Scientists from Newcastle University in New South Wales, Australia, report that 16 weeks of supplementation with fish oil (2.4 grams of EPA + DHA per day) resulted in a significant improvement in osteoarthritis-specific pain and stress compared to no treatment with fish oil led.

The positive effects correlated with improvements in microvascular function and well-being, the scientists wrote in the journal Rheumatology Advances in Practice.

However, when using curcumin alone or in combination with the fish oil, the pain measures remained unaffected.

This study was sponsored by the Blackmores Institute, which also supplied the supplements used in the study: Blackmores Omega Brain (Fish Oil) Blackmores Brain Active (Curcumin)

“Cautiously Optimistic”.

Independently commenting on the results of the study, Harry Rice, PhD, Vice President of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs at the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 Fatty Acids (GOED), said: Evidence of benefits of fish oil is for reducing osteoarthritis-specific pain in the studied population. .

“This was an exploratory analysis, so you don’t want to reach conclusions. Given the qualification of the results and the discussion of the limitations, the authors and I seem to agree. I look forward to investigating this area, ”added Dr. Rice added.

Study details.

Julia Kuszewski, Rachel Wong, and Peter Howe recruited 152 sedentary older adults (between 50 and 80 years of age) to participate in their randomized, double-blind, 2 × 2-factorial, placebo-controlled intervention. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: placebo, fish oil (2,000 mg / day DHA + 400 mg / day EPA), curcumin (160 mg / day), or a combination of fish oil plus curcumin for 16 weeks.

The results showed that among the 134 participants who completed the study, those who received fish oil reported significant reductions in osteoarthritis-specific pain and stress compared to no fish oil. Osteoarthritis-specific stress refers to exercise stress, insomnia, mental distress, loss of productivity, physical limitations, and financial difficulties.

Kuszewski, Wong, and Howe found that supplementing with fish oil was associated with an increase in the elastic index of the small artery (which they used as a surrogate marker for microvascular function).

“Clinical studies have shown that a fish oil supplement can improve flow-mediated dilation, a marker of endothelial function,” they wrote. “The improved endothelial-dependent vasodilation following fish oil supplementation could improve perfusion into previously hypoxic tissues, restore oxygen and nutrient supply to affected joints, and thereby reduce ischemic pain.”

Curcumin alone or in combination with fish oil did not affect pain responses, the researchers said.

“More studies are needed to evaluate the benefits of DHA-rich fish oil alone or as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy in diagnosed patients [osteoarthritis] who have moderate to severe pain to study the mechanisms underlying the possible pain relieving effects of DHA-rich fish oil and to identify them [osteoarthritis] Patients Who Might Benefit From Curcumin Supplementation, ”they concluded.

Source: Advances in Rheumatology in Practice
Volume 4, Issue 2, rkaa036, doi: 10.1093 / rap / rkaa036
“Fish oil supplement reduces osteoarthritis-specific pain in older adults with overweight / obesity”
Authors: JC Kuszewski et al.


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