Osteoarthritis is a condition involving pain and stiffness—two primary reasons some clients seek out massage therapy.

New research has shown for the first time that omega-3 in fish oil could “substantially and significantly” reduce the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, according to a press release from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.

According to the study, funded by Arthritis Research UK and published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, omega-3-rich diets fed to guinea pigs, who naturally develop osteoarthritis, reduced the disease by 50 percent compared to a standard diet.

Lead researcher Dr John Tarlton, from the Matrix Biology Research group at the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences, said classic early signs of the condition, such as the degradation of collagen in cartilage and the loss of molecules that give it shock-absorbing properties, were both reduced with omega-3.

“Furthermore, there was strong evidence that omega-3 influences the biochemistry of the disease, and therefore not only helps prevent disease, but also slows its progression, potentially controlling established osteoarthritis,” he said.

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