Fish Oil Helps Heal Bed Sores of the
Tel Aviv University research finds a 20-25 percent
reduction in pressure ulcers with a fish oil enriched diet; maybe it has
a role in general pain management, too
Dec. 4, 2012 - Chock-full of Omega-3 fatty acids
and antioxidants, fish oil can help lower blood pressure, reduce
inflammation in the skin and joints, and promote healthy fetal
development. Now, a Tel
Aviv University researcher has found that it has a positive
effect on bedsores, too - a common problem in critically ill patients.
Bedsores result from constant pressure on the skin and underlying tissue
due to prolonged sitting or lying down. Painful and prone to infection,
the pressure ulcers need to be healed, says Prof. Pierre Singer
of the Sackler Faculty
of Medicine. With Ph.D. candidate Miriam Theilla at the
Rabin Medical Center, he designed a randomized experiment to determine
the impact of dietary fish oil supplements on the bedsores of critically
After a three week period of adding eight grams of
fish oil to their patients' daily diet, the researchers found not only a
significant lessening of pain and discomfort from bedsores a 20 to 25
percent improvement, according to the Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing
but also a more efficient immune system and a reduction to inflammation
throughout the body. The results were reported in the British Journal of
Nutrition and the American Journal of
Boosting the immune system
Inspired by the results of a previous study showing
that dietary fish oil supplements for critically ill patients raised
oxygen levels in body tissues, Prof. Singer and his fellow researchers
sought to determine whether the supplement could also help heal
bedsores, which are also formed by a lack of oxygen, reduced blood flow,
and skin wetness.
To test this theory, the researchers developed a
randomized study with 40 critically ill patients. Half the patients were
given standard hospital diets, and the rest had a daily addition of
eight grams of fish oil added in their food. After a three-week period,
the patients in the fish oil group had an average of 20 to 25 percent
improvement in the healing of their bedsores compared to the control
Beyond the size of the bedsores, the researchers
also measured different immune parameters and found that the patients in
the fish oil group had experienced a boost in their immune system and a
reduction in swelling. "We saw a modification in the expression of a
group of molecules associated with directing leukocytes, or white blood
cells, in the direction of the wound, which could explain the improved
healing," explains Prof. Singer. In addition, researchers noted a
significant decrease in the amount of C-reactive protein in the blood,
which is associated with inflammation and linked to viral and bacterial
infections, rheumatic diseases, tissue injury, and necrosis.
Natural pain management?
Next, Prof. Singer and his fellow researchers plan
to explore the use of fish oil as a method of natural pain management.
By measuring the intensity of pain experience in post-surgical patients
who have undergone either knee or hip replacements and comparing it to
the amount of fish oil the patient has received, they hope to determine
whether the nutrient-rich oil can also reduce their patients' suffering.
More Links to Archived Stories about Omega-3 Fatty Acids
UK researchers find omega-3 fatty acids slow down osteoarthritis, at least in guinea pigs; I think it worked for me!
By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com
Oct. 17, 2011 As an active
well very active tennis player for many years, when I turned 70 I was worried my playing days might end due to my aching knees. I never
took the court without wearing the latest in knee protection devices. Then, shortly after I increased my daily regimen of fish oil pills, the
knee pain disappeared. I was convinced my joints were now better oiled. New research says there may be something to this.
Related Archive Stories
A number of studies have now linked Omega-3 with reducing the risk of
AMD - major cause of blindness in senior citizens
Women who ate the
most fish did the best at reducing the risk of this leading cause of
blindness in senior citizens
March 15, 2011
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