A recent study shows that having a regular weekly serving of fatty fish like salmon or four weekly servings of lean fish like cod could reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The study was conducted by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and analyzed the dietary habits of 32,232 Swedish women. All the women were born between 1914 and 1948. The study tracked the health of these women from 2003 to 2010.
At the start of the study, the women completed food frequency questionnaires in 1987 and again in 1997. In the questionnaire, they provided detail information regarding what they ate, including different types of fish. In the follow-up period, 205 women were diagnosed with RA, 27% of which ate less than 0.21g of omega-3 fatty acids per day. Those who exceed 0.21g per day, one serving of fatty fish or four servings of lean fish per were half as likely to develop RA.
According to an article posted in WebMD UK Health News, the women needed to eat at least one portion of all types of fish every week for at least 10 years to get the most benefit. A fishy diet is beneficial because fish contains long chain omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Below is a list of omega-3 rich fish. Professor Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, comments: “Fish body oil and fish liver oil are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can regulate the body’s immune system and fight joint inflammation. We’ve known for some time that there is good evidence that in people with active arthritis, taking fish oils can reduce the level of inflammation and may prevent inflammation from starting in the joint.”