A daily dose of cod liver oil can cut painkiller use in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Taking 10g of cod liver oil a day reduced the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by 30%, Dundee University researchers say. Some side-effects of NSAIDs, such as an increased risk of stomach bleeding have been known for a long time. But more recently, concerns have been raised about an apparent increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in those taking the drugs.
Patients in the trial were either given cod liver oil or placebo and after 12 weeks asked to gradually reduce their use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen. Almost 60 patients completed the nine-month trial which found 39% taking cod liver oil reduced their daily dose of NSAIDs compared with 10% taking a placebo.
The reduction in drug use was not associated with any worsening of pain or the disease, the researchers reported. The research team at the University of Dundee, aided by colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, have now completed three studies which have all shown patients are able to cut down their NSAID use when taking cod liver oil.