Omega-3 Rich Diet May Keep Joints Healthy

   |  Updated: July 28, 2014 19:00 IST

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Omega-3 Rich Diet May Keep Joints Healthy
Omega-3 or Omega-3 fatty acid, despite the name is an extremely essential nutrient. It promotes healthy brain function, wards-off heart diseases and reduces the risk of Type-2 diabetes. Omega-3 belongs to a broader group of fats called polyunsaturated fats or poly fats. 

Cold water fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines are concentrated sources of omega-3 fats and are recommended by most health experts. Besides these, flaxseed, walnuts, beans and olive oil can also be consumed to add omega-3 in your diet. According to a study that recently appeared in the Journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, omega-3 fatty acids may keep the joints healthy even when a person is overweight.

Farhid Guilak, a professor at Duke University said "Our results suggest that dietary factors play a more significant role than mechanical factors in the link between obesity and osteoarthritis" (osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis). To test this theory, researchers experimented on three sets of mice. The mice were fed with one of three high-fat diets: one rich in saturated fat, one rich in omega-6 fatty acids, and one rich in omega-6 fatty acids but supplemented with a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

The study focused on mice with osteoarthritis of the knee caused by injury to the joint. Researchers found that mice that consumed a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids had healthier joints than those who were fed diets high in saturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids. The findings further indicated that unhealthy dietary fats may worsen osteoarthritis. Arthritis was significantly associated with the mice's diets, but not with body weight.

Guilak said, "While omega-3 fatty acids are not reversing the injury, they appear to slow the progression of arthritis in this group of mice. In fact, omega-3 fatty acids eliminated the detrimental effects of obesity in obese mice."

With inputs from IANS


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