Ahiflower for joint health: plant-based alternative demonstrates similar efficacy to fish oil

Published: 26-Jun-2024

A novel study has revealed that ahiflower oil may offer similar benefits to fish oil when used to alleviate the symptoms of rheutamoid arthritis

A recent study from the University of Moncton, Canada, has found that ahiflower oil — a plant-based omega-3 source — exhibits similar efficacy in reducing symptoms of arthritis; such as joint pain, swelling and the reduction of inflammatory markers. 


The study

With this trial, researchers aimed to determine the impacts of different polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) enriched diets on an animal model, and how PUFA supplemental intake could impact the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis. 

The animal models used had induced rheumatoid arthritis, and groups were given a standard western diet, or supplemented with either ahiflower (B. arvensis) or fish oil. 

The investigators then observed how each diet impacted the animal models, including the effects on inflammatory markers, platelets, platelet microvesicles, ankle thickness and cytokine release.


Supplementary PUFAs can assist in modulating platelets implicated in RA disease pathology

The results 

During the study, it was found that — although diets with supplemental PUFAs didn’t prevent arthritis, ankle swelling was significantly reduced. 

This was seen across both the fish and ahiflower oil group, demonstrating that the plant-based alternative was able to have a similar impact to its fishy counterpart.

There was also a notable decrease in the production of platelet microvesicles, which are a pro-inflammatory platelet phenotype — suggesting that consumption of supplementary PUFAs can assist in modulating platelets implicated in the disease pathology of rheumatoid arthritis. 

Angela M. Laevski, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Université de Moncton, commented: “Our study provides insight into the contribution of PUFA supplementation in modulating the pro-inflammatory phenotype of platelets in RA pathology. As well as this, it suggests that low concentrations of dietary ahi flower oil may have a similar anti-inflammatory potential to that of dietary fish oil.”

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