Posts Tagged ‘natural pain relief’

Omega3 Fish Oil EPA as treatment for slipped disc / herniated disc / degenerative disk disease

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

The renowned Mayo Clinic states that the vast majority of cases of herniated disks do NOT  require surgical intervention.Treatment For slipped disc is usually limited bed rest, physical therapy, cortisone injections and prescription or over-the-counter pain reducing and anti-inflammatory medications. There is a growing body of evidence omega 3 fish oil supplements high in EPA specifically may reduce the inflammation and pain associated with herniated discs resulting from degenerative disk disease.

Disks are made  of cartilage that cushion the individual bones between the vertebrae and keep them from rubbing together. These disks have a tough outside and an inside that is gel-like. Small traumas, daily stress and increasing age can contribute to the development of degenerative disc disease. Small tears in the exterior of the spinal disk can cause the gel-like center to dry up, resulting in a narrowing of the space between two vertebrae. This initial damage to the spinal disk can lead to other problems such as herniated disks and discogenic pain.

The suggestion that omega-3s might reduce symptoms and cartilage degeneration is based on the known anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3s, their effectiveness in rheumatoid arthritis (which does not affect the cartilage), and encouraging results from studies in animals with the condition and findings from cultured cells.

Here we describe a study in the U.K. that examined the effect of omega-3s in cultured cartilage tissue under conditions of tissue breakdown. When inflammatory agents were added to the tissue, a protein characteristic of cartilage breakdown was released from the tissue. When low levels of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), one of the two main omega-3s  were added to the tissue, the release of the protein fell. High concentrations of EPA had little effect on the amount of protein released.

Next the researchers added DHA and repeated the experiments. Again, low levels of DHA reduced the release of the marker protein. The investigators also showed that inflammatory substances also diminished in the presence of the omega-3s, confirming their original reasoning that these fatty acids could reduce cartilage degeneration and likely did so by reducing inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids fish oil specifically EPA is effective in reducing inflammation. Researcher Dr. William Smith  from the University of Massachusetts conducted studies re performance in athletes and  found that omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation by diminishing the production of prostaglandin’s, hormone-like substances associated with inflammation in the body.

Omega 3 EPA is recognised as the most powerful natural anti inflammatory and infact studies have shown that it is as effective as NSAID such as Ibuprofen in the treatment of discogenic pain .
Conservative management of symptomatic disk herniation often includes treatment of the associated inflammation with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, however long-term use of these NSAIDs can have a negative effect on overall health. Inflammatory cytokines and arachidonic acid are often present at the site of a herniated disk, contributing to discogenic pain, according to Dr. Joseph C. Maroon of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

A recent study “Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) as an Anti-inflammatory: An Alternative to Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflamatory Drugs for Discogenic Pain,” demonstrated that of patients suffering from neck and back pain as a result of disc degeneration or arthritis who took fish oil supplements, 59 percent reported a decrease in joint pain and 68 percent stopped taking NSAIDS.marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids inhibit arachidonic acid metabolism, thereby reducing the generation of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, according to the University of Connecticut.

The use of NSAID medications is a well-established effective therapy for both acute and chronic nonspecific neck and back pain. Extreme complications, including gastric ulcers, bleeding, myocardial infarction, and even deaths, are associated with their use. An alternative treatment with fewer side effects that also reduces the inflammatory response and thereby reduces pain is believed to be omega-3 EFAs found in fish oil specifically EPA. We report our experience in a neurosurgical practice using fish oil supplements for pain relief.

METHODS:
From March to June , 250 patients who had been seen by a neurosurgeon and were found to have nonsurgical neck or back pain were asked to take a total of 1200 mg per day of omega-3 EFAs (eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA )found in fish oil supplements. A questionnaire was sent approximately 1 month after starting the supplement.

RESULTS:
Of the 250 patients, 125 returned the questionnaire at an average of 75 days on fish oil. Seventy-eight percent were taking 1200 mg and 22% were taking 2400 mg of EFAs. Fifty-nine percent discontinued to take their prescription NSAID medications for pain. Sixty percent stated that their overall pain was improved, and 60% stated that their joint pain had improved. Eighty percent stated they were satisfied with their improvement, and 88% stated they would continue to take the fish oil. There were no significant side effects reported.

CONCLUSIONS:
Our results mirror other controlled studies that compared ibuprofen and omega-3 EFAs demonstrating equivalent effect in reducing arthritic pain. omega-3 EFA fish oil supplements appear to be a safer alternative to NSAIDs for treatment of nonsurgical neck or back pain in this selective group.
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Omega-3 Fish Oil EPA and DHA Reduce Inflammation and Loss of Cartilage Protein in Tissue Studies

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Omega-3s Reduce Inflammation and Loss of Cartilage Protein in Tissue Studies

Runaway inflammation characterizes many diseases, including heart disease, stroke and other types of brain injury, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic syndrome and others. As a result, one of the first-line therapies for several of these conditions is inflammation control. Sometimes, the medications that reduce inflammation and pain have undesirable side effects, especially when used for years. Having less damaging agents would help patient treatment and health. For that reason, the omega-3 fatty acids found mainly in fish and shellfish (omega-3s) are being actively investigated for their anti-inflammatory benefits in several diseases.

A relative new-comer to the list of maladies is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage where bones glide across each other, as in the knees, hips and spine. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage deteriorates, loses its ability to cushion the joints and becomes inflamed. Not surprisingly, the disease is very painful. The suggestion that omega-3s might reduce disease symptoms and cartilage degeneration is based on the known anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3s, their effectiveness in rheumatoid arthritis (which does not affect the cartilage), and encouraging results from studies in animals with the condition and findings from cultured cells.

Here we describe a study in the U.K. that examined the effect of omega-3s in cultured cartilage tissue under conditions of tissue breakdown. When inflammatory agents were added to the tissue, a protein characteristic of cartilage breakdown was released from the tissue. When low levels of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), one of the two main omega-3s in seafood, were added to the tissue, the release of the protein fell. High concentrations of EPA had little effect on the amount of protein released.

Next the researchers added DHA and repeated the experiments. Again, low levels of DHA reduced the release of the marker protein. The investigators also showed that inflammatory substances also diminished in the presence of the omega-3s, confirming their original reasoning that these fatty acids could reduce cartilage degeneration and likely did so by reducing inflammation.

There might be other ways that omega-3s reduce the inflammation and deterioration associated with osteoarthritis, but these studies demonstrate the potential of omega-3s to reduce some of the damage and perhaps ease the pain that goes with osteoarthritis. There is some evidence from animals that adding omega-3s to the diet improves the animal’s activity. Determining whether these fatty acids are effective in animals and humans with the disease will be an importa

Omega 3 Fish Oil benefits help prevent muscle loss in breast cancer and protects immune system

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Fish oil supplements may help prevent muscle loss in breast cancer survivors and help them ward off other chronic diseases, new research from Australia suggests.The study suggests there are clear benefits fish oil supplementation.

Loss of muscle mass shortly after cancer treatment is a common problem for breast cancer survivors.

The problem may be partly due to the presence of chronic inflammation, which causes a breakdown in muscle tissue.

But fish oils interfere with inflammation, thereby reducing its effect.

University of Queensland researcher Cameron McDonald says exercise is effective in rebuilding lost muscle but it’s often hard to maintain over time.

He says muscle loss exposes survivors to the prospect of earlier onset, or exacerbated, obesity-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“If fish oil supplementation is effective in preventing muscle loss before it occurs, or even more effective when used in conjunction with exercise, it could significantly decrease the risk of survivors developing a chronic disease,” the PhD student says.

Research is still in its early stages and clinical trials are set to start later in the year.

Omega 3 stronger than any other anti inflammatory

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

GPR120 Is an Omega-3 Fatty Acid Receptor Mediating Potent Anti-inflammatory and Insulin-Sensitizing Effects”

Omega-3s may reduce inflammation by acting on a receptor found in fat tissue and on inflammatory immune cells called macrophages, according to research.

The new research published in the journal Cell, suggests the mechanisms behind omega-3’s actions as an anti-inflammatory are due to its action on G-protein-coupled receptor 120 (GPR120) working as an omega-3  FA receptor/sensor.

