What is fish oil and what are its benefits in joint and bone health?

What is fish oil and what are its benefits in joint and bone health?

What is the function of joints and bones?

Our bones and joints play a vital role in our strength, range of motion, and overall physical health. Our bones produce red and white blood cells, store calcium and phosphorus, regulate body acidity, facilitate movement, and also protect our organs.

How does nutrition affect joint and bone health?

Research shows, a wholesome diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy products; adequate amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and calcium; high intake of oily fish and foods high in vitamin K have been linked to improved bone and joint health and slower development of osteoarthritis. (1)

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What is fish oil and how does it benefit joint and bone health?

Joints are the spaces where two or bones meet. Most joints are mobile, but, for example, the skull is made up of mostly immovable joints. The most common type of joint found in the body, and probably the most familiar to you, is the synovial joints.

The synovial joints are filled with synovial fluid, a lubricant that allows joints to move against each other without friction. Synovial joints also contain cartilage which increases joint mobility. To maintain healthy function of our joints and bones we need to pay attention to what we eat and what we supplement with. (7).

There are different two types of fatty acids:

  1. Essential fatty acids (EFAs)
  2. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

Your body needs both, but it cannot produce them on its own. 

There are also two types of EFAs: linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). LA and AA are considered omega-6 fatty acids while ALA, EPA, and DHA are considered omega-3 fatty acids.

How is fish oil beneficial in joint and bone health?

Both EPA and DHA play a role in regulating many biological processes such as inflammatory responses, different metabolic signaling pathways, and brain function. (8)

Fish oil also has immunosuppressive properties. It has been shown to benefit people with rheumatoid arthritis and to help with reducing work-related joint pain. (10)

What is fish oil and what are its benefits for joint and bone health?

EPA and DHA in fish oil help to reduce the biomarkers of inflammation associated with many non-arthritic inflammatory diseases. (9)

Fish oil also has preventative benefits in people that don’t have arthritis by helping to improve joint stiffness and physical function. One study demonstrates that fish oil can prevent inflammation in bones and joints. (11)