Study targeting post-menopausal women with osteoarthritis

Published 28 May 2018
Knee in jeans

Southern Cross University’s NatMed-Research Unit is looking for female volunteers post menopause with osteoarthritis of the knee to participate in a research study looking at the effectiveness of marine oil supplements in alleviating the symptoms of this condition.

The study is being conducted by Professor Stephen Myers and Mr Chris Oliver and follows on from preliminary trials carried out over the past two years which looked at the effect of a specific marine oil in both men and women.

“In our preliminary studies we demonstrated that a standardised marine oil extract derived from New Zealand green-lipped mussels can substantively reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis which confirms the results of work carried out overseas,” Professor Myers said.

“Women have increased risk of osteoarthritis after menopause and women with this type of osteoarthritis are identified in a separate category. New insights into the biochemistry and biology of osteoarthritis have demonstrated that estrogen-deficiency related osteoarthritis is a distinct subset of the condition.

“Given our previous success in studying women with post-menopausal osteoarthritis we have identified this group as the target of our next study.”

This follow-up study is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of two different marine oils in post-menopausal osteoarthritis. During the study all participants will take both marine oil extracts at different times.

The researchers are looking for 25 post-menopausal women (50 to 75 years of age) with osteoarthritis of the knee from the Northern Rivers region to participate in the trial.

Participants will attend clinical meetings at the University’s Lismore campus.

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 would 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.”

The research is funded by Pharmalink International Pty Ltd and is being conducted independently by Southern Cross University. The study has been approved by the Southern Cross University Human Research Ethics Committee (ECN-18-022).

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 oastudy@scu.edu.au or phone 0419 098 018.

Media contact: Sharlene King 0429 661 349