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Vitamins, Minerals, and RA: What Your Body Needs

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of healthy fat. Your body cannot make them, so you have to get them from food or supplements. 

Studies suggest that people with RA have lower-than-average levels of EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish such as tuna and salmon. 

Omega-3 fish oil supplements may help with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have found that they can ease RA symptoms like morning stiffness, but you might need high-doses of fish oil for that. EPA and DHA may also lower the risk of heart problems linked to RA. Talk to your doctor about how much omega-3 fatty acids you should be getting.

Other Vitamins and Minerals

Researchers have studied whether not getting enough vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and selenium can affect RA symptoms. So far, there's no clear evidence that getting more of any of these nutrients helps RA.

Your best bet is to get your nutrients from foods. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat is key.

If you're falling short on nutrients or you can't absorb nutrients from foods, ask your doctor if you need supplements, too.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on June 25, 2013

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