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Study boosts cod liver oil RA link

Further evidence has been found to back a link between the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with cod liver oil.

A study showed that those taking a cod liver oil supplement were able to cut their reliance on anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, by more than 30%.

This could be good news for sufferers as high doses of anti-inflammatories have been linked to increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and gastrointestinal bleeding.

And doses prescribed for conditions such as arthritis are much higher than for those who use the drugs as occasional painkillers.

The new study, by Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee and the University of Dundee, analysed 97 patients with RA who took NSAIDs.

The patients were given either 10g of cod liver oil containing 2.2g of n-3 (omega-3) essential fatty acids, or "dummy" pills.

Out of 49 patients in the cod liver oil group, 19 (39%) managed to reduce their daily NSAID requirement by more than 30% at the nine month point.

Meanwhile just five (10%) of 48 patients in the placebo group, were able to cut their daily NSAID requirement by more than 30%.

Ninewells Hospital

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