Are omega-3 fatty acids beneficial for spinal stenosis?
There have been no controlled clinical trials evaluating the potential benefit or not of DHA/EPA omega-3 fatty acids in spinal stenosis. A number of studies have shown significant benefit of DHA/EPA supplementation at levels of approximately 2.5-3.0 g per day over a 3-4 week period, very little information is available from controlled clinical trials to support the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids in osteoarthtirtis of the spine. There has been some interest in the potential benefit of the New Zealand Green- Lipped Mussel (Perna Canaliculis) as an extract for the alleviation of osteoarthritis. However, there have been mixed outcome measures which are generally inconclusive. Any anti-inflammatory activity due to such supplementation has been considered most likely due to the presence of DHA/EPA omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. A recently-published systematic review of this topic has concluded that there is little consistent and compelling evidence so far on the therapeutic use of this freeze-dried mussel powder for the treatment of osteoarthritis (Cobb & Bernst, Clin. Rheumatol., 25:275-284 (2006))