ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
Drinking Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
More Cancer Tests Mean More False-Positive Results
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
CAREGIVING
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
Low-Fat Diet Does Little to Alter Cholesterol Levels
Even in 'Last Supper,' Portion Sizes Have Grown
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
Restaurant Sushi May Have More Mercury Than Store-Bought Fare
EYE CARE, VISION
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
FITNESS
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Good Sleepers More Likely to Eat Right
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
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New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients

(HealthDay News) -- Researchers think they now understand the way that fish oils benefit people with rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions linked to inflammation.

The body converts an ingredient in fish oils called DHA into a chemical called Resolvin D2, which reduces the inflammation that can lead to various diseases, the scientists from Queen Mary, University of London and Harvard Medical School explained in their study published in the Oct. 28 issue of the journal Nature.

"We have known for some time that fish oils can help with conditions like arthritis, which are linked to inflammation. What we've shown here is how the body processes a particular ingredient of fish oils into Resolvin D2. We've also looked in detail at this chemical, determining at least some of the ways it relieves inflammation. It seems to be a very powerful chemical and a small amount can have a large effect," Mauro Perretti, a professor of immunopharmacology at Queen Mary, University of London, said in a university news release.

"This research is important because it explains at least one way in which fish oils can help in different types of arthritis. We can also work on this chemical and see if it can be used not only to treat or even prevent arthritis, but also as a possible treatment for a variety of other diseases associated with inflammation," said Perretti, who led the U.K. research team.

Unlike current anti-inflammatory drugs, Resolvin D2 doesn't appear to suppress the immune system, the researchers noted.

In arthritis, the body's immune system attacks healthy tissue. An important part of this process occurs when white blood cells (leukocytes) stick to the inner lining (endothelium) of blood vessels. In lab tests, Perretti and colleagues found that Resolvin D2 prompted endothelial cells to produce small amounts of nitric oxide, which acts as chemical signal that discourages white blood cells from sticking to the endothelium, thus preventing inflammation.

SOURCES: Queen Mary, University of London, news release, Oct. 28, 2009 Published on: October 28, 2009