Can a novel omega-3-rich food product support Achilles tendon healing?

We are looking for participants with Achilles tendinopathy for a study on the potential effects of a novel, NZ-made, omega-3-rich food product on reducing inflammation and improving tendon healing.

Achilles tendinopathy is a common condition that occurs when the tendon is damaged and unable to adapt to the strain placed on it. Pain and inflammation are among the main symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy.

Our study will test a dietary approach for reducing inflammation and improving tendon healing. We will test the effects of a food product containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, compounds known to reduce inflammation and produce other health benefits.  

What's involved?

If you choose to participate, you will consume one dessert spoon of a fruit-flavoured sauce daily for a period of 12 weeks. You will be randomly assigned to receive either the test product, containing an active omega-3 ingredient derived from algal and NZ Hoki oil, or a placebo product containing vegetable oil. You will not know which of the products you received until the end of the study.

You will visit the Whenua Pupuke Waitemata Clinical Skills Centre at North Shore Hospital at the start of the study, at 6 weeks, and 12 weeks (the end of the study). At each visit, a physiotherapist will examine the affected Achilles tendon using ultrasound with shear wave elastography; we will collect a blood sample and ask you to complete three questionnaires about the severity of your symptoms and your mood and well-being.

Parking is provided, and participants will be offered $100 koha in petrol vouchers: $50 on the first visit and $50 on the second.  

Eligibility criteria

You may be eligible for the study if you:

  • Are eighteen years old or older.
  • Have had pain in your Achilles tendon for several weeks or more.
  • Have been diagnosed with Achilles tendinopathy or tendinitis by a doctor or a physiotherapist.  

Contact details

Principal Investigator:

Dr David Musson

Study Coordinator:

Dr Dorit Naot
Phone: 021 030 7784

Further information

This study has been approved by the Health and Disability Ethics Committee on 28/07/2022 (2022 EXP12070).