Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Omega 3 fatty acids lessen severity of osteoarthritis in mice

Date:
July 11, 2014
Source:
Duke Medicine
Summary:
Mice consuming a supplement of omega 3 fatty acids had healthier joints than those fed diets high in saturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids, according to researchers. “Our results suggest that dietary factors play a more significant role than mechanical factors in the link between obesity and osteoarthritis,” said the study's senior author.

Microcomputed tomography (3D X-ray) images (top) and histology images (bottom) of the knees of mice fed a very high fat diet containing omega 3 fatty acid supplement (left) or only omega 6 fatty acids (right) after a knee injury. The omega 6 diet showed abnormal bone remodeling and calcified tissue formation in the joint (white arrow). The omega 6 diet also showed significant loss of cartilage (red staining, yellow arrowhead) and increased joint inflammation.
Credit: Duke Orthopaedic Research Laboratories

Mice consuming a supplement of omega 3 fatty acids had healthier joints than those fed diets high in saturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids, according to Duke Medicine researchers.

Related Articles


The findings, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, suggest that unhealthy dietary fats – not just obesity – may contribute to worsening osteoarthritis.

“Our results suggest that dietary factors play a more significant role than mechanical factors in the link between obesity and osteoarthritis,” said Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., Laszlo Ormandy Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke and the study’s senior author.

Obesity is one of the primary risk factors for osteoarthritis, although the mechanisms linking these conditions are not fully understood. It has been assumed that increased weight wears the joints out, but this doesn’t explain why arthritis is also found in hands and other joints that don’t bear weight.

Guilak and his colleagues began studying systemic factors other than body weight to determine their effect on arthritis, and in an earlier study in obese mice, found that the lack of appetite hormone leptin predicted whether the mice had arthritis.

“This made us think that maybe it’s not how much weight you gain, but what you eat,” Guilak said.

In this study, the researchers focused on mice with osteoarthritis of the knee caused by injury to the joint. Arthritis resulting from trauma or injury is thought to account for 10 to 15 percent of all cases of arthritis.

The mice were fed one of three high-fat diets: one rich in saturated fat, one rich in omega 6 fatty acids, and one rich in omega 6 fatty acids but supplemented with a small amount of omega 3 fatty acids.

Saturated fat, which usually comes from animal sources, is known to raise cholesterol levels. Omega 6 fatty acids, often found in corn oil, soybean oil, nuts and seeds, are thought to be a healthier source of fat.

Omega 3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish or fish oil supplements, are often touted as “healthy fat” given their heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory properties. Unfortunately, most Americans eat significantly more saturated fat and omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3 fatty acids.

“A healthy diet would include roughly equal ratios of these fats, but we’re way off the scale in the Western diet,” Guilak said.

The researchers found that arthritis was significantly associated with the mice’s diets, but not with body weight. The mice that ate diets high in saturated fat or omega 6 fatty acids experienced significant worsening of their arthritis, while mice consuming a small supplement of omega 3 fatty acids had healthier joints.

“While omega 3 fatty acids aren’t reversing the injury, they appear to slow the progression of arthritis in this group of mice,” Guilak said. “In fact, omega 3 fatty acids eliminated the detrimental effects of obesity in obese mice.”

The researchers also looked at the mice’s ability to heal wounds, which may help them to understand the relationships between arthritis and wound healing. In mice consuming omega 3 fatty acids, a small ear punch typically used to differentiate mice healed much more quickly than it did in animals that did not receive the supplement.

“We found that independent of body weight, dietary fatty acids regulate ear wound healing and severity of osteoarthritis following joint injury in obese mice,” said Chia-Lung Wu, a biomedical engineering graduate student in the Duke Orthopaedic Research Laboratories and the study’s lead author.

The researchers are working to translate their findings to humans.

“A great next step would be to do a clinical study to look at effect of omega 3 fatty acids post-injury,” Guilak said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Farshid Guilak et al. Dietary fatty acid content regulates wound repair and the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis following joint injury. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, July 2014 DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-205601

Cite This Page:

Duke Medicine. "Omega 3 fatty acids lessen severity of osteoarthritis in mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711091824.htm>.
Duke Medicine. (2014, July 11). Omega 3 fatty acids lessen severity of osteoarthritis in mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711091824.htm
Duke Medicine. "Omega 3 fatty acids lessen severity of osteoarthritis in mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711091824.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins