the body’s inflammatory receptors are converted inside of the body into powerful anti-inflammatory agents.
In addition to working to decrease the inflammation in the body, fish oils have also been known to lower cholesterol, aid in reducing high blood pressure, and have been looked at closely as an aid to lupus and Raynaud’s syndrome.
A study conducted in 2010 found that fish oil caused a significant decrease to joint pain and stiffness in patients who were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The study also concluded that many participants were then able to decrease or completely eliminate NSAIDs from their medication regimen. Early studies have also suggested that fish oil that fish oil could have very similar effects on osteoarthritis.
Fish oils can be found and incorporated into our diets by consuming fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel on a regular basis, 3-4 times per week. Although it is not easy to achieve a therapeutic dose strictly from diet alone, consuming fatty fish regularly can aid in your journey to achieving better overall health. If you are not particularly fond of fish or if you cannot imagine consuming that much fish in one week, fish oil supplements are the next best thing.
Fish oil supplements can be found in capsule form, in soft gels and even in chewable tablets, although many prefer using soft gels. The therapeutic dose for fish oil supplements varies from person to person and it is difficult to say what the exact therapeutic dose should be, however for treating arthritis related inflammation it is suggested to use a fish oil supplement with a minimum of 30 percent EPA/DHA.
Always consult with your primary care physician before introducing a new supplement into your daily regimen as fish oil is not suitable for everyone. Exceeding 300 mg a day can increase your risk of bleeding. Speak with your primary care physician if you are currently taking blood thinners before starting supplements.