Arthritis is an inflammatory disease. That means that without inflammation, arthritis cannot start and if inflammation is inhibited, arthritis cannot progress.
When it comes to considering the role of omega 3 in resolving inflammation
you need to understand the current state of your omega 3 <> omega 6 balance.
More about omega 3 and omega 6 balance here
I think the most important point to understand is that omega 6 is a bully boy and once there is SIGNIFICANTLY more omega 6 than omega 3 the omega 6 gangs up on the omega 3 and actively displaces it from it's position in cells.
This means that supplementing with omega 3 CANNOT make a long term difference if you continue to consume industrial seed oils such as corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower and cottonseed oil or commercially produced foods that contain them.
You can find out your current omega 3 omega 6 status here
Ideal Omega Balance Chart UK source £50
Omega-3 Index, Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio$149.95 Member $134.95
there may be cheaper sources I haven't checked these are examples only.
Most UK adults have about 15~20 times more omega 6 than omega 3 while in USA it's getting on for 30 to 1.
The situation has changed considerable over the last 50yrs
Ideally you will aim to get the omega 6 imbalance reduced to BELOW 5 omega 6 to 1 omega 3.
In the short term a high omega 3 intake requires checking the EPA and DHA content of your fish oil supplement.
Now Foods, Ultra Omega-3, 500 EPA/250 DHA $25.48
are both Molecularly Distilled & Enteric Coated
the molecular distillation removes nasties and the enteric coating means they pass further into the digestive system before dissolving so are past the point that may cause burping.
For UK readers Simply supplements offer
Omega 3 Triple Strength 1000mg 330mg of EPA & 220mg of DHA (360) £14.29
Simply Supplements - 27.5% discount
These are molecularly distilled but not enteric coated, They are also not as strong so you would need more. If you aim for between 2~3g of OMEGA 3
3 daily of the NOW foods 750mg = 2.250g 4 daily = 3g omega 3
Simply supplements 4x 550= 2.20g and you'd need to use 5/6 alternate days to = 3g/
To reduce the potential for Burping taking them 30mins BEFORE a meal gives them a head start and the eating food a bit after seems to block the fishy aftertaste. Another idea is to keep the capsules in the freezer and take them frozen. It slows down the rate of dissolving sufficiently to pass the burp point.
I've no problems with the taste/aftertaste from fish oil so I use a
Nature's Answer, Liquid Omega-3, Deep Sea Fish Oil EPA/DHA,800mg EPA 500 DHA = 1300omega3 $18.19 X 96 servings
2 tsps would provide 2.60g omega 3
this is Molecularly Distilled
A UK source of liquid fish oil would be ZIPVIT Omega Juice 900 EPA 600 DHA=1.50g tsp
However this is NOT molecularly distilled and many kids do not like the taste however it is cheap £5.99
$5 Discount code for IHERB WAB666 off first order then you get you get a code, share that code & you get further small discount off subsequent orders.
UK readers don't order more than £17.50 or you MAY end up paying VAT + £8 Post Office handling fee. US readers may find equivalent products cheaper from other US online providers depending on shipping cost. Iherb is best for UK readers because their $4 shipping is much cheaper.
I'll try and add some more research to this post on the role of omega 3 in arthritis later.
The full text of this is online for those who enjoy going into the detail of why EFFECTIVE amounts of omega 3 given time reduce pain in arthritis.
Inflammatory pain, such as arthritis pain, is a growing health problem. Inflammatory pain is generally treated with opioids and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors, but both are limited by side effects. Recently, resolvins, a unique family of lipid mediators, including RvE1 and RvD1 derived from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, have shown marked potency in treating disease conditions associated with inflammation
Which reminds me to mention that although the circulating levels of omega 3 in blood will change more or less as soon as you take an effective strength supplement, however the turnover rate of cells in your body is much slower. Providing you eliminate all sources of omega 6 seed oils, and keep omega 3 intake high it will take around 2 yrs to refurbish 50% of your body cells to the optimum omega 3 ratio and about 5 yrs to finish the job.
So if at the end of 3 months you haven't begun to feel the benefit DON'T give up. It was only after a couple of years I realized my low level pain wasn't bothering me all the time like it used to.
I'll spend some time later today discussing other anti inflammatory approaches that have evidence to support their use in Arthritis. I will focus on Vitamin D3, Magnesium, Green Tea to start with but Vitamin C, E CLA, Glucosamine, also have a role among other strategies. (ie weight loss, fat cells are pro inflammatory)