Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is found in black currant, borage and evening primrose, has been known to reduce tenderness, stiffness and joint pain. However, this omega-6 fatty acid has also been know to have side effects.
These side effects include gas, belching, headaches, constipation or soft stool. Also, some borage oils may cause liver damage.
Finally, some studies have shown some RA patients have benefited from fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids). Tuna, salmon, herring and mackerel all contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Also, fish oil is available in a capsule or oil supplement.
One study showed that fish oil reduced morning stiffness ad tender joints. However, if you are taking anticoagulants, you should discuss taking a fish oil supplement with your health care professional.
Please note that if you are considering the use of alternative medicine, you should contact your health care professional prior to using any alternative medicines.
Inform your health care professional of any supplements or alternative therapies you are evaluating. It is better to be safe than to have a possible adverse reaction.
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Reviewed October 12, 2012