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Krill oil may reduce arthritis symptoms: Mouse study

By Stephen Daniells , 17-Sep-2010
Last updated on 17-Sep-2010 at 17:11 GMT2010-09-17T17:11:55Z

Daily supplements of krill oil may reduce the symptoms of arthritis, with the benefits linked to the omega-3 and antioxidant content of the ingredient, suggests a new study.

The study, which compares krill oil (Superba Krill Oil, Aker BioMarine) and fish oil, showed that addition of EPA and DHA to the diet of mice reduced levels of inflammation in a mouse model of arthritis.

“Krill oil provides protection in terms of arthritis scores and joint pathology in the CIA model. Thus, this source of (omega-3) fatty acids deserves more investigation as a food supplement for patients suffering from not only RA but also osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions,” wrote researchers from MD Biosciences (Zurich, Switzerland), Aker BioMarine, and Clanet (Finland) in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.

Understanding krill

Krill are tiny shrimp gaining attention as a rich source of omega-3, as well as other nutrients.

There are about 85 species of the deepwater marine planktonic crustacean, or deepwater shrimp, which the planet's most abundant animal biomass and which when captured and converted to oil, pack 48 times the antioxidant punch of standard fish oils, according to ORAC antioxidant scales.

Study details

The researchers used an animal model of arthritis to evaluate the effects of krill or fish oil on markers of joint health. The levels of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in the krill oil was 0.44 g of 100 grams of diet and 0.47 grams per 100 grams of diet in fish oil group.

Results showed that animals supplemented with krill or fish oil experienced significant reductions in measures of arthritis and swelling of the hind paw compared to a control animals not supplemented with EPA and DHA. The effects were greater for the krill oil than fish oil, said the researchers.

Indeed, the arthritis score was reduced by 47 percent in the krill oil group compared with 26 percent for animals in fish oil group, they said.

The study was supported by Aker BioMarine.

The research was welcomed by Hogne Vik MD, PhD, of Aker Biomarine, as “an important preclinical study”.

“Previous research with standard fish oil has shown benefits in arthritis, however the phospholipid EPA and DHA in krill is believed to be more bioefficient,” said Vik. “These results are inline with other krill oil data demonstrating that omega-3 fatty acids in the form of phospholipids can be more effective than omega-3 fatty acids from triglycerides.”

Source: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
11:136
“Supplementation of diet with krill oil protects against experimental rheumatoid arthritis”
Authors: M. Ierna, A. Kerr, H. Scales, K. Berge, M. Griinari
The full article is available here: www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/11/136.

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