Mediterr J Rheumatol 2020;31(2):190-4
The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Authors Information

1. Department of Endocrinology, Asclepeion Hospital, Voula, Athens, Greece

2. First Department of Medicine, Asclepeion Hospital, Voula, Athens, Greece

3. Department of Rheumatology, St. Paul’s Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece


Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids thought to play a role in health and disease. They are known as essential fatty acids, as they cannot be synthesized in mammals. Omega-3 fatty acids have a beneficial effect on the secondary prevention of coronary artery disease and stroke and are essential for the development and function of the nervous system and the retina in man. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to have immunomodulatory properties as they act as precursors to lipid mediators of inflammation which may limit or modulate the inflammatory response. Omega-3 fatty acids seem to prevent or attenuate experimental arthritis. They may have a beneficial effect in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may have a modulatory effect on disease activity, namely on the number of swollen and tender joints. It appears that omega-3 fatty acids may modulate disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis.


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©Kostoglou-Athanassiou I, Athanassiou L, Athanassiou P.