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J Rheumatol. 2000 Oct;27(10):2343-6.

Efficacy of fish oil concentrate in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

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Discipline of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia.



To determine the efficacy of fish oil derived (n-3) fatty acid supplementation (3-6 capsules/day) in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) whose (n-6) fatty acid intake in the background diet was < 10 g/day, compared to olive/corn oil capsule supplement over a 15 week period.


A placebo controlled, double blind, randomized 15 week study to determine the effect of supplementation on clinical variables in 50 subjects with RA whose background diet was naturally low in (n-6) fatty acids. Fish oil containing 60% (n-3) fatty acids was supplemented at a rate of 40 mg/kg body weight.


Analysis of 9 clinical variables indicated there was a significant difference (p < 0.02) between control and treatment groups. Five subjects in the treatment group and 3 in the control group met the American College of Rheumatology 20% improvement criteria. Dietary supplementation resulted in a significant increase in eicosapentaenoic acid in plasma and monocyte lipids in the supplemented group.


The findings suggest that fish oil supplementation that delivers (n-3) fatty acids at a dose of 40 mg/kg body weight/day, with dietary (n-6) fatty acid intake < 10 g/day in the background diet, results in substantial cellular incorporation of (n-3) fatty acids and improvements in clinical status in patients with RA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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