Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Greetings, and welcome back to my wellness blog! Today, let’s dive into a topic that resonates with many of my patients – joint pain. As we explore holistic approaches to joint health, one natural remedy that’s been making waves is the incorporation of fish oil or omega-3 fatty acid supplements into our wellness routines. So, grab a seat, and let’s navigate the waters of fish oil and its potential benefits for joint pain.
Understanding joint pain
Joint pain is a common visitor that many of us grapple with, affecting our daily lives and overall well-being. Whether it’s due to aging, injury, or conditions like arthritis, addressing inflammation is a key component of managing joint discomfort. In my chiropractic practice, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact joint pain can have on mobility and quality of life. It’s crucial to explore diverse solutions that go beyond traditional approaches.
Background behind fish oils and fish oil supplements
Fish oil supplements contain EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA and DHA are removed from fish like salmon, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel. The EPA and DHA are then concentrated and put into capsules to be sold as fish oil or omega-3 supplements. EPA and DHA are essential fatty acids called omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential because you need them in your body to function properly. For example, they’re important for brain and nerve function, heart and blood vessel health, and to help control inflammation. However, because, but you can’t make them in your body, you need to get these essential fatty acids from foods or supplements.
The science behind fish oils and joint pain
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to control inflammation and likely plays an important in role in the treatment and prevention of chronic illness. This includes joint pain and arthritis. Scientific studies have provided compelling evidence supporting the use of fish oil for joint pain, making it a promising avenue for those seeking natural relief. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Fish oil for joint pain: how it works
How does fish oil alleviate joint pain? The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil act as natural agents, and through a variety of mechanisms help to soothe inflammation and promote overall joint health. When incorporated into a wellness routine, fish oil can complement chiropractic care and other approaches, offering a holistic solution to joint pain.
Why fish oils might not work for joint pain
Although omega 3-fatty acids are essential in order for your body to work optimally and to control inflammation, they don’t always help if you have joint pain. Here are some reasons why:
- there are multiple causes of inflammation causing joint pain other than a person not consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids.
- omega-3 fatty acids from fish absorb better than potent dosages of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements
- some people have gut absorption issues which can make them deficient not only in omega-3 fatty acids but also other important nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron.
- fish oil supplements are prone to oxidation (damaged from oxygen exposure) which negates their positive effects.
- fish oil supplements are missing other important ingredients that are found in fish like vitamin D, selenium, zinc, protein, co-factors
- genetic variability
Incorporating fish oil into your wellness routine
Now that we’ve established the benefits of fish oil for joint pain, let’s discuss practical ways to incorporate it into your daily life. While fish oil supplements are readily available, it’s essential to explore dietary sources rich in omega-3s. Fatty fish (wild salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies, and sardines) and shellfish are excellent choices. If you can manage it, consume 12-16 ounces of these foods per week.
If you don’t eat fish, for whatever reason, I would suggest you supplement with a high quality fish oil (from Nordic Naturals) or Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil. Studies don’t show any harm from taking 1 gram or less of fish oil per day.
If you are a patient of mine, you can purchase Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega at my office or you can phone the manufacturer Nordic Naturals to find out where to buy it at a retailer near you. As well, you can go to a health food store or supplement store to find a good quality formula.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, it would be extremely important to supplement with microalgae like Algae Omega from Nordic Naturals in order to get enough EPA and DHA (another important essential fatty acid). Plant-based omega-3 fats like flaxseed and walnuts will not provide enough EPA and DHA in most cases.
As we conclude our exploration of fish oil for joint pain, I encourage you to consider this natural remedy as part of your wellness journey. Whether you’re dealing with chronic joint discomfort or simply looking to enhance your joint health, fish oil may offer the relief you seek. Remember, a holistic approach, including chiropractic care and mindful dietary choices, can contribute to overall well-being. Consult with your healthcare professional, and let’s navigate the path to healthier joints together. Until next time, stay well, Edmonton!
To learn more about how chiropractor care can help you and your family, read Dr. Collins’ comprehensive guide to chiropractic care: Chiropractic Care for Everyone.
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