Krill oil again shows obesity benefits: Mouse study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Krill: The world's largest under-exploited fishery - WWF
Krill: The world's largest under-exploited fishery - WWF

Related tags Krill oil Nutrition

Supplementing a high fat diet with krill oil may activate receptors that affect appetite and energy balance, suggest new findings from a mouse study with potential implications for obesity.

According to findings published in the Nutrition & Metabolism​, supplementation with Aker Biomarine’s Superba brand krill oil was associated with an amelioration of several metabolic changes observed on consumption of a high-fat, obesity-inducing diet.

Researchers from Australia and Italy report that the high fat diet, rich in omega-6 fatty acid, was associated with an increase in levels of compounds called endocannabinoids (EC): Lipid messengers that reportedly influence appetite, energy balance, mood, memory, pain perception, and in doing so contribute to the build up of fat.

Supplementation with the krill oil for eight weeks, however, reduced levels of the endocannabinoids.

“Since these […] mediators are dysregulated in several tissues of obese Zucker rats, these data might suggest that KO can potentially produce beneficial metabolic effects against dysmetabolism and inflammation in obesity,”​ wrote the researchers.

Aker Biomarine’s Kjetil Berge, PhD, led the study and said the findings “support previous animal and clinical studies performed with Superba krill oil that is characterized by a high content of omega-3 phospholipids.

“Hence krill oil has a high potential to alleviate metabolic dysfunctions associated with obesity and other metabolic disorders.”

Understanding krill

The shrimp-like Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba​) is one of the globe’s most abundant species found in densities of up to 30,000 creatures in a cubic-meter of seawater. Rich in phospholipids and omega-3s, they are harvested to make omega-3 products.

There are about 85 species of the deepwater marine planktonic crustacean, or deepwater shrimp, which are the planet's most abundant animal biomass and which when captured and converted to oil, pack 48 times the antioxidant punch of standard fish oils, according to ORAC antioxidant scales.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently proclaimed​ krill as the world's largest under-exploited fishery.

Source: Nutrition & Metabolism
2011, 8​:51
“Effect of dietary krill oil supplementation on the endocannabinoidome of metabolically relevant tissues from high fat-fed mice”
Authors: F. Piscitelli, G. Carta, T. Bisogno, E. Murru, L. Cordeddu, K. Berge, S. Tandy, J.S. Cohn, et al.

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