Omega 3s and Inflammation
American Association of Neurological Surgeons: High-Dose Omega-3 Oils used to Treat Non-Surgical Neck and Back Pain Doctors Guide, April 20, 2005 By Cameron Johnston
“Investigators at the University of Pittsburgh have treated chronic pain patients with high doses of omega-3 fatty acids - the ingredient found in many cold-water fish species such as salmon.” “The researchers say their findings suggest that this could be the answer to the adverse effects seen with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors, which have been associated with potentially catastrophic adverse effects.” Patients who took high doses of omega-3 oils were impressed enough with the outcomes that they chose to continue using the oils and forego the use of NSAIDs.
The 250 study patients suffered from chronic neck or back pain but were not surgical candidates, and they had been using daily doses of NSAIDs. After 75 days of taking high doses of omega-3s, 59% had stopped taking prescription drugs for their pain. “88% said they were pleased enough with the outcomes that they planned to continue using the fish oils.” “No significant adverse effects were reported.”
This omega-3 research by Dr. Maroon was published in the medical journal Surgical Neurology in April 2006. Comments from the abstract include : Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center The use of NSAIDs are associated with “extreme complications, including gastric ulcers, bleeding, myocardial infarction, and even deaths.”
“An alternative treatment with fewer side effects that also reduces the inflammatory response and thereby reduces pain is believed to be omega-3 EFAs found in fish oil.” At an average of 75 days on fish oil, 59% discontinued taking their prescription NSAIDs for pain and 88% stated they would continue to take the fish oil. “There were no significant side effects reported.”
“Our results mirror other controlled studies that compared ibuprofen and omega-3 EFAs demonstrating equivalent effect in reducing arthritic pain.” “Omega-3 EFA fish oil supplements appear to be a safer alternative to NSAIDs for treatment of nonsurgical neck or back pain.”
This is all from Dr. Dan Murphy within articles that he has done evidence based research. Here are additional references he used as well.
References 1) Wolfe MM, David R. Lichtenstein DR, Singh G; Gastrointestinal Toxicity of Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs; New England Journal of Medicine; Volume 340 Number 24; June 17, 1999; pp. 1888-1899. 2) Murphy D; Cox Inhibitors and the FDA; January 2005. 3) Marchione M; More Pain Relievers Called Into Question: Study Stirs Concern About Heart Safety of Over-Counter Drugs; Associated Press; April 19, 2005. 4) Johnston C; American Association of Neurological Surgeons: High-Dose Omega-3 Oils used to Treat Non-Surgical Neck and Back Pain; Doctors Guide, April 20, 2005. 5) Maroon JC, Bost JW; Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain; April 2006;65(4); pp. 326-31.
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