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Fish oil heals bed sores too

07 December, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Fish oil promotes healing in bed sores of critically ill patients, too, says an Israeli research.

Bed sores result from constant pressure on the skin and underlying tissue due to prolonged sitting or lying down by such patients.

Painful and prone to infection, these sores need to be healed, says Pierre Singer, professor at the Tel Aviv University`s Sackler Faculty of Medicine.

With doctoral candidate Miriam Theilla at the Rabin Medical Centre, Singer designed a randomized experiment to test the impact of dietary fish oil supplements on bed sores, the British Journal of Nutrition and the American Journal of Critical Care reported.

After a three week period of adding eight grams of fish oil to their patients` daily diet, researchers found not only a significant easing of pain and discomfort from bed sores - a 20 to 25 percent improvement, according to the Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing - but also a more efficient immune system and a reduction to inflammation throughout the body.

Inspired by the results of a previous study showing that dietary fish oil supplements also raised oxygen levels in body tissues, Singer and fellow researchers sought to determine whether the supplement could also help heal bed sores, which are also formed by a lack of oxygen, reduced blood flow, and skin wetness, according to a Tel Aviv statement.

To test this theory, the researchers developed a randomized study with 40 critically ill patients. Half the patients were given standard hospital diets, and the rest had a daily addition of eight grams of fish oil added in their food, said a university statement.

After a three-week period, the patients in the fish oil group had an average of 20 to 25 percent improvement in the healing of their bed sores compared to the control group.

Fish oil, chock-full of Omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants, can also help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation in the skin and joints, and promote healthy foetal development.

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