Grandma Was Right! Cod liver oil helps aching joints, study shows

Scientists from Cardiff University report that cod liver oil is effective in slowing the destruction of joint cartilage in patients with osteoarthritis. For the first time ever, the clinical study provides unique human evidence of the effectiveness of cod liver oil in the management of osteoarthritis.

The trial shows that 86% of pre-operative patients with arthritis, who took cod liver oil capsules daily had absent or significantly reduced levels of the enzymes that cause cartilage damage, compared to 26% of those given a placebo oil capsule. In addition, the result showed a marked reduction in some of the enzymes that cause joint pain, in those patients taking the cod liver oil.

According to surgeons, the findings could hold the key to reducing the number of knee and hip replacements carried out, thereby shortening waiting lists for joint replacement surgery.

Professor Bruce Caterson said “This breakthrough is hugely significant because it demonstrates the efficacy of a dietary intake of cod liver oil in patients with osteoarthritis taken prior to their joint replacement surgery. The data suggests that cod liver oil has a dual mode of action, potentially slowing down the cartilage degeneration inherent in osteoarthritis and also reducing factors that cause pain and inflammation.”

These finding are particularly welcome for sufferers of osteoarthritis, many of whom are concerned about the adverse side effects commonly associated with prescription drugs (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs).

Cardiff University, Feb 12, 2004