Thursday, March 12, 2009

Omega-3 or fish oil and arthritis

A newsletter from Walgreens points out the benefit of fish oil to rheumatoid arthritis. I searched on Google for '"omega-3" arthritis' (double quotes included):
and got 1.15 million hits. There's no point in repeating the published research here. But I want to point out that I've had pain on my right wrist once in a while in the past, oh, perhaps ten years. I've never figured out the cause. The first doctor used a term tendinitis to describe it. Ever since my Mom suspected it was gout, I relayed that suspicion to subsequent doctors and they always gave me I think prednisone, an anti-inflammation drug, which seems to kill the pain fine, and I was told to avoid mushrooms, some fish, animal organs, etc. Nevertheless, wrist pain still comes and goes a few times a year. Oddly, a detailed blood test did not reveal any sign of gout (e.g. high uric acid) and eating mushrooms didn't correlate with flare-up. In fact, the year while I lived in China, mostly 2007, was actually worse when I had better discipline on diet. Now when I come to think of it, that was also the year I had not taken any fish oil. Back in the US, I started to take Omega-3 fish oil again and had much less frequent pain. I have to say this anecdotal evidence is quite consistent with the theory that fish oil goes against arthritis.

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