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October 05, 2017

Every year about 22% of adults in the US. are diagnosed with some form of arthritis that includes rheumatoid arthritis.  More common in older adults than in younger people, close to 49.6% of adults over sixty years of age are diagnosed with arthritis each year.

Rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis are the leading cause of loss of mobility and disability in the US. About 24 million adults face difficulty performing activities of daily living such as walking to the car, lifting groceries or taking a bath.

Severe joint pain and inflammation further impact the quality of life. More than six million hospitalizations occur each year because of arthritis and $156 billion is lost in terms of wages and healthcare expenses.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s defense mechanism wrongly identifies the joints as something foreign and starts to attack them. With the overactive immune system, the synovial lining in the joints starts to thicken with consequent inflammation and pain besides reduction in mobility. The synovial fluid is responsible for joint flexibility and smooth movements.  When untreated, the ends of the bones or the cartilages end up getting damaged. Joint deformity, loss of mobility, pain and instability are the consequences of cartilage and bone damage in the joints.

Eating Fish Can Help Control Rheumatoid Arthritis      

A cohort study aimed to determine if fish could reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in 176 participants. A food frequency questionnaire was administered on the participants to gauge the frequency of fish consumption. The options ranged from never to less than once a month, once in a month to less than once a week, once a week and more than twice a week.

The researchers measured the disease activity score or DAS28 score. A range of measurements is conducted on 28 joints using physical examination, pain scores or ratings, markers of inflammation in the blood such as CRP and ESR. MRI, X-rays and ultrasounds are also used to determine the joint health.  A lower score indicates reduced disease activity while a high score indicates active disease.

In the cohort study, the researchers found a significantly lower DAS28-CRP score in subjects who consumed fish more than twice a week as compared to those who did not consume fish. The scores were also lesser compared to those who consumed fish less than once a month. Further, with additional servings or portion size, the DAS28 score dropped by 0.18, indicating more the fish portion size, the lesser the disease activity.

Disclaimer: The health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.

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