Krill Oil Has Different Effects on the Plasma Lipidome Compared with Fish Oil Following 30 Days of Supplementation in Healthy Women: A Randomized Controlled and Crossover Study

Nutrients. 2020 Sep 13;12(9):2804. doi: 10.3390/nu12092804.


This is a follow-up of our previous postprandial study and it focused on the plasma lipidomic responses to 30 days of krill oil (KO) versus fish oil (FO) supplementations in healthy women. Eleven women (aged 18-50 years) consumed KO or FO for 30 days in a randomized, cross-over study, with at least a four-week washout period between supplementations. The daily supplements provided 1.27 g/day of long-chain (LC) omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) from KO (containing 0.76 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 0.42 g docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) and 1.44 g/day from FO (containing 0.79 g EPA, 0.47 g DHA). Fasting plasma samples at days 0, 15, and 30 were analyzed using gas chromatography and liquid chromatography electrospray ionisation-tandem mass spectrometry. KO resulted in a significantly greater relative area under the curve (relAUC) for plasma EPA after 30 days. Lipidomic analysis showed that 26 of 43 lipid molecular species had a significantly greater relAUC in the KO group, while 17/43 showed a significantly lower relAUC compared with the FO group. More than 38% of the lipids species which increased more following KO contained omega-3 PUFA, while where FO was greater than KO, only 12% contained omega-3 PUFA. These data show that KO and FO do not have equivalent effects on the plasma lipidome.

Keywords: 30-day study; DHA; EPA; fish oil; krill oil; lipidome; phosphatidylcholine; phospholipids; plasma lipidomic response; women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / blood
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / blood
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Euphausiacea / chemistry*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Lipidomics
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Phospholipids
  • Plasma
  • Young Adult


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fish Oils
  • Lipids
  • Phospholipids
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid