Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Omega 3 - Where Art Thou?

I received a question from a reader, Jack in Oregon, asked: "Can you explain why you think Omega 3 oils are beneficial for your joints? I use Flax Seed oil in my food and think it's a good thing and can't find anything that shows to take Omega 3 for joint pain."

MyAchingKnees reply: Omega 3 Fatty Acids are found in Flax Seed Meal and Oil. It's great for a person to use with their foods, if they are getting a whole source. I buy Flax Seed and use a coffee grinder to grind up and use in Steel Cut Oats for Breakfast or Lunch most of the time.

There are many sources that claim not only the joint pain reduction benefits of adding a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to your diet, but link Omega 3 to other degenerative disease fighting benefits and energy transfer between cells especially in cognitive functions.

I don't think Omega 3's are the end all to nutritional supplements, but I think they are an essential optimizers to a balanced daily nutritional supplement. I think there is truck loads of information that you bring a person to believe that there are amazing changes in your health that can be brought about from taking a quality (read pharmaceutical grade) nutritional supplement and optimizers, especially combining that eating good foods and avoiding bad foods, getting physical exercise and avoiding a toxic lifestyle. I am convinced of that and will be taking the supplements I do for the rest of my life, including the Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Glucosamine, which I attribute to not only reducing, but eliminating my knee pain.

Below is a recent article (you have to do your diligence to find these articles) on Omega 3 Fatty Acids and the link to slowing arthritis and osteoarthritis both degenerative diseases and causes of sometimes unrelenting joint pain. The article from Natural News can be found here.

Omega-3 fats from fish oil and supplements prevent and slow arthritis progression

Humans have been consuming omega-3 fats from natural fish, nut and seed sources for countless generations. Our core genetic structure depends on a regular supply of the long chain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA to form cell wall structures and perform millions of metabolic functions that we normally associate with vibrant health. Imbalance of omega-3 to omega-6 fats cause a surge in inflammatory cytokines that can lead to the painful and debilitating condition known as osteoarthritis.

New research published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage has shown for the first time that omega-3 fats supplied by fish oil could "substantially and significantly" reduce the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis as we age.

Researchers from the University of Bristol in England tested the effect of omega-3 fats on a breed of guinea pigs that are genetically predisposed to develop arthritis. Guinea pigs were chosen for this study as they develop osteoarthritis in a similar manner to humans. Anecdotal reports over the years provide support for the beneficial effect of fish consumption on joint health. Dr. John Tarlton from the Matrix Biology Research Group and his team set out to confirm the impact of omega-3 fatty acids, either sourced from fish oil or flax oil, in preventing or slowing down the progression of osteoarthritis.

Omega-3 Fat Supplementation Slashes Osteoarthritis Disease Progression by Half

The team fed one group of guinea pigs a diet including full-spectrum omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA) and compared the results to a second control group of non-supplemented animals. Typical degradation of collagen in cartilage and the loss of molecules that give it shock-absorbing properties were both reduced in the omega-3 supplemented group. Researchers noted that omega-3 fats reduced disease by
50 per cent compared to the control group.

Upon examination of the results, Dr. Tarlton explained: "there was strong evidence that omega-3 influences the biochemistry of the disease, and therefore not only helps prevent disease, but also slows its progression, potentially controlling established osteoarthritis." This is a critical finding, as most people suffering from arthritis are prescribed a plethora of ineffective pain medications that
dramatically increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease or of suffering a heart attack.

Omega fat imbalance from a poor diet causes excessive joint inflammation and needless suffering. Researchers performing this study concluded "Most diets in the developed world are lacking in omega-3, with modern diets having up to 30 times too much omega-6 and too little omega-3. Taking omega-3 will help redress this imbalance and may positively contribute to a range of other health problems such as heart disease." Many health-minded individuals will want to supplement with a
molecularly distilled form of fish oil (minimum 1200 mg EPA/DHA content) each day to combat inflammation and osteoarthritis.

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