OSLO, Norway – Krill oil offers more omega-3s than a comparable amount of fish oil, according to a new study performed in cooperation with researchers at Akershus University College and University of Oslo, Norway (Lipids 2010-11-02 DOI: 10.1007/s11745-010-3490-4). Aker BioMarine Antarctic announced the publication of the study that used Superba™ krill oil supplementation in healthy volunteers.
“This study confirms that a lower dose of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is required when taking krill oil phospholipids, compared to the triglyceride form of omega-3,” according to Hogne Vik, MD, one of the study researchers. “In addition to improving blood levels of these essential omega-3 fatty acids, a statistically significant improvement of the high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol/ triglyceride ratio was demonstrated, again showing the health benefits of Superba.”
The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of krill oil and fish oil on blood lipids and markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, and to evaluate if different molecular forms, triglycerides and phospholipids, of omega-3 fatty acids influence plasma levels of EPA and DHA differently. Subjects with normal or slightly elevated total blood cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels (n=113) were randomized into three groups and given either six capsules of krill oil (n = 36; 3.0 g/day, EPA + DHA = 543 mg) or three capsules of fish oil (n = 40; 1.8 g/day, EPA + DHA = 864 mg) daily for 7 weeks. A third group did not receive any supplementation and served as controls (n = 37).
A reduction of plasma triglycerides was observed in those subjects in the krill oil group having the highest baseline value. Researchers also found a significant improvement in the HDL cholesterol/triglyceride ratio, a known risk predictor for coronary heart disease, after krill oil treatment, which was not seen after fish oil treatment.
Total amount of EPA and DHA provided in the krill oil supplementation was 62.8 percent of that provided in the fish oil with comparable results. The bioefficiency of the Superba Krill Oil EPA and DHA is likely due to the fact that the fatty acids are in the phospholipid form which has previously been shown to be more bioefficient than the triglyceride form. Superba™ Krill Oil provides the majority of its omega-3 fatty acids in the form of phospholipids, whereas other common marine oils contain omega-3 fatty acids in the form of triglycerides or ethyl esters.
A significant increase in plasma EPA, DHA, and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) was observed in the subjects supplemented with both krill and fish oil polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as compared with the controls, but there were no significant differences in the changes in any of the omega-3 PUFAs between the fish oil and the krill oil groups. No statistically significant differences in changes in any of the serum lipids or the markers of oxidative stress and inflammation between the study groups were observed. Aker BioMarine noted this would be expected in healthy volunteers with normal lipid levels.