Chronic treatment with krill powder reduces plasma triglyceride and anandamide levels in mildly obese men

Lipids Health Dis. 2013 May 27;12:78. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-12-78.


We have previously shown that treatment of Zucker rats and mice with diet-induced obesity with dietary docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) acids in the form of krill oil reduces peripheral levels of endocannabinoids, ectopic fat formation and hyperglycemia. We reported that such treatment reduces plasma endocannabinoid levels also in overweight and obese human individuals, in whom high triglycerides may correlate with high circulating endocannabinoid levels. In this study, we report the effects of krill powder, which contains proteins (34%) in addition to krill oil (61.8%), on these two parameters. We submitted 11 obese men (average BMI of 32.3 kg/m², age of 42.6 years and plasma triglycerides of 192.5 ± 96.3 mg/dl) to a 24 week dietary supplementation with krill powder (4 g/day per os) and measured anthropometric and metabolic parameters, as well as blood endocannabinoid (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) and esterified DHA and EPA levels. Six subjects were included as control subjects and not given any supplements. The treatment produced, after 12 and 24 weeks, a significant increase in DHA and EPA in total plasma, a 59 and 84% decrease in anandamide plasma levels, and a 22.5 and 20.6% decrease in triglyceride levels, respectively. There was also a significant decrease in waist/hip ratio and visceral fat/skeletal muscle mass ratio at 24 weeks, but no change in body weight. These data confirm that dietary krill powder reduces peripheral endocannabinoid overactivity in obese subjects, and might ameliorate some parameters of the metabolic syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acids / blood
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Endocannabinoids / blood
  • Euphausiacea / chemistry*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / metabolism
  • Glycerides / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides / blood
  • Powders / administration & dosage*
  • Powders / chemistry
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • United States


  • Arachidonic Acids
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Glycerides
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • Powders
  • Triglycerides
  • glyceryl 2-arachidonate
  • anandamide