How can Omega-3 and Omega-6 help with joint care?


It was only when I asked my coach about all the measures that I could put in place to help the knee repair itself, that I began to look into how important my diet could be.


Omega-3 fatty acids (also known as n-3 fatty acids) are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health. We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain, and since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with many health benefits, including protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. New studies are identifying potential benefits for a wide range of conditions including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.


Omega-6 fatty acids are also polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients, meaning that our bodies cannot make them and we must obtain them from food.

Omega-6 fatty acids lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and reduce inflammation, and they are protective against heart disease. So both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids have health benefits.

Critical omega-3 is something that the body uses as building blocks for hormones that control immune function, blood clotting and cell growth as as well as components of all cell membranes.

Is the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 important?

Research shows that a ratio of 2-3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences.

In the western diet, it is common for there to be far too high a ratio of omega-6 and too little omega-3 in our food intake. Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today’s diets, which promotes the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

How can this all help my knee injury?

I have serious cartilage damage. I also have good signs of osteoarthritis progression in the knee joint.

Arthritis refers to an inflammation of a joint or joints in the body. One of the most common types of arthritis is osteoarthritis or “degenerative arthritis.” Often described as “wear and tear” arthritis.

Research shows that omega-3 can help reduce inflammation. With that, and the repair and regeneration qualities, it’s not hard to work out now, how valuable it could be to me, in helping the knee to continue to function as long as possible.

Some sources of Omega-3

  • The fat of cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, black cod, blue fish,
  • walnuts, flaxseeds
  • Some green vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and salad greens
  • Some sources of Omega-6

  • Safflower, corn, cottonseed, and soybean oils
  • refined vegetable oil
  • most snack foods such as cookies crackers and sweets
  • Other anti inflammatory foods

  • Cruciferous vegetables. These veggies, which include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale, are also loaded with antioxidants. But they provide one other ingredient — sulfur — that the body needs to make its own high-powered antioxidants.
  • Cherries. A study in the April 2006 Journal of Nutrition showed that eating cherries daily can significantly reduce inflammation. Cherries are also packed with antioxidants and relatively low on the glycemic index
  • Blueberries. These delectable fruits are chock-full of natural compounds that reduce inflammation. Blueberries may also protect the brain from many of the effects of ageing.
  • Turmeric. This spice contains a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory compound, according to a report in the August 2007 Biochemical Pharmacology. Turmeric has long been part of curry spice blends, used in southern Asian cuisines.
  • Ginger. This relative of turmeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and some research suggests that it might also help control blood sugar.
  • Garlic. The research isn’t consistent, but garlic may have some anti-inflammatory and glucose-regulating benefits and it may also help your body fight infections. At the very least, it won’t hurt and makes for a tasty addition to food.
  • Green tea. Like fruits and vegetables, green tea contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds. It may even reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
  • With a diagnosis like I have, why would I NOT change my diet?

    If you want to know more about diet and how it can help you with much more than just weight loss, email me on

    One Comment on “How can Omega-3 and Omega-6 help with joint care?

    1. Pingback: Fish oils could help treat severe influenza | Melanie Ryding – Ryding2Health BLOG

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