Omega-3 fats, known for their benefits to brain health, skin health, and cellular function, may also help with age-related changes in the bones and joints. These healthy fats, which include EPA, DHA, and ALA, are found naturally in fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and some types of seaweed. As people age, loss of cartilage in the joints can lead to osteoarthritis (OA) which is characterized by inflammation and changes to the bone.
Recent studies suggest that omega-3 fats might help address these changes and could support healthy aging, especially regarding joints. In laboratory studies, omega-3 fats have shown promise in reducing certain markers of inflammation linked to cartilage deterioration. They also appear to reduce the activation of certain proteins, potentially slowing down cartilage damage. EPA, one of the omega-3 fats, was reported to help with reducing the loss of a type of tissue in the joints, minimizing cell damage due to stress, and inhibiting a protein involved in cartilage breakdown.
A recent large-scale review, which involved nine studies and over 2,000 people, investigated the link between supplementing with omega-3 fats and changes in osteoarthritis. This review suggested that taking omega-3 supplements could improve joint function and significantly relieve arthritis pain. The authors also suggested that measuring the level of omega-3 fats in the blood at the start and end of the study could be important for understanding its effectiveness.
In summary, omega-3 fats, found in certain types of fish and plant-based foods, might not only be good for brain and skin health but also help with the changes in bones and joints, potentially relieving symptoms of conditions like osteoarthritis.
Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, Amber Randall, MD can provide a quality evaluation of your joints and work with our pharmacists to help select a high-quality supplement based on your specific needs. Wickenburg Community Hospital Pharmacy provides quality compounding services, medication packaging and home delivery to those in the Wickenburg area. Providing care where the patient, family and community comes first is our specialty.