While the use of nutritional supplements for osteoarthritis OA has focused largely on the duo of glucosamine and chondroitin, research suggests that a popular supplement for heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis may also help OA — fish oil. Fish oil is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids our body needs to function properly. Researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom found that in guinea pigs — which spontaneously develop osteoarthritis — a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduced the occurrence of OA in half compared to a standard guinea pig diet. The scientists found that in guinea pigs fed the diet high in omega-3s, early signs of OA — such as the breakdown of cartilage and the loss of molecules that give cartilage its shock-absorbing properties — were reduced. Another study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases in found that mice with knee OA that ate diets high in saturated fats or omega-6 fatty acids had significant worsening of their OA, while mice given omega-3 supplements had healthier joints.
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Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of oily fish. Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid EPA and docosahexaenoic acid DHA , precursors of certain eicosanoids that are known to reduce inflammation in the body   and improve hypertriglyceridemia. There has been a great deal of controversy in recent years about the role of fish oil in cardiovascular disease , with recent meta-analyses reaching different conclusions about its potential impact. The most promising evidence supports supplementation for prevention of cardiac death. Fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids have also been studied in a wide variety of other conditions such as clinical depression ,   anxiety ,    cancer , and macular degeneration , yet their benefit in these conditions has also not been verified. The fish used as sources do not actually produce omega-3 fatty acids, but instead accumulate them by consuming either microalgae or prey fish that have accumulated omega-3 fatty acids.
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By Lauren Steussy. August 30, am Updated August 30, pm. Fish-oil supplements, which have gotten some credit for helping prevent everything from memory loss to heart disease, are coming under extra scrutiny lately. Fish oil is the most commonly taken natural supplement among both adults and children, with
Omega 3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory fats found primarily in fish and fish oil pills , are the most commonly prescribed supplement in the world. And for good reason. Our research team reviewed and ranked the best fish oil supplements on the market, plus went in-depth on the latest science behind the potential health benefits of fish oil.