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Well and Good: Natural Arthritis Help

A friend who suffers from pain and swelling associated with arthritis recently asked me for some help. She does not want to go the traditional medical route, but she wants and needs something that could help alleviate the pain and stiffness. She begged me to help her find some natural remedies.

My research turned up the usual suspects – aromatherapy, acupuncture, supplements like flaxseed oil and ginger.  But I also found some new information on a supplement many people may not have heard of: Krill oil.

According to Life Extensionmagazine, October 2011, krill oil supplements were shown to greatly reduce pain and arthritis activity in two recent studies.  The publication reported that in one study of krill oil, “arthritis patients reported 55% pain reduction within 3 months with 65% entirely pain free” when given krill oil combined with hyaluronic acid and astaxanthin, which target pro inflammatory agents in the body.

Krill are tiny shrimp-like crustaceans, and are the most populous animal species on the planet. They absolutely flourish in the waters of the Antarctic Ocean.  This water stays near the freezing temperature of fresh water.

Unlike long-chained fatty acids from animal sources, krill oil is in a form known as phospholipids. This may explain why their cell membranes remain fluid in the extreme cold temperature.  Because krill consume large quantities of ocean algae, the oil is naturally high in the antioxidant astaxanthin which has the ability to help inhibit programmed cell death in the joint area.

When krill and fish oils are taken together, the entire body benefits.  Krill oil is superior at targeting and protecting the joint cartilage. Fish oil works best at suppressing the inflammatory cytokines that cause heart disease.

I do not think krill oil taken alone can replace all omega-3 oils, however. To get the correct levels of EPA/DHA for reducing systemic (whole body) inflammation and heart health, you would have to consume 30 krill soft gels a day!

Instead, I suggest you simply add 300mg of krill oil a day to the omega-3 fish oils you are already taking. That way, you’ll continue to protect your whole body, including your heart, while adding joint protection at the same time.