Krill oil is a novel, commercially available marine oil rich in long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Compared with fish oil, the effects of krill oil supplementation on human health and its underlying action mechanisms are currently poorly understood. In the present study, we examined the effect of krill oil supplementation on metabolic parameters of mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Krill oil supplementation in mice fed a HFD for 10 weeks resulted in an ∼15% lower body weight gain and a dramatic suppression of hepatic steatosis. These effects were associated with significantly lower serum triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels. We further uncovered a novel underlying mechanism, showing that AMP-activated protein kinase, a master regulator of glucose and lipid metabolism, mediates the beneficial effects of krill oil.
Keywords: AMPK; LDL-cholesterol; krill oil; liver steatosis; long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids; obesity.