Eating two portions of fish can help ease arthritis, study revealedEating fish twice a week helps relieve symptoms of arthritis
Fish consumption has many health benefits. Fish is a high-protein, low-fat food that provides a range of health benefits. White-fleshed fish, in particular, is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein and oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, or the "good" fats. The human body fails to produce significant amount of these essential nutrients. So, the consumption of fish is an important part of the diet. Also, fish are low in the "bad" fats commonly found in red meat, called omega-6 fatty acids. A recent study has found that eating fish twice a week helps relieve symptoms of arthritis as well and even the people who ate more than two servings of fish were less likely to have rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the previous researches, it was found that taking fish oil supplements – high in Omega 3 fatty acids – also relieve joint pain associated with arthritis. But the researchers wanted to see if the effect was also present when whole fish were eaten.
Dr Sara Tedeschi, lead author of the study in Arthritis Care and Research said: ‘If our finding holds up in other studies it suggests that fish consumption may lower inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis disease activity. Fish consumption has been noted to have many beneficial health effects, and our findings may give patients with rheumatoid arthritis a strong reason to increase fish consumption.’
The study involved 176 rheumatoid married arthritis patients with longstanding rheumatoid arthritis living in Baltimore. The study was carried out by estimating how often they ate fish over the past year and how big the portion was. The fish with higher Omega 3 oil content were selected. The fish were tuna, salmon, sardines, raw fish such as sashimi or sushi, and grilled, steamed baked trout, sole, halibut, grouper and poke. Fried fish were not included in the study – the researchers said frying reduces Omega 3 content.
Levels of inflammation, as measured by tests of a marker in the blood called DAS28-CRP were significantly lower among those eating fish twice or more a week compared to those who never ate it. The effect increased the more fish was eaten. The effect, however, was about a third as high as the reduction in pain produced by taking the drug methoxetrate, a standard drug treatment for rheumatism.
Dr Benjamin Ellis, rheumatologist and Arthritis Research UK spokesperson said: 'There are many things beyond medication that people with rheumatoid arthritis can do to improve their health, such as not smoking and keeping physically active.’
It is even important to note that eating fish cannot replace the medical treatments, but it can obviously reduce the pain and stiffness to a large extent.