The Importance Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids play a big role in a number of bodily functions. They are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids and are usually found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and trout in the form of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (NIH, 2017). Another type of omega-3, called alpha-linolenic acid, is found mainly in plants. Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in muscle activity, blood clotting, digestion, fertility, cell division and growth, brain development and function, and reduction in inflammation and stiffness (NIH, 2017). In the role in arthritis, omega-3 fatty acids block inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins and are converted by the body into a powerful anti-inflammatory chemical called
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The daily requirements of NSAIDs was also reduced. Thus, omega-3 fatty acids reduce the inflammatory response and improve the clinical manifestations of JIA (Gheita, Kamel, Helmy, El-Laithy, & Monir, 2012). Rajaei et al. (2016) recruited 60 patients with active RA (49 females and 11 males) to investigate the effects of omega-3 on disease activity, remission of RA and reliance on analgesic drugs. Subjects participated in a 12-week, double blind, randomized placebo-controlled study and were followed every 4 weeks for three months to assess clinical and laboratory findings such as ESR, CRP, consumption of analgesic drugs, and duration of morning stiffness and pain. It was found that there was a decrease in morning stiffness in the omega-3 group from 128 minutes to 40 minutes. In addition, the average tender joints were reduced from 21 to 5 joints and the number of swollen joints dropped from 10 to 3. The average ESR in the omega-3 group decreased from 39 to 16 and there was a significant reduction in pain for the overall assessment of the disease. When compared to the control group, there was a decrease in the use of analgesic drugs in the omega-3 group …show more content…
In arthritis, corticosteroids are prescribed to individuals who need a quick relief from severe episodes, however, it is found that corticosteroids can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Hence, bones can weaken over time due to a decrease in the amount of calcium being absorbed (Arthritis Foundation, 2017). A study investigated the use of corticosteroids and the risk of fractures (Staa, Leufkens, Abenhaim, Zhang, & Cooper, 2005). Subjects were the age of 18 years and older, with 58.6% being females. Subjects were separated into two groups, oral corticosteroid users and controls, and were followed from baseline until each oral corticosteroid user sustained a fracture, 91 days after the last corticosteroid prescription, the patient’s change of practice, death or reached the end of the study. Results showed that the amount of incident reports and rate of nonvertebral and hip fractures was significantly higher in the corticosteroids group when compared to the control group. Incident reports of vertebral fractures in the corticosteroid group was 2-folds greater than that of the control group. Results also showed that there was a greater rate of fractures in females taking high doses of corticosteroids when compared to male corticosteroid users. After cessation of corticosteroid use, it was found that the risk and number of fracture

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