DOI: 10.3390/nu15173769 ISSN:

A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of a Krill Oil, Astaxanthin, and Oral Hyaluronic Acid Complex on Joint Health in People with Mild Osteoarthritis

W. Stephen Hill, Margaret H. Dohnalek, Yejin Ha, Seok-Jung Kim, Jae-Chul Jung, Seung-Baik Kang
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Osteoarthritis is a significant global health problem. Many patients seek more effective alternatives to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines or commercial supplements to manage joint pain and inflammation. FlexPro MD® (FP-MD) combines krill oil, astaxanthin, and lower molecular weight hyaluronic acid to support joint health. A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial compared the efficacy and safety of FP-MD and placebo once daily in participants (n = 100) with mild osteoarthritis of the knee or hip joint. For the primary endpoint of joint pain score, per-protocol participants (n = 75) in the FP-MD group (n = 37) had a statistically significantly greater mean reduction from baseline in the Korean Visual Analog Scale (K-VAS) at week 12 compared with participants in the placebo group (n = 38) (20.8 ± 16.16 mm vs. 10.6 ± 17.58, p = 0.0105). The Korean Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (K-WOMAC) total score was also significantly improved in the FP-MD group at week 12 compared with placebo (−13.0 ± 13.62 vs. −5.5 ± 18.08, p = 0.0489), especially an improvement in pain score (−2.5 ± 2.92 vs. −1.3 ± 3.94, p = 0.02635). FP-MD group had greater improvement in joint function scoring by investigator assessment (p = 0.0127) and by group participants (p = 0.0070). A statistically significantly greater number of patients reported adverse events in the placebo group compared with the FP-MD group (16% vs. 4%, p = 0.0455), most commonly gastrointestinal disorders in both of the groups. These findings suggest that FP-MD is well tolerated and can be effectively used to address joint pain in patients diagnosed with mild osteoarthritis, the main symptom of this condition.

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