Economy

Eating fish twice a week 'may ease' arthritis symptoms

The study by Harvard researchers has found that people with rheumatoid arthritis who consume fish more than twice a week have lower disease activity (swollen/tender joint counts along with other assessments) than those who never or rarely eat fish.

Conventional wisdom dictates that regular doses of omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

They found that subjects consuming fish more than two times in a week had significantly lower RA symptoms than compared to subjects who ate fish never to less than once per month.

The results of the study provide solid evidence that eating fish can help manage symptomatic pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Tedeschi said: "If our findings can be replicated in other populations and over longer periods of time, we may be able to show one specific reason for people with rheumatoid arthritis to eat more fish".

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For the study, the researchers analyzed the data of 176 arthritis patients included in the Evaluation of Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease and Predictors of Events in RA (ESCAPE-RA) cohort study. A blood marker showed that RA disease activity was also lower in frequent fish consumers.

After controlling for race, sex, body mass index, smoking, education, fish oil supplement use, duration of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and other health and behavioral characteristics, they found the average disease activity score in each group declined as fish intake increased. The researchers did not include shellfish and fish in mixed dishes or fried.

"In general, patients should eat whole, unprocessed foods", he said.

Because the study was not randomized, researchers were unable to make definite conclusions, but they were pleased with what they learned. ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170621082809.htm .

One finding that impressed Tedeschi "was that the absolute difference in the disease activity scores between the group that ate fish the most frequently and least frequently was the same percentage as what has been observed in trials of methotrexate, which is the standard of care medication for rheumatoid arthritis", she said.

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