Krill oil supplementation lowers serum triglycerides without increasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in adults with borderline high or high triglyceride levels

Nutr Res. 2014 Feb;34(2):126-33. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2013.12.003. Epub 2013 Dec 18.


The aim of the study was to explore the effects of 12 weeks daily krill oil supplementation on fasting serum triglyceride (TG) and lipoprotein particle levels in subjects whose habitual fish intake is low and who have borderline high or high fasting serum TG levels (150-499 mg/dL). We hypothesized that Krill oil lowers serum TG levels in subjects with borderline high or high fasting TG levels. To test our hypothesis 300 male and female subjects were included in a double-blind, randomized, multi-center, placebo-controlled study with five treatment groups: placebo (olive oil) or 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 g/day of krill oil. Serum lipids were measured after an overnight fast at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks. Due to a high intra-individual variability in TG levels, data from all subjects in the four krill oil groups were pooled to increase statistical power, and a general time- and dose-independent one-way analysis of variance was performed to assess efficacy. Relative to subjects in the placebo group, those administered krill oil had a statistically significant calculated reduction in serum TG levels of 10.2%. Moreover, LDL-C levels were not increased in the krill oil groups relative to the placebo group. The outcome of the pooled analysis suggests that krill oil is effective in reducing a cardiovascular risk factor. However, owing to the individual fluctuations of TG concentrations measured, a study with more individual measurements per treatment group is needed to increase the confidence of these findings.

Keywords: ANOVA; BMI; CVD; Cardiovascular disease risk; DHA; Docosahexaenoic acid; EFSA; EPA; Eicosapentaenoic acid; European Food Safety Authority; HDL-C; Krill oil; LDL-C; Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; NDA Panel; NHPD; Natural Health Products Directorate; Omega-3 index; PL; Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies; Phospholipids; SD; TG; Triglycerides; U.S; United States; analysis of variance; body mass index; cardiovascular disease; clinical trial; docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; n-3 LCPUFAs; omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; phospholipid; standard deviation; triglyceride.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Dietary Fats / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Euphausiacea*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oils / pharmacology
  • Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Dietary Fats
  • Oils
  • Triglycerides