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Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Be Beneficial for Joint Health?

Fish oil is a supplement that provides a wide variety of benefits due to the omega-3 fatty acids it contains. These benefits are a big reason why it's one of the most commonly taken supplements. Not to mention, it is highly recommended for those who do not consume enough fish or any at all.

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil play important roles in the human body. Fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) work together to reduce inflammation in the body while also positively affecting the brain, eyes, and heart. Many people consume these supplements because they are linked to numerous heart health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and better overall cardiovascular health. But have you heard about the impact that omega-3 fatty acids have on joint health?

Joint pain is an extremely common issue, especially with age. But even young adults experience joint pain or limited mobility due to inflammation. For some people, even low-intensity exercise or walking can contribute to debilitating pain. While some over-the-counter medications can help ease this discomfort, omega-3's are a natural and effective alternative for joint pain and conditions like bursitis and arthritis.

Omega-3 fatty acids for inflammation and arthritis

Inflammation in the body contributes to the swelling and pain you experience in the joints. Inflammation is not inherently bad, as it is a normal defense mechanism that protects us from infection. When inflammation occurs, the response is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, heat, and loss of function to help the body restore balance.

However, when this response is not well-regulated, it can lead to irreparable damage. While there are over 100 types of arthritis, they all involve the joints. The most common of these is osteoarthritis (OA), which attacks the flexible, tough cartilage around the joint. This is a condition that mainly happens in older people.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the joint's soft tissues and synovial capsule. Both OA and RA cause pain and inflammation in the joints.

Thankfully, research shows that both EPA and DHA reduce inflammation, although DHA is more effective. Lower levels of inflammation lessen the intensity of joint symptoms - everything from swelling and discomfort to stiffness and tenderness.

Omega-3 fatty acids for healthier cells and joints

The Omega-3's present in fish oil are healthy fats that keep your joints healthy by supplementing and restoring joint tissues. These healthy fats have natural chemicals that support lubrication for the joints. Proper lubrication helps prevent the joints from rubbing together, reducing the pain and strains.

Omega-3 fatty acids for exercise

Omega-3 fatty acids increase blood flow in the body as you exercise. The proper blood flow this supplement supports reduces swelling and joint pain so you can keep moving.

The importance of Omega-3 supplements

As mentioned, fish oil is one of the most commonly used supplements. Another reason for this is that the body cannot manufacture these fatty acids. If they are not obtained from food, namely oily fish, thankfully, you can reap these joint health benefits in supplement form.

Not only that, but Omega-3 fatty acid supplements specifically are better for the environment than fish or fish oil and even suitable for vegans. Look for a product that is allergen, pollutant, toxin, and mercury-free.