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Omega-3 and Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is difficult to imagine with all the hype to lower the fat in our diets that

anyone could be fat or fatty acid deficient. Most Americans, unfortunately, have too much fat that hangs over their belt lines due to the over-consumption of total calories. Another type of fat that causes trouble are omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are increased in the body due to the over-consumption of foods fried in hydrogenated vegetable oil as well as consumption of other hydrogenated oils like those found in margarine. Hydrogenated oils are everywhere! Look at the labels the next time you purchase crackers, cookies, and salad dressings. You will be surprised to find that almost all baked goods contain them.

Over-consumption of fried foods, margarine, and other foods with hydrogenated oils will increase the body’s inflammatory state and make the symptoms of disease such as rheumatoid arthritis worse. The way to counteract this is to stop porking out on pork fritters and start eating salmon!

Salmon and other fish contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the incidence of rheumatologic diseases, as well as their symptomatology. The fatty acids in the fish oil, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), dramatically improve the functional ability and diminish the pain in a myriad of diseases, including psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, lupus, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Apparently for optimum health, a ratio of one-to-one in the diet of omega-6 to omega-3 is the healthiest. Currently, that ratio in the standard American diet is close to 20-to-one. Supplementation with such things as flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, borage oil, and fish oils may help bring the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio into proper proportion and more toward optimal health. This is why part of standard Natural Medicine treatment for inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, is the high-dose consumption of fish and fish oils. Lipase enzymes are also given so that the fat is digested properly.

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