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No effect of Krill oil for people with knee osteoarthritis

A white can in the background with a lot of yellow-ish capsules in front of it which has fallen out of the can

In a study from Australia, researchers have looked at whether the dietary supplement krill oil has any effect on pain in people with clinically diagnosed knee osteoarthritis with severe pain and effusion-synovitis.

Effusion-synovitis means that there is too much fluid in the synovial joint which can cause swelling, pain, and limited mobility in the affected joint, in this case, the knee joint.

There are several studies on various dietary supplements to find out if these supplements have any effect on osteoarthritis, for several of these the result is that according to research it has not been shown to have any direct effect. However, some people experience that certain supplements work anyway.

The Arthritis Portal's Swedish site "Artrosportalen" has previously written about the study, before it was published. For more background on the study, you can read our previous article from 2021 by clicking here. (In Swedish)

The same applies in this study where the result was evaluated after 24 weeks of use of krill oil for half of the participants and placebo for the remaining half. Those who received krill oil got 2g / day during the time the study was ongoing. Participants have been asked to evaluate their knee pain according to the VAS scale which is often used to describe/evaluate pain. The difference after using krill oil/placebo was not large, from those who used krill oil the change in VAS score was -19.9 and the same figure for the placebo group was -20.2.

The result thus shows that there was no direct difference between the different test groups, which means that krill oil cannot be said to have any effect for those who are affected by severe knee pain as a result of their knee osteoarthritis.

It is important to keep in mind when reading studies that many times those who are recruited to the study are in a period of the disease where they experience a lot of problems, in this case, problematic pain. Osteoarthritis, like many other diseases, can fluctuate over time and the same people might have been able to experience a different result if they instead participated in the study during a period when their symptoms were not as severe.

Read the study in its entirety by clicking here, JAMA network opens in a new tab.