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Benefits Of Omega 3 Supplements For Arthritis Sufferers

Arthritis can be a debilitating problem for older adults causing stiff joints that can make exercise painful and discomforting. As with many of the health issues I discuss in this blog, exercise and nutrition changes are integral components of healing and balancing the body.

I’m sure you have heard of glucosamine as being a supplement for arthritis suffers. While the research is inconclusive on the effectiveness of glucosamine, most of the research finding it doesn’t work, some individuals swear by the benefits.

I’ve personally seen a 50/50 chance of it helping joint pain and feel it’s worth experimenting with if nothing else. While glucosamine is a “maybe” supplement, there is another supplement I’d highly recommend for everyone suffering from arthritis and joint pain in general. Click here to learn more about supplements that help with joint pain.

And that supplement is Omega-3′s (either fish oil or flaxseed oil).

More after the jump…

Essential fatty acids, such as Omega-3′s have been shown in countless research trials to reduce inflammation.

While traditionally used to help battle inflammation in the heart, omega-3 fatty acids have been receiving a lot more attention lately for decreasing inflammation throughout the body, and with good reason.

Inflammation is our body’s natural response to stressors, toxification, or injury, whether it is chronic or acute. It’s the primary culprit behind most illness and disease. Reducing inflammation should be a main objective for everyone looking to improve their health.

How Omega-3′s reduce inflammation…

Omega 3 fatty acids are responsible for lowering the production of a molecule called prostaglandin. It is prostaglandin that is largely responsible for inflammation.

There are several other ways in which Omega-3 fatty acids work to reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, heart, and other organs and glands.

I’ll save a more detailed discussion on that end for another day. Just know that increased Omega 3 intake will help to decrease prostaglandin production along with inflammation through out the body.

How to increase Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet…

You could increase your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids by taking a high quality fish oil or flaxseed oil. Omega 3’s can also be found in several food sources including fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and oysters to name a few.

Fresh produce that is rich in Omega 3’s include spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, mint, parsley, and watercress.

Several other oils naturally contain Omega-3′s as well including cod liver oil, rapeseed, and walnut.

Because Omega 3 is being promoted as a “super supplement”, food manufacturers have been quick to add it to their products. You can find here several kinds of fortified grains claiming high Omega-3 content.

Be wary of this because if the food product is processed the fortified Omega-3′s will provide little benefit. You must get Omega-3′s from whole, natural foods or in supplement form.

If you choose to use flaxseeds as an addition to your diet, the best method is to buy them whole and grind it yourself just prior to use (this maintains the structural integrity of the fatty acid and promotes the best absorption).

I believe so strongly in the benefits of Omega-3 supplements that I recommend them to all my personal training clients, not just those suffering from arthritis and joint pain.

Just know if you’re suffering from arthritis or joint pain in general, you may want to experiment with more than just glucosamine based products. While these may or may not produce a significant reduction in joint pain, the recommended and safe dosage of a high quality omega-3 supplement can help with inflammation and support overall improved health.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. With a staff of over 10 certified fitness professionals, Shaping Concepts provides personal fitness training in Charleston with a specialty on weight loss and body transformation. Sign up today for a no obligations consultation.

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Category: Nutrition.