You might have heard that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil benefits your heart. But you may not have heard about how they can also improve your joint health. The benefits of fish oil on joints include decreasing joint pain, lessening morning stiffness, and even increasing hand grip strength!
As you grow older, joints tend to lose their elasticity and flexibility. So taking quality fish oil supplements should be a part of your regular nutritional plan to help you maintain your mobility as you age.
Fish oil benefits you because it combats the effects of inflammation in the body. With diseases like arthritis, the body’s defense system releases chemicals that protect it from injury or infection into the joint, thinking that foreign invaders are present even when they’re not. Because of the increased chemicals and blood flow into the joint, white blood cells are attracted to the area much like police are when they suspect a disturbance is going on.
The presence of the white blood cells, increased blood flow, and inflammatory chemicals cause the joint to become swollen, irritated, and painful. Over time, this process can cause cartilage within the joint to wear down with use, decreasing the cushion the cartilage provides to the end of your bones. As the cushion wears down, bone grinds against bone causing even more pain.
But the omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil benefits you by decreasing the activity of the chemicals that destroy cartilage. It also inhibits the release of chemicals that cause inflammation. So it sends the equivalent of a “calm down” message to the body.
According to a USA today article, fish oil benefits occur with taking high doses of the supplement. The recommended amounts are 3000mg of fish oil (EPA and DHA types) along with 2 tsp. of olive oil every day. Consult your health care provider before implementing a nutritional supplementation program.