Omega 3 and chronic tendon disorders in athletes

Does Omega 3 have any benefit  in the treatment of chronic tendon disorders ? This is a major problem amongst recreational athletes and we do get asked if  taking a high dose omega 3 such as Take Omega3 which is high in the key anti – inflammatory essential fatty acid EPA would be of any help . Several years ago there was a study conducted whereby they evaluated  treatment with essential fatty acids and antioxidants combined with physiotherapy.

Methods and measures

In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial 40 volunteers active in recreational sports with chronic tendon disorders were assigned to the study. The subjects were divided in two groups, one consuming a daily dosage of essential fatty acids and antioxidants and one consuming similar placebo. Furthermore, the subjects received 16 sessions of ultrasound treatment over 32 days. Evaluation was pain scores, rated on a visual analogue scale and quantification of normal sports activity during treatment.

Results

In the treatment group there was a significant reduction of pain compared with the placebo group (P<0.001) after 32 days. There was a mean decrease in pain score of 99% in the treatment group compared with a mean decrease of 31% in the placebo group. Sport-specific activity increased by 53% in the treatment group and increased by 11% in the placebo group.

Conclusions

The results suggest beneficial effect of essential fatty acids and antioxidants in combination with physiotherapy treating chronic tendon disorders.

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