A daily dose of cod liver oil can cut painkiller use in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Taking 10 grams of cod liver oil each day reduces the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by 30 percent.
Patients in the study were either given cod liver oil or a placebo. After 12 weeks, they were asked to gradually reduce their use of NSAIDs. 39 percent taking cod liver oil reduced their daily dose of NSAIDs, compared with 10 percent taking a placebo. The reduction in drug use was not associated with any worsening of pain or the disease.
It is thought that the fatty acids in the fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties.
* BBC News March 25, 2008