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13-04-2017 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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Potential role for omega-3 PUFAs in RA non-inflammatory pain suppression

medwireNews: Study results suggest that dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is inversely associated with unacceptable and refractory pain, but not inflammatory pain, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

In a study of 591 patients with early RA receiving methotrexate treatment, the researchers found that patients in the highest tertile for omega-3 intake were approximately half as likely to experience unacceptable pain as those in the lowest tertile after adjustment for potentially confounding factors (odds ratio=0.57).

And participants with a higher omega-6 to -3 ratio were more likely to experience unacceptable pain than those with a lower ratio.

The team observed similar associations between these PUFAs and refractory pain, but omega-3 and -6 levels were not correlated with inflammatory pain.

Previous studies have demonstrated that omega-3 PUFAs have anti-inflammatory properties, whereas omega-6 “has been linked to pro-inflammatory actions in RA,” explain study author Cecilia Lourdudoss (Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden) and colleagues.

And they conclude in Arthritis Care & Research: “These data suggest inflammatory independent associations between omega-3 FA, omega-6 to -3 FA ratio and pain in early RA.”

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2017 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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