Study Shows Fish Oil to be Safe and Effective for Neck and Back Conditions

Watsonville, CA (May 1, 2006) Fish oil given to patients with chronic neck and low-back pain has proven to be effective, according to a study published in the April 2006 issue of Surgical Neurology.

The patented fish oil supplement was administered to 250 patients under physician’s care, most of whom suffered from degenerative disc conditions. Back problems are “one of the greatest causes of pain and disability in the United States,” according to Joseph Maroon, MD, the study’s lead author and vice chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Maroon’s study team chose ProEPATM/EPATM from Nordic Naturals, Inc. ProEPA provides omega-3 essential fatty acids (1,230 mg/2 capsules) with a high concentration of eicosapentanenoic acid (EPA). Patients took 2 or 4 capsules a day.

After beginning supplementation, subjects were given a questionnaire asking for clinical improvements and any side effects. After an average of 75 days of fish oil supplementation, 60% of respondents reported significant improvements, including reduction in overall pain and 59% were able to stop taking other pain medicine. None of the patients experienced significant side effects and 88% of the respondents planned to continue using the fish oil omega-3s.

“It is important for patients to know that safer alternatives to pain medications are available,” said Dr. Maroon. “A fish oil supplement containing EPA and DHA omega-3s is an effective choice with fewer or no side effects. People should be careful to choose a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil supplement that is fresh and free of potentially harmful heavy metals, such as the mercury, PCPs, and dioxins that can be found in fish.

“Our study adds to the numerous publications showing the widespread health benefits of fish oil omega-3s. Additional clinical trials, along with ours, now show that patients with chronic joint pain who take an adequate amount of natural purified fish oil, for a long enough period of time, can get meaningful relief without relying on medications," said Dr. Maroon.

Founded by husband-and-wife team Joar and Michele Opheim, Nordic Naturals is the leader in omega-3 fish oils and EFA blends with exceptional taste, freshness, and purity levels. The company offers over 50 different fish oil products and EFA blends, including liquids, capsules, and children's chewables. For more information, please visit or call 800.662.2544.


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