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Fish Is a Good Choice for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

You’ve heard it before—eating fish could bestow you with a bevy of benefits, such as enhanced brain function, heart health, and improvements in depression symptoms, to name just a few. Now, a new study provides more evidence that fish may help people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The study was published in Arthritis Care & Research and included data from 176 rheumatoid arthritis patients participating in the Evaluation of Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease and Predictors of Events in RA cohort study. At the beginning of the study, participants answered a food frequency questionnaire, which included questions regarding their fish consumption. Then, researchers estimated the participants’ RA disease activity using an assessment tool known as DAS28-CRP. The tool is based on measures of clinical and functional factors associated with RA and levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, and has been shown to reflect RA symptoms. After adjusting for potential confounders, they found that:

  • RA disease activity was lower in participants eating fish at least two times a week, compared with those eating fish less than once a month.
  • It was determined that every additional weekly serving of fish might further reduce RA disease activity.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, this study suggests you’d be wise to eat a few fish-focused meals each week. To get the greatest anti-inflammatory effect, choose fish that are high in polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild-caught salmon, cod, sardines, and anchovies. Salmon and cod make a filling main dish and can be prepared in numerous ways, from grilling, to baking, to pan frying with herbs. Sardines and anchovies can also be grilled or eaten out of the can, and are tasty on salads, sandwiches, or crackers.

Source: Arthritis Care & Research

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