Could krill oil supplements help people with chronic fatigue syndrome?

Be part of a new study to investigate whether krill oil supplements could be an effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an understudied condition. It’s thought to affect around one per cent of the population, however the cause is still unknown and there are no direct treatments.  

 Some research suggests that CFS patients have low omega3 status, and further data suggests that the condition is potentially an inflammatory disorder. Omega3 supplements have been shown to improve omega3 status and reduce inflammation, and some small studies tentatively suggest that omega3 supplementation may help CFS.  

 Dr Lee Hamilton is investigating whether supplementing the diet with krill oil could relieve the symptoms of people suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome.  

 Through support from the Mason Foundation, Dr Hamilton is hoping to provide CFS patients with more certainty as to whether krill oil, a source of omega3 fatty acids, antioxidants and choline, could alleviate some of their symptoms. 

 Dr Hamilton’s study involves a randomised controlled trial with two groups of CFS patients. One group will receive krill oil and one group of patients will receive a placebo (vegetable oil mix). Both groups will take their respective supplements for 12 weeks, with neither the participants nor the researchers knowing who is taking the krill oil. The team will then use a series of questionnaires and some physical tests to determine if the supplement has any impact on CFS symptoms. 

A secondary aim of the study is to examine the differences in blood markers of inflammation between healthy subjects and patients with CFS to try to find some clues to the mechanism of the disease. 

“This study will hopefully provide a key piece of evidence for nutritional support for people with chronic fatigue syndrome,” Dr Hamilton said.  

“Patients and their treatment teams will then be able to make an informed decision on the use of krill oil supplements. 

“Given that there are no direct treatments for CFS but many unproven “treatments” touted as cures, this research will provide the CFS community with answers about the potential role of  krill oil supplements to improve their condition,” he said. 

Get involved!

Researchers seeking both healthy participants and people who have been clinically diagnosed with ME/CFS for this study.

You may be eligible to join the study if you are:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Either male or female
  • Not currently pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Not allergic to shellfish (ME/CFS patients)

Key points:
• There are no costs involved for participants.
• Surveys can be done online at participants’ own pace.
• Participants will be required to visit Deakin University’s Burwood or Geelong campus on two occasions.
• Home-based testing is available for participants with ME/CFS
• The study involves 12-week supplementation, donating blood samples, grip strength and non-invasive body composition testing.

For more information or to register your interest, phone 03 9244 6398 or email