Osteoarthritis sufferers needed for natural medicine study

Published 23 June 2016

Stephen Myers
Southern Cross University’s NatMed-Research unit is looking for volunteers on the Gold Coast and in Northern NSW to participate in a research study into the effects of a marine oil supplement on osteoarthritis of the knee.

The study is being conducted by Adjunct Professor Stephen Myers and follows on from earlier successful preliminary clinical trials carried out overseas which indicated that the marine oil may be an effective treatment in alleviating the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

“The marine oil derived from New Zealand green-lipped mussels has been shown to decrease markers of inflammation in laboratory tests and reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis in the preliminary clinical research,” Professor Myers said.

“This follow-up study has been designed to test the most effective dosage in both men and women suffering osteoarthritis. This means all participants will be taking the marine oil extract.”

The researchers are looking for 60 participants with osteoarthritis of the knee from the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers regions to participate in the trial: 30 men (45 to 70 years of age) with osteoarthritis unrelated to a sporting injury and 30 women postmenopausal women (50 to 65 years of age).

The Australian Institute for Health and Welfare estimates that eight per cent of Australians have osteoarthritis and that two out of three sufferers are female.

Professor Myers said arthritis was the most frequent cause of disability among adults in the developed world and as the population continued to age the prevalence of the condition will significantly increase.

“Current standard clinical practice is to use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), but these have a high side-effect profile. The goal of our research into osteoarthritis is to find a treatment that provides a safer, but equally effective alternative treatment.”

He said the risks involved were likely to be small, while the potential benefits were large.

Participants will attend clinical meetings at Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast or Lismore campuses.

The research is funded by Pharmalink International Pty Ltd and is being conducted by Southern Cross University.

The research has obtained approval by the Human Research Ethics Committee of Southern Cross University (approval number: ECN-15-328).

If you experience moderate levels of pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee and would like to know more about the study, contact the study coordinator Shelley Robinson at osteoarthritis@scu.edu.au or phone 0419 098 018.

Photo: Adjunct Professor Stephen Myers.

Media contact: Sharlene King media officer, Southern Cross University, 02 6620 3508 or 0429 661 349.