‘Arthritis and rheumatism’ is a general term that represents many types of arthritis; the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) and rheumatoid arthritis. In Greek, Artho means joint and it means inflammation.
Omega-3’s are popular nutritional supplements that are often prescribed for arthritis pain treatment.
The term omega refers to the terminal carbon atom farthest from the functional carboxylic acid group (–COOH). Therefore, omega -3 has a site of unsaturation between the third and fourth carbon atoms from the omega end (hence the term).The three main types of omega-3’s fatty acids are:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
The highest concentrations of the omega-3 PUFAs, EPA and DHA, are found in cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, and herring.
ALA is found in flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed meal, hempseed oil, hempseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, and avocados. ALA is also found in some dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and mustard greens.
Why do the omega-3’s relieve arthritis?
The major reasons why the omega -3’s are effective nutritional supplements in arthritis pain treatment are because they have anti-inflammatory effects such as affecting leukocyte chemotaxis, adhesion molecule expression, leucocyte‐endothelial adhesive interactions, production of eicosanoids, production of inflammatory cytokines and T cell reactivity. Furthermore, the n‐3 fatty acids alter the cell membrane phospholipid fatty acid composition thus inhibiting the activation of the inflammatory transcription factors and the net result is the reduction of the inflammation and pain.
There are many fish oils available from your health store. They come in different forms and have varying absorption rates. The different forms include:
- Natural triglycerides
- Ethyl esters
- Re-esterified Triglycerides
Several manufacturers use the term ‘natural’ as part of their brand name but the product contains little or no natural fish oil. Some products are made from liver fish oils which contain Vitamin A which can be toxic in excessive doses. Other omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements fish oil products are oxidised and do not contain the claimed EPA/ DHA content. So, it is important to do your research or visit the Apple A Day RX Shop to purchase top quality practitioner line Omega 3 Fatty Acids nutritional supplements.
It is important to be aware that there is always a risk that omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements may interact with other vitamins, herbal products and a range of pharmaceutical medications such as birth control pills, anti-hypertensives, blood thinning agents and more.If you do want to use omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements for arthritis pain treatment but you are also using other medications or have an allergy or pregnant (to determine the optimal dose) then you should consult a doctor or healthcare professional.