Rheumatoid Arthritis is an automimmune disease that leads to inflammation in the tissues and joints of the body, most commonly in the synovial joints. It is a chronic condition that leads to pain and can cause loss of mobility in the affected joints. Conventional treatments include non-steroid anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the symptoms, but they do not stop the illness progressing. The newest treatments that aim to slow down disease progression are called Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
A new study has been published that compared the use of borage seed oil and fish oil either together or alone as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Borage oil is high in gamma linolenic acid, and fish oil is rich in eicosapentaenic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Results showed that all of the groups had a clear reduction in disease activity after 9 months but that there was no difference between borage seed oil alone, fish oil alone or the two combined. The study showed that whilst there was no overall reduction in Rheumatoid arthritis medication use in general, compared to the use in a group from the RA registry which acted as a control group, there was a clear reduction in the use of the DMARDs. The study group concludes that all three treatment groups showed a response to treatment after nine months and that this continued after eighteen months.
Reed et al. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with marine and botanical oils: an 18 month randomized double blind trial. Ev Based Complement Alternative Med March 2014.