Gram for gram, Almega PL™, a unique polar-lipid algal omega-3 oil from the microalgae Nannochloropsis oculata, offers better EPA uptake into blood plasma than krill oil, according to a recent study.
Published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease, the crossover study compared the appearance of fatty acids in blood plasma of healthy humans after consuming a high-fat breakfast. The meal was accompanied by a 1.5-gram dose of total omega-3s from either Almega PL algal oil—which contains EPA conjugated with phospholipid and glycolipid polar lipids—or krill oil—which contains EPA and DHA conjugated with phospholipids.
Study researchers found that, even taking into account the different EPA contents of the two oils, the algal oil resulted in a statistically significant and greater concentration of EPA in plasma than krill oil. EPA concentration was significantly higher with algal oil than with krill oil at 5, 6, 8 and 10 hours (P < 0.05) and tended to be higher at 4 hours (P = 0.094). Maximum concentration of EPA was significantly higher with algal oil than with krill oil (P = 0.010). The maximum change in concentration of EPA from its fasting concentration was also significantly higher with algal oil than with krill oil (P = 0.006). The area under the concentration curve (AUC) and the incremental AUC (IAUC) for EPA were greater with algal oil compared with krill oil (P = 0.020 and P = 0.006, respectively).
Researchers postulated that the difference may relate to the different chemical constituents of the two oils, namely the presence of glycolipids. “It is possible that the presence of DHA in krill oil limits the incorporation of EPA into plasma lipids,” they wrote. “Another possibility is that n-3 PUFAs within glycolipids, as found in algal oil but not krill oil, are an effective system for delivering EPA to humans.”
Dr. Isaac Berzin, founder and CTO of Qualitas Health, whose flagship product Almega PL was used in the study, was excited with the study results. “While omega-3s EPA and DHA are important to human health, alternatives to fish and krill are needed for vegetarians and for environmental sustainability,” he said. “In addition to Almega PL not impacting the oceans’ limited resources, this study confirms that compared to krill oil, Almega PL offers superior absorption and bioavailability of EPA.”