Friday, April 9, 2010

How Inflammation and Essential Fats Affect Joint Pain

There are two essential fats: Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids. These are polyunsaturated fats and are very god fats when not highly processed or heated. Our bodies cannot make them so we have to get them from our diets.

Generally, we get plenty of Omega 6 Fatty Acids, however most of us are deficient in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. For a related article on Omega 3 Fatty Acids, see: Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Back Joint Pain
Although as you'll read, Omega 3 Fatty Acids balance out the Omega 6 Fatty Acids therefore combating inflammation which is the cause of much joint pain.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids produce prostaglandins that promote inflammation, blood clotting and cell growth. Omega 3 Fatty Acids produce prostaglandins that have the opposite effect. In the event your are injured your body produces a inflammatory response to bring about quicker healing. This inflammatory response brings blood and immune cells to injured areas of your body.

The body also has on-going inflammation caused by free radicals created by oxidative stress and this inflammation can damage tissues creating major problems, sometimes slow damage, but damage none the less.

It is critical that we balance our essentials fats so the prostaglandins will be created in balance to control inflammation. Unbalanced prostaglandins can cause serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease and of course, arthritis and joint pain.

Omega 6 Fatty Acids can be found in meats, margarines, peanuts, poultry as well as many of our processed foods. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are found in cold water fish, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, soybeans, organic eggs, and almonds.

The best research of today states that Omega 6 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids should be consumed at a 2:1 ratio. Currently it is believed that most Americans have a diet with an Omega 6 to Omega 3 Fatty Acid ratio of 20:1 and in some cases much higher. Hence the need to supplement our diets with Omega 3 Fatty Acids and the most assured and easy method to do this is to consume a pharmaceutical grade Omega 3 nutritional supplement which will eliminate the chances of toxins such as mercury that is associated with Omega 3 supplements derived from Fish Oils.

With unchecked inflammation we take the chance of increasing pain in our joints especially with over use and damage sustained over years.

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