Archive for the ‘Omega 3 fatty acids Journal of Pain 2007’ Category

Omega 3’s -Journal of Pain 2007

September 11, 2009

Journal of Pain-May 2007 129(1-2), pp. 210-223

Robert J. Goldberg and Joel Katz

A meta-analysis of the analgesic effects of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation from inflammatory joint pain

Key points

1.. “Between 40% and 60% of Americans use complementary and alternative medicine to manage medical conditions, prevent disease, and promote health and well being.”

2.  33% of those who use complementary medicine cite pain as the primary reason.

3.  “Supplementation with n-3 PUFAs for 3-4 months reduces patient reported joint pain intensity, minutes of morning stiffness, number of painful and/or tender joints, and NSAID consumption.”

4.  Omega-3 PUFAs are an adjunctive treatment for joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and dysmenorrhea.

5.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are associated with gastrointestinal bleeding and myocardial infarction.

6.  “The typical North American diet is very low in EPA and DHA and conversion is limited from dietary alpha-linolenic acid, found in vegetable oils, to EPA/DHA.

7.  Fish oil is a rich source of long-chain n-3 PUFAs EPA and DHA.

8.  “In humans, supplementation with fish oil, or EPA/DHA capsules, increases the incorporation of n-3 PUFAs into phospholipids, conferring anti-inflammatory effects.”

9.  The therapeutic effects of n-3 PUFAs usually manifest after approximately 3 months, and “taking n-3 PUFA supplementation for 2 months or less would not benefit significantly.” (So there is a 2-4 month window to see results people…hang in there and give your body time to use this stuff…it will be worth it for overall health)emphasis mine

10. Studies that provided high-dose (more than 2.7 grams a day of EPA and DHA) n-3 PUFAs showed greater improvements in morning stiffness and number of painful and/or tender joints compared to low dose n-3 PUFAs.

11. “The results of the present meta-analysis support the hypothesis that n-3 PUFA supplementation improves pain outcomes after three months, particularly with respect to patient assessed pain, duration of morning stiffness, number of painful and/ or tender joints, and {reduced} NSAID consumption.”

12. “Significant improvements were noted in patient assessed  pain and morning stiffness among studies providing high-dose but not low dose n-3 PUFAs.”

13. “Reducing the intake of n-6 fatty acids (e.g., linoleic acid), which are metabolized to arachidonic acid and inflammatory eicosandoids, would be expected to increase the effectiveness of the n-3 PUFA supplements.”

14. EPA/DHA supplements may also be useful for other types of chronic inflammatory pain, such as osteoarthritis or chronic back pain.

15. Alpha-linolenic acid [flax seed oil,etc.] is poorly converted to EPA and DHA.

Side Note: Buy from reputable companies! It doesn’t pay to find the cheapest fish oil products. You wouldn’t shop for cheapest heart surgeon for a loved one would you? Read this link on fish oil lawsuit in 2010.


Omega-3 books-(These are also good books on overall health!)

1. Omega-3 Connection by Andrew Stoll, Simon & Schuster, 2001
2. Medicinal Fatty Acids in Inflammation, edited by Joel Kremer (Professor of Medicine and Head of Rheumatology at Albany Medical College, New York), (Birkhauswer Verlag), 1998 (Technical Biochemical reference book $131.00)
3. Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, by Udo Erasmus, Alive books, 1993
4. The Omega Zone, by Barry Sears, Regan Books, 2002
5. Fish oil, The Natural Anti-inflammatory, Joseph Maroon, M.D., Basic Health, 2006
6. Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy by Walter Willett and The Harvard School of Public Health, Simon & Schuster, 2001
7.  Healthy Fats For Life, by Lorna Vanderhaeghe and Karlene Karst, Wiley, 2004
8.  The Ultimate Omega-3 Diet, Evelyn Tribole, McGraw Hill, 2007
9.  The Queen of Fats, Why omega-3s Were Removed From the Western Diet and What We Can Do to Replace Them, Susan Allport, University of Calif. Press, 2006
10. Your Miracle Brain by Jean Carper, Harper Collins, 2000
11. The Better Brain Book, by David Perlmutter, M.D., Riverhead Books, 2004
12. Brain Lipids and Disorders in Biological Psychiatry, ER Skinnner (Ed.), Elsevier Science, 2002
13. Phospholipid Spectrum Disorders In Psychiatry and Neurology, edited by Malcolm Peet, Iain Glenn, David Horrobin, Marlus Press, 2003
14. The Anti-Inflammation Zone, by Barry Sears, Ph.D, Reagan books, 2004
15. Inflammation Nation, by Floyd Chilton, Fireside Books, 2005
16. The Antioxidant Miracle by Lester Packer, Wiley, 1999
17. The Schwartzbein Principle, by Diana Schwartzbein, M.D., 1999
18. The LCP Solution, by B. Jacqueline Stordy, Ballantine Books, 2000
19. The Paleo Diet, by Loren Cordain, Wiley 2002