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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 827286, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/827286
Research Article

Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis with Marine and Botanical Oils: Influence on Serum Lipids

1Center for Integrative Nutrition, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA
2Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA
3Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA
4Division of Rheumatology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA

Received 31 December 2010; Revised 6 June 2011; Accepted 25 July 2011

Copyright © 2011 Barbara C. Olendzki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The gap in mortality between patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and the general population (1.5–3.0 fold risk) is increasing. This disparity is attributable mainly to cardiovascular disease (CVD), as the CVD risk is comparable to patients with diabetes mellitus. The purpose of this study is to determine whether borage seed oil rich in gamma-linolenic acid, fish oil rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or the combination of both oils are useful treatments for dyslipidemia in patients with RA. We randomized patients into a double blind, 18 month trial. Mixed effects models were used to compare trends over time in serum lipids. No significant differences were observed between the three groups: All three treatment groups exhibited similar meaningful improvement in the lipid profile at 9 and 18 months. When all groups were combined, these treatments significantly reduced total and LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, increased HDL-cholesterol, and improved the atherogenic index. All improvements observed at 9 months persisted at 18 months (P<0.001 verses baseline). Conclusion. Marine and botanical oils may be useful treatment for rheumatoid arthritis patients who are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease compared to the general population.