Daily intake of cod liver oil can reduce the need of drugs in people suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, according to researchers.
The research team from Dundee University have revealed that taking 10g of cod liver oil either in capsule or liquid forms a day decreased the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by 30 pct.
NSAIDs are painkillers known for their side effects including increased risk of stomach bleeding but recently, it has also boosted the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
During the study, the patients were given cod liver oil or placebo and 12 weeks later were asked to slowly reduce their use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen.
The findings revealed that 39 pct of the patients taking cod liver oil had cut their daily dose of the drugs compared to 10pct taking a placebo.
"Every change in medication should be discussed with a GP but I would advise people to give cod liver oil a try for 12 weeks alongside their NSAIDs and then try to cut it down if they can manage it but if they don't manage it, that's fine," BBC quoted Professor Jill Belch, lead researcher as saying.
"If you can get off NSAIDs it will be much safer, " he added.
However, Dr Andrew Bamji, president British Society for Rheumatology suggested that it is necessary for the patients to discuss plans with their doctor.
"Anything that can help to reduce NSAID use is going to be safer for patients," he said.
"It does look as if the results are positive and that is quite interesting.
"I would say to patients by all means take cod liver oil and when you feel ready start to reduce your NSAID dose."