Skip to main content

Regular weekly portion of fatty fish can halve rheumatoid arthritis risk

A study published online today in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases indicates that a regular weekly portion of fatty fish, such as salmon, or four servings of lean fish, such as cod, can halve the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

The benefits of a fishy diet, which needs to be kept up for at least a decade, are largely attributable to its long chain omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content, confirm the researchers.

They collected information on the dietary habits of more than 32,000 women born between 1914 and 1948, whose health was tracked between 2003 and 2010 as part of the Swedish Mammography Cohort population based study.

The researchers were particularly keen to assess dietary intake of omega 3 PUFAs as previous evidence shows that they have anti-inflammatory properties.

The women, all of whom lived in two counties of Sweden, completed a questionnaire on dietary intake, height, weight, motherhood and educational attainment between 1987 and 1990.

In 1997, the 56,000 who were still alive were sent a similar questionnaire, requesting further information on smoking, exercise, use of dietary supplements and aspirin.

As part of the dietary information requested, the women completed food frequency questionnaires, in which they detailed how often and how much they ate any of 67 (1987) and 96 (1997) foods. This included a range of fatty and lean fish.

During the monitoring period, 205 women were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Across the entire group, there was a fourfold difference in omega 3 PUFA consumption between the 20% eating the most and the 20% eating the least.

Women who consumed the least included the highest proportion of smokers and the lowest proportion of alcohol drinkers and aspirin takers. Smoking is a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis while moderate alcohol and aspirin are protective.

Among those who developed the condition, more than one in four (27%) had a dietary omega 3 PUFA intake of less than 0.21g a day, compared with one in five women across the entire group who consumed this amount.

Some 61% of the women consumed the same amount of omega 3 PUFAs and 64% the same amount of fish at both time points.

Those whose intake of omega 3 PUFAs exceeded 0.21g a day, equivalent to at least one serving of fatty fish or four servings of lean fish a week, in both 1987 and 1997, had half the risk (52% lower) of rheumatoid arthritis of women who consumed less in both years.

And regularly eating one or more servings of all types of fish every week for at least 10 years was linked to an overall 29% reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared with eating less than one portion a week.

“The inverse association between fish consumption and [rheumatoid arthritis] can be attributed mainly to its content of long chain [omega] 3 PUFAs,” conclude the authors, who add that their findings indicate a potentially important role for these substances in the development of the disease.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

Prioritising people in nursing care.

There has been in recent years concern that care in the NHS has not been sufficiently 'patient centred', or responsive to the needs of the patient on a case basis. It has been felt in care that it as been the patient who has had to adapt to the regime of care, rather than the other way around. Putting patients at the centre of care means being responsive to their needs and supporting them through the process of health care delivery.  Patients should not become identikit sausages in a production line. The nurses body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has responded to this challenge with a revised code of practice reflection get changes in health and social care since the previous code was published in 2008. The Code describes the professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives. Four themes describe what nurses and midwives are expected to do: prioritise people practise effectively preserve safety, and promote professionalism and trust. The

When Finance Drives Destruction

Tackling climate change means stopping the funding of rainforest destruction, says a significant study commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund.  The UK's financial services have provided directly over £8.7 billion to 167 different traders, processors, and buyers of forest-risk commodities (cocoa, rubber, timber, soy, beef, palm oil, pulp & paper) from 2013 to 2021.   With direct and indirect investment,  the figure rises to a staggering £200 bn.  Whilst not all that investment is in destructive projects,  the study concludes there is little transparency on the risk.  Finance is the oil in the economic machine.  But it also drives decisions. We all know the importance of money. We borrow to invest. So much depends on it, such as company pensions.  Do we really know what our pension pots are doing? We invest for the future. But what kind of future? Is all investment good?  Much investment is bad. Investment drives the nature of our economy. It drives our decisions as individuals,