Meta-analysis: marine oil supplements good for arthritis pain?

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Takeaway 

  • This meta-analysis suggests a small favourable effect of marine oil in reducing pain and inflammation in patients with arthritis.
  • There is moderate quality evidence for an effect in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the effect was statistically non-significant in patients with osteoarthritis (OA).

Why this matters 

  • Patients with arthritis often take fish oil supplements for pain relief, but limited evidence exists regarding their efficacy.

Study design

  • 42 trials, involving 2751 patients (mean age, 53.8 y), met eligibility criteria after a search on MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane library.
  • Funding: Not disclosed.

Key results

  • Of the 42 trials, 30 reported complete data on pain.
  • The standardized mean...