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

Bad trade kills the planet.

One problem with the financial crisis of 2008/9 is that it focused attention on the banking system as if it could be separated from global economics.  It fostered the notion that all that was needed was to reform the banks and all would be well.  The underlying assumption was and is that global economics didn't and doesn't need fixing.  Everything works well but for the financial system.  Let's all keep calm and carry on.

Yet, the focus on a bad banking system hides an underlying economic malaise,  The economy depended on banks lending, and growth was predicated on debt, debt and more debt.  This was not simply a problem of the banking system.  It was, and remains a problem arising from the mythology of economic growth.

Politicians have long fostered the mythology of growth.  Growth became a  mantra.  Growth is good.  Good is growth.  Let's grow! Growth as and is presented as a miraculous cure.

Let's call this the first neoliberal myth.  The second neoliberal myth…

Hummingbird exposure to pesticides

Many have responded to the campaigns to stop the use of pesticides killing bees.  Bees are not the only animals affected.

Hummingbirds are noted as a species of conservation concern by Partners in Flight, and their populations are estimated to have declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014.



New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.

To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

The researchers detected pesticides and related compounds in cloacal fluid and fecal pellets of hummingbirds revealing…

Brexit won't save the planet

Brexit isn't an ideal. It might break the cosy economic and political illusion that all growth and trade is good. But there is little thinking behind it. It won't lead to better trade. It won't save our planet.



No plan for Brexit The UK is  now just months away from leaving the European Union, yet still the government has no plan for Brexit. Sector after sector of British society are registering their concerns about the consequences of a 'no deal' Brexit.  The country is in the dark about what the future might hold.  Key issues remain unresolved, yet it is as if it doesn't matter.   Brexit, remember, means Brexit!  
Whether we are for or against Brexit we should be concerned that the government can't agree on what kind of deal they want with our biggest trading partner - the European Union.  
There is no idealism behind Brexit, and no vision for the future.  Instead, there is a blind hope that it will be 'alright on the night'.  That somehow a…