The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Effects of omega-3 fatty acids in patients with rheumatoid arthrits

    Researchers at State Hospital Muerzzuschlag, in Austria looked for changes in swollen and tender joints.

    First, the details.

    • 23 patients with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis were assigned to a treatment group.
      • Either 0.2 grams of fish oil emulsion/kg (active) or 0.9% saline (placebo) was injected for 14 consecutive days.
      • Then, 20 weeks of 0.05 grams of fish oil/kg (active) or paraffin wax (placebo) was taken by mouth as capsules.
    • A decrease in swollen and tender joint counts was the primary efficacy measure.
    • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • At the start of treatment, the number of swollen and tender joints was not significantly different between treatment groups.
    • Swollen joint count was significantly lower in the omega-3 group vs placebo after 1 and 2 weeks of injections.
    • Tender joint count tended to be lower in the omega-3 group, although the difference between groups didn’t achieve significance.
    • Both swollen and tender joint counts were significantly lower in the omega-3 FA group vs placebo during and at the end of oral treatment.

    The bottom line?

    It’s a small study with encouraging results, which should be repeated in a larger population.

    Others have reported that taking 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids supplements each day reduced the need of indomethacin (Indocin) therapy.

    4/25/10 21:30 JR

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