Inflammation is your immune system’s way of fighting infection and treating injuries. It refers to your body's process of fighting against things that harm it, like infections, injuries, and toxins, in an attempt to heal itself. When something damages your cells, your body releases chemicals that trigger a response from your immune system.
However, chronic inflammation is associated with serious illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart disease. Reducing inflammation can help treat symptoms of these diseases.
Omega-3s are nutrients you get from food (or supplements) that help build and maintain a healthy body. They’re key to the structure of every cell wall you have. They’re also an energy source and help keep your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system working the way they should.
Two crucial ones -- EPA and DHA -- are primarily found in certain fish. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), another omega-3 fatty acid, is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds.
DHA levels are especially high in retina (eye), brain, and sperm cells.
Not only does your body need these fatty acids to function, they also deliver some big health benefits.
Because fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties, it may help treat conditions involving chronic inflammation.
Many inflammation-based health concerns can be reduced and modulated with an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet or via supplements. These EFAs stimulate the body’s anti-inflammatory processes, helping relieve joint pain and other inflammation-based pain in the body in much the same way as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but without the side effects.
For those with joint trouble, everyday activities such as working, walking, and exercising can cause debilitating pain. Although over-the-counter pain medications can help ease some of the discomfort caused by joint conditions such as arthritis and bursitis, there are some effective natural alternatives. Fish oil is a popular alternative for joint pain relief.
Rich in omega 3s, fish oil has health benefits for a variety of conditions ranging from cholesterol problems to diabetes. One of its many benefits is its anti-inflammatory properties, which play a role in its effectiveness as an aid for joint pain.
Omega-3s reduce the production of some substances released during your body’s
inflammatory response. Inflammation is a natural response to infections and damage in your body. Therefore, it is vital for your health.
However, inflammation sometimes persists for a long time, even without an infection or injury. This is called chronic — or long-term — inflammation.
Long-term inflammation can contribute to almost every chronic Western illness, including heart disease and cancer. Notably, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation, such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines.
Studies have consistently observed a connection between higher omega-3 intake and reduced inflammation. Omega-3 EFAs have been demonstrated and proven to successfully minimise joint pain associated with a range of inflammatory conditions. A number of placebo-controlled studies comparing NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, an analgesic commonly used for pain, and omega-3 EFAs have shown equivalent results for pain relief.
While fish oils are becoming markedly more popular as a form of pain relief for arthritis and joint conditions, the mechanisms by which fish oil induces relief have wide-reaching effects. A meta-analysis of 17 randomised, controlled trials assessing the pain-relieving effects of omega-3 PUFAs in patients found that omega-3 PUFAs are a successful treatment for joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and dysmenorrhoea.
For example, in stressed and obese individuals, fish oil can reduce the production and gene expression of inflammatory molecules called cytokines. Moreover, fish oil supplements can significantly reduce joint pain, stiffness, and medication needs in people with rheumatoid arthritis, which causes painful joints.