Clinical trial to target osteoarthritis of the knee | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Clinical trial to target osteoarthritis of the knee

USC’s Clinical Trials Centre is launching a trial to investigate the use of krill oil in managing pain reduction in patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee.

The trial will look at the effectiveness of krill oil supplements in reducing pain in adults who have this condition.

USC is conducting the trial at its Sippy Downs centre in the Ochre Health Medical Centre, and at the Health Hub Morayfield alongside Dr Susan Thackwray.

Osteoarthritis in the knee occurs when cartilage wears away, resulting in the bones of the joint rubbing against each other and causing pain, swelling, stiffness and a reduced ability to move.

With no cure for osteoarthritis, treatments are aimed at improving symptoms and primarily includes painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Due to adverse effects associated with these drugs, a need exists for alternate therapies that safely and effectively reduce pain and inflammation and improve function in people with knee osteoarthritis.

USC Clinical Trials Centre Director Lucas Litewka said krill oil was a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, and had been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

“Nutraceutical treatments have traditionally relied on anecdotal evidence to support their efficacy, so USC Clinical Trials Centre is excited to be involved with this important study,” he said.

“With consumers facing so many treatment options these days, it is important for the USC Clinical Trials Centre to support activities that will help consumers make evidence-based decisions regarding their health.”

Dr Thackwray said osteoarthritis was one of the most common chronic joint conditions across the country, with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare stating that nine percent of Australians (or 2.1 million people) have osteoarthritis.

“Osteoarthritis a degenerative condition, and usually gets worse over time,” she said. “It can cause pain, loss of mobility and reduced quality of life. Knee osteoarthritis is a major form of this condition and is a major contributor to disability and lost productivity.

“Currently there is no cure for osteoarthritis, so our main goals of treatment are to reduce pain and improve function.

“This trial will be highlighting further scientific research into the effectiveness of krill oil in managing pain reduction in patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee.’

Adults between the ages of 40 and 65 can take part in this trial if they have been medically diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee. This can be in one or both knees.

Those who meet the criteria and are enrolled in the study will be compensated for their time. Patients interested in participating can go to or call (07) 5456 3797.

- Terry Walsh

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