Can Omega-3s Help Protect Your Rotator Cuff?

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In our modern world replete with commercial meats and oils loaded up with Omega-6 fatty acids, it’s harder than ever to make sure you get enough Omega-3s in your diet.

But it’s more important than ever.

Countless articles have been posted across the web, some on the very website, extolling the virtues and health benefits of this fatty acid.

From heart health to brain health and everything in between, most of these benefits pertain to our internal systems, cognition, etc.

But what if I told you low Omega-3 intake might even affect your body’s structure?

A study published in the July 2019 issue of Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids indicates low Omega-3 intake could impact the health of our rotator cuffs of all things.

Anyone who has ever suffered from rotator cuff damage can tell you what a painful and debilitating injury it can be. Most do not realize how many minor movements this part of the body is involved in until it doesn’t provide the support it used to.

Why Omega-3s?

The researchers stated that chronic inflammation plays a part in the pathogenesis of degenerative rotator cuff tears. Since polyunsaturated fatty acids such as Omega 3s have anti-inflammatory effects, they hypothesized that those with the condition may be underutilizing these very important fatty acids.

Were they correct?

To test their theory, they examined 29 patients with rotator cuff tears and 15 healthy volunteers who served as a control for their Omega-3 Index.

Even though the sample size was small, they found those with rotator cuff tears to have a significantly lower Omega-3 Index than their healthy counterparts.

About 17 percent lower, in fact.

What does this tell us?

While this gives us no definitive indications of Omega-3s’ impact on rotator cuff injuries, it does give us a warning sign that needs to be investigated further.

For one, can these findings be replicated in further studies?

And, if so, does lower Omega-3 intake represent an independent risk factor or is it coupled with other factors?

Until further studies are conducted, we don’t know for sure.

What we do know, however, is that countless studies have shown the benefits of optimizing Omega-3 intake and this may just be one more for us to keep an eye on.


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  1. I need to get back at taking Omega 3 every day. I used to do it religiously.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Pursuit of Great

    You bet! Sometimes writing these articles serves as a nice reminder for myself too! 🙂

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