How Do Omega-3s Support Joint Health?
Your joints are like hinges. They open and close to help everything from your legs to your fingers move smoothly. But as we age, they can feel less like a well-oiled machine and more in need of some WD-40—or, in the case of your joints, Omega-3s.
Giving your joints the proper nutrients to support their health matters. So the question remains: how do Omega-3 nutrients support joint health?
This blog will help you make the best choice for your body by explaining:
- What Omega-3s are
- The benefits of Omega-3s for joint health
- Optimal sources of Omega-3s
What are Omega-3s?
Omega-3s are fatty acids that support your body’s health in numerous ways. There are three key fatty acids in the Omega-3 family:
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)
As important as Omega-3s are, your body can’t actually produce them. But whether you source this essential nutrient through your diet or a supplement, getting enough Omega-3s is important for joint health, brain health, heart health, and immune health, to name just a few of this essential nutrient’s many benefits.
Key benefits of Omega-3s for joint health
As of 2022, 70% of older adults experienced common age-related joint aches and pains. As we age, it is important to help maintain the fluid and cartilage between joints to support joint comfort.
While there’s no silver bullet to maintaining joint health as we age, there are nutritional strategies that support joint health. Specifically, there is evidence that Omega-3s may help promote joint health and comfort as we age.
Omega-3 can support a normal inflammatory response
A recent CSIRO (Australia’s national science agency) study found that when a group of men and women between 40 to 65 years supplemented with four grams of krill oil per day, their knee comfort improved significantly after six months. Researchers found that the Omega-3 krill oil supplements improved knee comfort, stiffness, and physical function.
Omega-3s contribute to supporting cartilage health
Healthy cartilage leads to healthy joints. Why? Cartilage helps your bones glide over each other—rather than rub against each other. This makes cartilage a key player in both staving off joint pain and promoting joint health. Omega-3s may be an important piece of this puzzle because they may support maintaining healthy cartilage.
Multiple in-vitro and animal studies suggest that Omega-3s may help maintain cartilage health while supporting a normal inflammatory response. As of now, more research needs to be done with human clinical populations. Even still, these animal studies provide another reason to be hopeful that Omega-3s provide support for aging joints.
Omega-3s can support joint mobility
Joint mobility describes how a joint moves. When your joints achieve full range of motion, it means they’re moving in the right positions and fully supporting the muscles around them. As we age, our joint mobility can change and impact everything from our overall health to the activities we can engage in.
In a 30-day clinical trial, patients received 300 mg of krill oil per day. After just seven days, the patients that received krill oil reported more joint comfort, less joint stiffness, and better joint function compared with the placebo group.
Sources of Omega-3 Nutrients
There’s more than one way to consume Omega-3s. You can supercharge your diet with foods known for their high concentration of Omega-3s, or you can up your intake even further with supplements.
Whichever you choose, here’s what you need to know about each source:
Many foods are touted for their plentiful Omega-3s. While your diet is the best way to consume more of this essential nutrient, it can be difficult to know exactly how many Omega-3s are in each serving, let alone whether you’re consuming EPA, DHA, ALA or all three. Nuts, seeds, nut oils, and fortified foods, for example, often do not provide enough Omega-3s per serving to reach recommended levels.
With that in mind, these are the most common sources of Omega-3s in food:
- Fish (e.g. mackerel, salmon, seabass, tuna)
- Shellfish (e.g.oysters and shrimp)
- Nuts and seeds (e.g. walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed, and soybeans)
- Nut oils (e.g. flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil)
- Some fortified foods (e.g. eggs, yogurt, juices, soy beverages, and milk)
More than 68% of adults don’t consume enough Omega-3s to meet their bodies' nutritional needs. While adding Omega-3-rich foods to your diet is recommended, supplementing is a simple way to ensure your body is getting enough Omega-3s it needs to protect your joints.
The most common Omega-3 supplements on the market are:
Krill oil: Krill oil is both more sustainable and more easily absorbed by the body when compared to fish oil or algae oil supplements. Krill oil’s Omega-3s come in the form of phospholipids, which your body can easily recognize, absorb, and put to work protecting your joints. Krill oil also contains essential choline and the antioxidant astaxanthin.
Fish oil: When most people think of Omega-3s, they think of fish oil. It’s packed with Omega-3s and is usually very effective, but it can come with side effects like diarrhea, gas, and other gastrointestinal issues. The aftertaste of fish oil can also be off-putting for some users.
Algae oil: This is an effective, plant-based form of Omega-3s. It has many of the same benefits as fish oil, but it’s more popular among vegans and vegetarians.
Start supporting your joints with Omega-3s
Do Omega-3s support joint health? Multiple studies suggest that Omega-3s may provide support for your cartilage, mobility, and make your joints more comfortable—all hallmarks of good joint health.
Kori Krill Oil makes it easy to add Omega-3 to your health routine. Get 250 mg of essential Omega-3 EPA and DHA per day in three different soft gel sizes so you can support your joint health with a vitamin that’s both easy to take and easy on your body.