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Cod oil ‘Cuts Arthritis Drug Use’

A daily dose of cod liver oil can cut painkiller use in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a study suggests.

.Cod liver oil can be taken in capsule or liquid form

Taking 10g of cod liver oil a day reduced the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by 30%, Dundee University researchers say.

Concerns about side-effects of NSAIDs has prompted research into alternative.

Rheumatologists said the study, in Rheumatology journal, funded by Seven Seas, was small but showed fish oil could benefit some patients.

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 have now completed three studies which have all shown patients are able to cut down their NSAID use when taking cold liver oil.

It is thought fatty acids in the fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties.

Side-effects

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.

Study leader Professor Jill Belch said the study offered hope to many rheumatoid arthritis patients who wanted to reduce the amount of pain medication they take.

“Every change in medication should be discussed with a GP but I would advise people to give cod liver oil a try for 12 weeks alongside their NSAIDs and then try to cut it down if they can manage it but if they don’t manage it, that’s fine.

“If you can get off NSAIDs it will be much safer.”

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society chief executive Ailsa Bosworth said: “People with rheumatoid arthritis still rely heavily on NSAIDs, even though the safety of these drugs is under scrutiny.

“We look forward to more research in this area.”

British Society for Rheumatology president Dr Andrew Bamji said it was a small study so difficult to draw firm conclusions.

But he added: “Anything that can help to reduce NSAID use is going to be safer for patients.

“It does look as if the results are positive and that is quite interesting.

“I would say to patients by all means take cod liver oil and when you feel ready start to reduce your NSAID dose.”

But he stressed that patients must discuss plans with their doctor because it was important that physicians were aware of all medications and supplements the patient was taking.

“Anything that can help to reduce NSAID use is going to be safer for patients”..says
Dr Andrew Bamji, British Society for Rheumatology

Click to see also :->

Cod Liver Oil Cuts the Need for Arthritis Drugs
Cod liver oil ‘treats depression’
Fish oil urged for heart patients
Cod liver oil benefits confirmed
Cod liver oil ‘slows arthritis’
Sources: BBC NEWS:25Th. March.’08

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Cannabis: remedy for skin disease

Cannabis might help alleviate allergic skin disease!

Elements produced from the cannabis plant could enhance therapeutic treatment for humans.

Allergic contact dermatitis, a skin disease, might be alleviated with the use of a substance found in the cannabis plant, a team of researchers from Germany, Israel, Italy, Switzerland and the US has found.

Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is caused by reaction to something that directly contacts with the skin. It can be caused by many different substances called allergens.

Usually these substances cause no trouble for most people, and may not even be noticed the first time the person is exposed.

But once the skin becomes sensitive or allergic to the substance, any exposure will produce a rash. The rash usually doesn’t start until a day or two later, but can start a soon as hours or as late as a week.

In earlier work, Prof Raphael Mechoulam’s research group at the Hebrew University isolated two naturally occurring cannabinoid (cannabis-like) components — one from the brain, named anandamide, and another from the intestines named 2-AG.

These two cannabinoids, plus their receptors and various enzymes that are involved in the cannnabinoids’ syntheses and degradations, comprise the endocannabinoid system. These materials have similar effects to those of the active components in hashish and marijuana, produced from the cannabis plant.

As part of this study, a team of researchers including Dr Andreas Zimmer and Prof Mechoulam tested the endocannabinoid system as a major regulator of cutaneous (skin) contact hypersensitivity (CHS) in a mouse model.

The researchers found that mice lacking cannabinoid receptors displayed intensified inflammatory skin responses to an allergen.

In order to better understand the molecular mechanism that might contribute to the increased CHS in cannabinoid-receptor deficient mice, the researchers performed a series of experiments which showed that mouse skin cells produce a specific chemical (a chemokine) which is involved in the annoying disease reaction.

Activation of the endocannabinoid system in the skin upon exposure to a contact allergen lowers the allergic responses through modulating the production of this chemokine.

The results thus clearly showed a protective role for the endocannabinoid system in contact allergy in the skin and suggested that development of cannabinoid compounds based on elements produced from the cannabis plant could enhance therapeutic treatment for humans.

Source:The Times Of India

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