Effects of long-term intake of Antarctic krill oils on artery blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats

J Sci Food Agric. 2017 Mar;97(4):1143-1148. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.7840. Epub 2016 Jun 27.


Background: In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in research on krill oil (KO) for its health benefits. However, the action of KO in lowering blood pressure (BP) has not been studied yet. Therefore the aim of this study was to assess the ability of long-term KO supplementation to lower systolic BP (SBP) in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and Sprague Dawley (SD) rats.

Results: Compared with the blank control (BC) SHRs administered edible soybean oil, the high-dose (500 mg kg-1 body weight (BW)) KO-supplemented SHRs in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th weeks following oral administration, the mid-dose (100 mg kg-1 BW) KO-supplemented SHRs in the 4th and 5th weeks following oral administration and the low-dose (20 mg kg-1 BW) KO-supplemented SHRs in the 5th week following oral administration showed significantly lower SBP (P < 0.05). However, supplementation of KO had no significant effect on the SBP of healthy SD rats. Meanwhile, 5 weeks of KO administration significantly increased the serum levels of nitric oxide (NO) and total NO synthase of SHRs (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: KO has an antihypertensive effect in SHRs that is associated with an NO-related mechanism. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: antihypertensive effect; astaxanthin; krill oil; omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; spontaneously hypertensive rats.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arteries / drug effects
  • Biological Products / pharmacology
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Euphausiacea*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / blood
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Oils / pharmacology
  • Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Biological Products
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Oils
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase