Omega-3 for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Omega-3 fatty acids are common nutritional supplements often taken in the form of fish oil and flaxseed oil. They are classified as polyunsaturated fat, one of the good fats, as opposed to bad fat which is saturated.

Omega-3s are believed to play many important roles including:

>>Aiding brain development and function

>>Reducing inflammation

>>Reducing back and Neuropathic pain

>>Preventing heart disease

>>Lowering blood pressure

>>Lowering risk of cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

They may also reduce depression, asthma, painful periods, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Omega-3s for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome

Some researches show that omega-3 fatty acids may improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. One studies show that omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most common supplement taken by the people suffering from fibromyalgia.

Some researchers hypothesize that omega-3 fatty acids may help to reduce the oxidative stress.

In order to combat inflammation many people take omega-3 supplements or diet rich in omega-3. Pro-inflammatory cytokines may be the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. Some studies show that fibromyalgia may involve inflammation of fascia.

We don’t know yet whether they help counter the cognitive dysfunction, fibro frog, or unique pain types of these conditions or the cardiovascular irregularities that are common in chronic fatigue syndrome.


People who do not eat diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, some nutritionist recommend them to take, 500 milligrams a day in supplements.

People with certain diseases like heart diseases, doctors suggest them to take more. It’s important for you to discus about the supplements need of your body with your doctor.

In your diet

You can get dietary omega-3 fatty acids in several foods including:

>>Fatty fish, (salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, anchovies)




>>Canola and hempseed oils


Side effects

Just because omega-3 are natural, that doesn’t mean they are safe for everyone and whatever amount they can take. You should know the possible side effects.

Common side effects include

>>Upset stomach


>>Increased burping

>>Heartburn/acid reflux

>>Abdominal pain and bloating

These supplements have fishy taste; some people don’t like this taste. If we take them with meal, the taste can get better and can have fewer side effects. You should also start with low dose and increase the dose with time.

Omega-3s may increase the risk of bleeding problems, including a type of stroke, but this is rare at lower dosage. Nosebleed and urine blood are associated with higher dosage. A blood sugar may increase in diabetics.

People suffering from depression and bipolar disorders may experience mania, restlessness, or crawling sensation on the skin.

Some fish may contain contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBS), dioxins and methyl mercury. These substances are believed to b buildup in meat, not in soil, so supplements are considered safe.

Long-term supplements may cause vitamin E deficiency. Your doctor can test you with this problem.

Neurological benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.

The central nervous system is highly enriched in long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega-6 and omega-3 series. The presence of these fatty acids as structural components of neuronal membranes influence cellular function both directly, through effects on membrane properties, and also by acting as a precursor pool for lipid-derived messengers. An adequate intake of omega-3 PUFA is essential for optimal vision function and neural development.

Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that increased intake of long chain omega-3 PUFA,  EPA, DHA, may confer benefits in a variety of psychiatric and neurological disorders and in particular neurodegenerative condition. However the mechanisms underlying these beneficial effects are still poorly understood. Recent evidence also indicates that in addition to the positive effects seen in chronic neurodegenerative conditions, omega-3 PUFA may also have significant neuroprotective potential in acute neurological injury.

Is it right for you?

You should discus with your doctor about the supplements you want to take, so they can make sure, that they don’t interfere or affect your medication

However omega-3 fatty acids are generally safe and they are readily available at any shop that sells supplements, so these are very easy to add to your medication.

More supplements for pain tenderness

>>Magnesium Malate

>>Vitamin D

Supplements that balance neurotransmitters may help reduce fibromyalgia pain.

More supplements for brain function




>>St. John’s Wort






Omega-3 for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by Adrienne Dewello

Dyall SC, Michael-Titus AT. Neuromolecular medicine. 2008;10(4):219-35. Neurological benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.

Ko GD, et al. The clinical journal of pain. 2010 Feb;26(2):168-72. Omega-3 fatty acids for neuropathic pain: case series.

Liptan GL. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 2010 Jan;14(1):3-12 Fascia: A missing link in our understanding of the pathology of fibromyalgia.

Maes M. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry. An intriguing and hitherto unexplained co-occurrence: Depression and chronic fatigue syndrome are manifestations of shared inflammatory, oxidative and nitrosative pathways.

Maes M, Mihaylova I, Leunis JC. Neuro endocrinology letters. 2005 Dec;26(6):745-51. In chronic fatigue syndrome, the decreased levels of omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids are related to lowered serum zinc and defects in T cell activation.

Ozgocmen S, et al. Rheumatology international. 2006 May;26(7):585-97. Current concepts in the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia: the potential role of oxidative stress and nitric oxide.

Ozgocmen S, et al. Rheumatology International. 2006 May;26(7):598-603. Antioxidant status, lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide in fibromyalgia: etiologic and therapeutic concerns.

Ozgocmen S, et al. International journal of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. Effect of omega-3 fatty acids in the management of fibromyalgia syndrome.

Shaver JL, et al. Journal of women’s health. Self-reported medication and herb/supplement use by women with and without fibromyalgia.

Tamizi far B, Tamizi B. Medical hypotheses. 2002 Mar;58(3):249-50. Treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome by dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids—a good idea?


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