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Is Krill Oil a Natural Treatment for Arthritis

By Dr. Kristie

Arthritis causes its sufferers a great deal of pain and stiffness and can make getting around a challenge – especially in the morning. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications reduce the pain and inflammation, but the side effects can be offsetting for some people.

Is there a way to ease arthritis pain without drugs?  Scientists recently found that krill oil may be a natural treatment for the inflammation of arthritis.

What is Krill Oil?

Krill oil is harvested from tiny shrimp that live in very cold waters. This oil contains omega-3’s, similar to those found in fish oil tablets, and it’s also a rich source of phosphatidyl choline and an antioxidant called astaxanthin. Experts believe that the omega-3’s in krill oil are better absorbed by the body, which causes them to have greater benefits.

Is It a Natural Treatment for Arthritis Pain?

When researchers evaluated krill oil as a natural treatment for arthritis in mice, they found it reduced hind paw swelling along with other signs of arthritis. In fact, the benefits of krill oil for reducing arthritis symptoms in these mice were greater than that of fish oils or a placebo.

The mice who received krill oil had 47% improvement in their arthritis scores, while mice that got fish oils only showed a 26% improvement.

Why Was Krill Oil for Arthritis Better Than Fish Oils?

Fish oils are also a good source of natural omega-3’s, which help to reduce inflammation. Why is krill oil better? The omega-3’s in krill oil seem to be better absorbed than those in fish oil, which may account for the difference.

It could also be the additional antioxidants and phosphatidyl choline, which may have benefits that go beyond the anti-inflammatory effect of the omega-3’s.

The Benefits of Krill Oil: It Has Some Disadvantages Too

Krill oil hasn’t been as extensively researched as fish oils, and krill oil is difficult to find - although more health food stores are carrying it these days. Because the omega-3 concentration isn’t as high as fish oils, you may need to take more, which can be expensive.

Like fish oils, krill oil can interact with certain medications. Although it's safe for most people, human studies are still needed to prove its effectiveness. Talk to your doctor before using it as a natural treatment for arthritis.

About the Author

She is a Medical Doctor with a concentration in Family Practice. She also has an undergraduate degree in both Biology and Psychology and masters in Clinical Pathology.


  • 'Krill oil may reduce arthritis symptoms: Mouse study"


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