Does a Fish-Rich Diet Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms? - Rheumatology Consultant London | Rheumatologist London | Dr Stephanie Barrett



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A recent study in Arthritic Care and Research has found that seafood dishes and meals may help to ease the pains that come with rheumatoid arthritis. We have discussed at length the different diet choices you can make to help with your arthritis before. However, this latest research highlights the beneficial role certain seafood can play.

The new research found that people with rheumatoid arthritis who ate fish at least twice a week had less joint swelling and tenderness compared to those who never or rarely did. While not conclusive, the findings suggest that the more fish people ate, the less their disease impacted.

176 people took part in the study. All had a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and answered questions about their diet over the last year. The researchers took particular interest in questions relating to tuna, salmon, sardines and other fish. They didn’t look at fried fish, shellfish or fish in mixed dishes. They stuck to those which would be naturally higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Previous research shows that fish oil supplements may help people with rheumatoid arthritis. This is the first study that has ever looked specifically at eating fish.

Fish-Rich Diets and Your Disease-Activity Score

Researchers also looked at the disease-activity scores of their patients. This measurement looks at the number of swollen or tender joints any patient has, as well as their inflammation blood marker. The difference between those who ate the most fish and those who ate the least was on average half a disease-activity score point lower. This doesn’t sound like a huge different but it is important to note a half-point reduction is clinically significant. It is a considerable improvement for anyone living with such a chronic condition. It also indicates more research should be carried out.

If you live with rheumatoid arthritis adding more fish to your diet could be recommended. No one is suggesting it will cure symptoms or even necessary relieve them, but it may make a considerable difference.