Krill oil offers all the health benefits of fish oil but at a much lower dose, according to a study commissioned by krill oil supplier Aker BioMarine.
The Norway-based company, which markets Superba krill oil, teamed up with researchers from the University of Oslo and Akerhus University College to evaluate the two forms of Omega 3 in a study involving 113 subjects over seven weeks.
The researchers gave one group 543mg of Omega 3 DHA and EPA daily from krill oil, a second group 864mg of DHA and EPA daily from fish oil and a third group a placebo.
The results showed a significant and comparable increase in plasma EPA, DHA and DPA levels in the subjects in the first two groups, indicating that both the krill oil and fish oil were as effective as each other.
However, Aker said: “It is important to note that the total amount of EPA and DHA provided in the krill oil supplementation was just 62.8% of that provided in the fish oil with comparable results.”
Aker said the most probable reason for this is that krill oil contains Omega 3 in the form of phospholipids, whereas most fish oils contain Omega 3 in the form of triglycerides or ethyl esters. “The phospholipid form has previously been shown to be more bio-efficient than the triglyceride form,” claimed Aker.
The study, published in the academic journal Lipids, also indicted that krill oil had a superior effect on the HDL cholesterol/triglyceride ratio in the subjects’ blood – which Aker said represented a “significant improvement in a known risk predictor for coronary heart disease which was not seen after fish oil treatment”.
Hogne Vik, one of the researchers, said: “This study confirms that a lower dose of EPA and DHA is required when taking krill oil phospholipids, compared to the triglyceride form of Omega 3. In addition to improving blood levels of these essential Omega 3 fatty acids, a statistically significant improvement of the HDL cholesterol/triglyceride ratio was demonstrated, again showing the health benefits of Superba.”