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Use Omega-3s in Fish Oil Not Drugs to Fight Inflammation
Last review: 08/12/10
Relying on natural sources, rather than drugs, has been proven to be the safest, effective way to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, according to scientists. In fact, it was discovered that a diet high in oily fish might be the most beneficial, as a key anti-inflammatory fat in humans is derived from a fatty acid found in fish oil.

The anti-inflammatory fats are resolvins, specifically made from the omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish. Through studies, scientists found resolvins control inflammation by:

Stopping the passage of inflammatory cells to inflammation sites
Turning on other inflammatory cells

However, one form of resolvins in particular, known as E1, is thought to play a critical role in inflammation.

COX-2 Inhibitors' Influence On E1

One upside to the study was that it highlighted the dangerous COX-2 inhibitors, a class of anti-inflammatory drugs associated with increased cardiovascular risks. Scientists suspect that taking COX-2 inhibitors, though involved in producing the beneficial E1 resolvin, may actually disrupt the body's ability to synthesize the fat. Therefore, the very drugs designed to reduce inflammation have been found to prohibit one of the body's most prominent methods for tackling the same feat.

Thus, based on these findings, it is recommended people suffering from arthritis should eat two to three portions of oily fish a week, or take 1,500 mg of fish oil capsules each day.

Journal of Experimental Medicine March 2005;201(5):713-722

BBC News March 13, 2005

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