Adding Omega-3s Reduces Pain and Stiffness
A study published in the November 2009 issue of the journal Advances in Therapy found that a combination of omega-3 essential fatty acids and glucosamine is better for joint health than glucosamine alone.
Glucosamine is a compound that is essential for repair of cartilage and other body tissues. It is found naturally in the body but production of the compound slows as you age.
Glucosamine can also be found in supplements and is often used to treat osteoarthritis.
For the recent study, German researchers recruited 177 people with moderate to severe knee or hip osteoarthritis. The participants were randomly assigned to receive a glucosamine sulfate supplement (1500 milligrams per day) or glucosamine plus omega-3 fatty acids (200 mg omega-3-fatty acids) for 26 weeks.
The researchers measured the participant's pain, stiffness, and function before and after the study period using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthrosis index .
The researchers found that the glucosamine plus omega-3 essential fatty acid group saw a higher reduction in stiffness and pain then the glucosamine only group.
Morning stiffness and pain in the hips and knees was reduced by between 48.5% and 55.6%, compared to 41.7% and 55.3%.
They noted that the two ingredients likely act synergistically since omega-3 fatty acids inhibit inflammation and glucosamine supports the rebuilding of lost cartilage.
Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for much more than just joint health. They have been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and boost heart and eye health.
You can get more omega-3s in your diet by eating more fatty fish like mackerel or salmon or by taking a supplement. If you opt to take an omega-3 supplement, make sure it is of high quality and certified for purity.