Enhanced Increase of omega-3 Index in Healthy Individuals With Response to 4-week n-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation From Krill Oil Versus Fish Oil

Lipids Health Dis. 2013 Dec 5;12:178. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-12-178.

Abstract

Background: Due to structural differences, bioavailability of krill oil, a phospholipid based oil, could be higher than fish oil, a triglyceride-based oil, conferring properties that render it more effective than fish oil in increasing omega-3 index and thereby, reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.

Objective: The objective was to assess the effects of krill oil compared with fish oil or a placebo control on plasma and red blood cell (RBC) fatty acid profile in healthy volunteers.

Participants and methods: Twenty four healthy volunteers were recruited for a double blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. The study consisted of three treatment phases including krill or fish oil each providing 600 mg of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) or placebo control, corn oil in capsule form. Each treatment lasted 4 wk and was separated by 8 wk washout phases.

Results: Krill oil consumption increased plasma (p = 0.0043) and RBC (p = 0.0011) n-3 PUFA concentrations, including EPA and DHA, and reduced n-6:n-3 PUFA ratios (plasma: p = 0.0043, RBC: p = 0.0143) compared with fish oil consumption. Sum of EPA and DHA concentrations in RBC, the omega-3 index, was increased following krill oil supplementation compared with fish oil (p = 0.0143) and control (p < 0.0001). Serum triglycerides and HDL cholesterol concentrations did not change with any of the treatments. However, total and LDL cholesterol concentrations were increased following krill (TC: p = 0.0067, LDL: p = 0.0143) and fish oil supplementation (TC: p = 0.0028, LDL: p = 0.0143) compared with control.

Conclusions: Consumption of krill oil was well tolerated with no adverse events. Results indicate that krill oil could be more effective than fish oil in increasing n-3 PUFA, reducing n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio, and improving the omega-3 index.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01323036.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Corn Oil / administration & dosage
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / isolation & purification
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / blood
  • Euphausiacea / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Triglycerides / blood

Substances

  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fish Oils
  • Triglycerides
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Corn Oil
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01323036