New York: Including cold water oily fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and other foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids may keep your joints healthy even if you are overweight, a study suggests.
"Our results suggest that dietary factors play a more significant role than mechanical factors in the link between obesity and osteoarthritis," said Farshid Guilak, a professor at the Duke University in the US.
Mice consuming a supplement of omega 3 fatty acids had healthier joints than those fed diets high in saturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids, the findings showed, indicating unhealthy dietary fats -- not just obesity -- may contribute to worsening osteoarthritis.
In this study, the researchers focused on mice with osteoarthritis of the knee caused by injury to the joint.
The mice were fed one of three high-fat diets: one rich in saturated fat, one rich in omega 6 fatty acids, and one rich in omega 6 fatty acids but supplemented with a small amount of omega 3 fatty acids.The researchers found arthritis was significantly associated with the mice's diets, but not with body weight.
The mice that ate diets high in saturated fat or omega 6 fatty acids experienced significant worsening of their arthritis, while mice consuming a small supplement of omega 3 fatty acids had healthier joints.
"While omega 3 fatty acids are not reversing the injury, they appear to slow the progression of arthritis in this group of mice," Guilak said.
"In fact, omega 3 fatty acids eliminated the detrimental effects of obesity in obese mice," he noted.
The study appeared in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.