Researchers from Aker BioMarine have published a new study on krill oil in Lipids in Health and Disease. The study performed at ETAP, a preclinical research center in France and the University of Bergen, Norway, investigated the effects of Superba krill oil supplementation on cognition (learning acquisition and working memory) and depression in rats. Modulation of genes linked to memory and changes in neuronal connectivity was evaluated as well.
After seven weeks of treatment administration, the cognitive and antidepressant effects of krill oil were monitored with behavioral tests and compared to the effects of Imipramine, a reference antidepressant drug. The results showed that Superba krill oil was able to significantly improve learning and working memory and displayed antidepressant-like effects. Furthermore, krill oil enhanced expression of Bdnf, which is a gene implicated in neuronal growth and differentiation.
Michaël Messaoudi, PhD, scientific and medical director of ETAP, commented on the study: "We found that in comparison to Imipramine, administration of krill oil did not lead to sedation, which is a regular problem with classic antidepressants. Instead, krill oil treated animals remained alert and showed improved learning and memory functions, while displaying antidepressant-like effects."
Study coordinator Lena Burri, PhD, director of scientific writing at Aker BioMarine, added: "There is clearly potential for krill oil to aid in the management of depressive disorders, while avoiding sedative effects. The special combination of omega-3 fatty acids in phospholipid form in krill oil might give it a further advantage over other omega-3 sources."
Matts Johansen, chief operating officer of Aker BioMarine, confirms: "We are very excited about the results from this preclinical study on depression and cognitive function. This lays an excellent foundation and provides added confidence we are moving in the right direction by investing in additional brain health studies."