A daily dose of cod liver oil can cut painkiller use in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a study suggests.
Taking 10g of cod liver oil a day reduced the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by 30%, Dundee University researchers say.
Concerns about side-effects of NSAIDs has prompted research into alternative.
Rheumatologists said the study, in Rheumatology journal, funded by Seven Seas, was small but showed fish oil could benefit some patients.
Patients in the trial were either given cod liver oil or placebo and after 12 weeks asked to gradually reduce their use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen. Almost 60 patients completed the nine-month trial which found 39% taking cod liver oil reduced their daily dose of NSAIDs compared with 10% taking a placebo.
The reduction in drug use was not associated with any worsening of pain or the disease, the researchers reported.
The research team at the University of Dundee, aided by colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, have now completed three studies which have all shown patients are able to cut down their NSAID use when taking cod liver oil.
It is thought fatty acids in the fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties.
Source - BBC