Why fish oil helps with arthritis and inflammatory disorders? November 21, 2009
Most scientists now agree that fish oil benefits various inflammatory conditions like arthritis, heart disease etc. However, the mechanism of how fish oil benefits these conditions has been a mystery. Now, in a joint study between British and American scientists that recently was published in the journal Nature, there are clues to how fish oil helps arthritis patients in particular.
The answer seems to lie in that the body converts DHA, a key omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oils into Resolvin D2, a chemical which has been show to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Professor Mauro Perretti, from Queen Mary, University of London, who led the UK team, said: “We have known for some time that fish oils can help with conditions like arthritis which are linked to inflammation. What we’ve shown here is how the body processes a particular ingredient of fish oils into resolvin D2.”
“We’ve also looked in detail at this chemical, determining at least some of the ways it relieves inflammation. It seems to be a very powerful chemical and a small amount can have a large effect.”
Quoting the authors, “This research is important because it explains at least one way in which fish oils can help in different types of arthritis. We can also work on this chemical and see if it can be used not only to treat or even prevent arthritis, but also as a possible treatment for a variety of other diseases associated with inflammation.”
Source: Nature 461, 1287-1291 (29 October 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08541; Received 18 August 2009; Accepted 21 September 2009