“Omega-3s are very potent activators of GPR120 on macrophages – more potent than any other anti-inflammatory we’ve ever seen,” said lead researcher Dr Jerrold Olefsky of the University of California, San Diego.

Anti-inflammatory

Omega-3 fatty acids have been long associated with anti-inflammatory effects; however the mechanisms behind such effects have been poorly understood.

GPR120 is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCRs) – part of a group involved in many important cell functions, and is the target of many drugs.

Previous research has suggested that five GPCRs – including GPR120 included – respond well respond to free fatty acids.

Since chronic tissue inflammation is linked to insulin resistance in obesity, the researchers used GPR120 knock-out mice to investigate if omega-3 leads to GPR120-mediated anti-inflammatory and insulin sensitizing effects in vivo.

Robust effect

Researchers found that GPR120 functions as an omega-3 receptor in pro-inflammatory macrophages and mature adipocytes.

When knock-out mice were fed a high-fat diet and treated with omega-3 fatty acids, they showed all the signs of inflammation and the insulin resistance that leads to diabetes with omega-3 having no effect.

Normal mice on a high-fat diet still gained weight, however, omega-3s “had a really robust effect in preventing inflammation,” Olefsky said.

The study also observed that by signalling through GPR120, omega-3 fatty acids mediate potent anti-inflammatory effects to inhibit certain key inflammatory signaling pathways.

The study reports that omega-3 treatment was as effective – or in some cases more effective – than the popular insulin-sensitizing drug Rosiglitazone.

The researchers noted that activation of GPR120 by omega-3s blocks not one, but all inflammatory pathways.

Interpretation

Olefsky said his team focused on GPR120 from the beginning because of where it is found – in fat tissue and on macrophages. Olefsky noted that if your goal is to fight inflammation then “that’s just where you’d want them to be expressed.”

How these findings can be interpreted for humans is not yet clear, but with a growing trend in omega-3 supplementation and increased dietary intakes of omega-3 a goal for many consumers.

Olefski says it is too early to make any formal reccomendations at the moment, but highlights that he does not see any problem with people taking omega-3 supplementations “as long as it isn’t in enormous doses.”

Olefski said that further research needs to be conducted into several – currently unknown – omega-3 mechanisms. For one, omega-3s seems to block the migration of macrophage cells into tissues – “It’s a remarkable effect, and we don’t know its action,” he added.

Source: Cell

Vol 142(5) pp. 687 – 698, doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.07.041

“GPR120 Is an Omega-3 Fatty Acid Receptor Mediating Potent Anti-inflammatory and Insulin-Sensitizing Effects”


Omega 3 EPA reduces LDL cholesterol levels – TakeOmega3 has 750mg EPA per capsule

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

New clinical study results presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions show that the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), helped significantly reduce small dense LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

“This study suggests that supplementation with the omega-3 fatty acid EPA may present unique benefits for cardiovascular health,” said Sujata K. Bhatia, M.D., Ph.D., research associate with DuPont. “EPA was shown to have advantageous effects on several biomarkers, including LDL cholesterol, small dense LDL, and lp-PLA2.”

EPA is a long-chain fatty acid that is found primarily in cold water, fatty fish like sardines anchovies mackerel  as well as some omega-3 fatty acid such as TakeOmega3 which has 750 mg EPA per capsule  and is the highest grade omega 3 available in UK . A growing body of evidence suggests that EPA is the long-chain omega-3 that supports heart health.

The study, conducted by Cardiovascular Research Associates and sponsored by DuPont, was conducted among 110 healthy individuals comparing the effects of EPA supplements to DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) supplements on cardiovascular health. The participants were placed into four study groups and examined over a six week period. During that time, each group was monitored while taking: EPA 600 mg per day; EPA 1,800 mg per day; DHA 600 mg per day; and an olive oil placebo.

The study found that in the 1,800mg EPA group, there were significant reductions of 7 percent for small dense low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and 6 percent for lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (lp-PLA2). lp-PLA2 is an enzyme involved in vascular inflammation.
In contrast, the 600mg DHA group showed a significant increase in total small dense LDL cholesterol in both the fasting and fed state of 14.2 percent and 16.3 percent respectively.

The study results will be featured during the American Heart Association Conference poster session in Chicago

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