Does krill oil help your arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that affects 1 in 5 Australians. That means that 1.4m people in NSW alone, have a form of arthritis and try to manage the impact it has on their lives. There are a number of very common and effective ways to tackle the condition such as physical activity and exercise, physical therapy, healthy eating and traditional medicines. All of these methods can play a role in reducing the pain arthritis causes in people’s daily lives.

For some people, having tried these traditional methods, they seek other ways to tackle their condition. One increasingly popular alternative is by taking krill oil.

Krill oil is made from small crustaceans, similar to prawns, found in the icy waters of the Arctic and Antarctic Ocean.  Krill survive in these extreme temperatures due to polyunsaturated fatty acids (including omega-3 fatty acids) attached to their membranes.

These omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have various health benefits, particularly in reducing inflammation associated with some kinds of arthritis. Krill oil also has a different structure than other alternative methods like fish oil, which makes it a richer source of omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This structure means it can be absorbed more easily than fish oil and needs fewer capsules to take effect.

Krill oil isn’t without side effects however.

It can lead to flatulence, stomach upset, bloating and diarrhoea. Caution is also advised when combining it with other forms of medication such as anti-platelet or anti-coagulant medications.

It’s hard to say conclusively about the benefits of krill oil in treating your arthritis.

There is still a lack of clinical research linking it to treating arthritis. Without further clinical research, there is no definitive answer regarding the benefits of krill oil as a treatment for arthritis.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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