“Dietary fortification with fish oil has become established as a practical and safe alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the management of
chronic pain arising from joints and the spine.”

“There exists a substantial body of mutually consistent data to guide the use of fish oil for analgesia for arthritis and other forms of chronic musculoskeletal pain, for which use of NSAIDs might be considered. The dose needed for anti-inflammatory effect or long-term analgesia is 3 g or more daily of EPA plus DHA (10 mL or 9 g daily or more of 18:12 (EPA : DHA) fish oil.”

Dietary long-chain omega-3 fatty acids warrant a role in the management of inflammatory diseases, especially as an alternative to or mitigator of NSAIDs for long-term pain relief. Insights into the properties of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids provide a strong rationale for the medicinal use of fish oil as a component of anti-inflammatory treatment. The use of fish oil has a strong empirical basis with which to guide therapy. Although aspects of fish oil treatment are quasi-pharmacological, shared perspectives and mutual re-enforcement of advice from doctors and dieticians can be expected to assist the broader application of this approach. In addition to proven symptomatic benefits, safety advantages accrue from both the actions of dietary omega-3 fatty acids and the avoidance of toxicity of NSAIDs. It is hard to imagine the merits of a new patent-protected, proprietary drug with similar benefits and safety to fish oil being promoted as ‘modest’.

These are excerpts from this review. For full text go to the following site: