Krill oil has been shown to have neuroprotective properties in cells and rodent models. The underlying mechanisms have mainly been proposed to be via suppression of microglial activation, neuroinflammation, and oxidative stress. However, studies evaluating how krill oil affects neuronal health through a natural life course is lacking.
“There is no question that we need more science to understand how we can impact and improve the life quality of an aging population,” says Line Johnsen, VP, science and innovation, Aker Biomarine who funded this recent study into their Superba Boost krill oil. “We have invested in a new study that looks at how krill oil can influence many underlying mechanisms that contribute to aging.”
In this recent study published in Aging, research teams from the University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, and Akershus University Hospital used nematode worms and human cells to investigate if krill oil can slow down the aging processes.
Nematode worms (or C. elegance) used in this study are well-researched organisms used in biomedical research as a model for human development, genetics, aging, and disease. They typically live for approximately three weeks and have bodily systems like humans.
The researchers found the nematodes that received krill oil did not lose as many nerve cells in the brain as they got older. They preserved both memory and neuromuscular function and were generally much more active.
“We have found that krill oil, a natural extract, inhibits many processes driving aging in nematodes. We have also seen this in human cells in culture. By using a so-called aging clock, we see that the speed of the processes slows down for the animals' given krill oil," says Hilde Loge Nilsen, Professor in the Department of Clinical Molecular Biology at the University of Oslo.
The report concludes: "We show that krill oil protects dopaminergic (DA) neurons from age related degeneration and enhances dopamine dependent behavior and cognition in C.elegans PD models. We show that Krill oil promotes healthy ageing by counteracting many processes that drive aging.
"Specifically, Krill oil suppresses accumulation of oxidative DNA damage, counteracts loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and function, suppresses senescence, and reduces α-SYN aggregation in old animals.
"Longitudinal RNA sequencing analyses showed that krill oil rewires global gene expression programs in mid-life and in old animals to attenuate several hallmarks of aging, results in remarkable protection of DA neuron survival in aging animals. Thus, krill oil supplementation might serve as a possible approach for healthy brain aging interventions."
For the past few years, Aker BioMarine has focused on the scientific aspects of healthy ageing. The firm's krill oil was used in two additional studies examining krill oil’s effects in aging populations.
A recent breakthrough study published in 'American Journal of Clinical Nutrition', concluded that krill oil improves knee pain, stiffness, and physical function in adults between 40 to 65 years old with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis. Furthermore, krill oil can have beneficial effects on skeletal muscle function and size in healthy, older people, according to a recent study led by scientists at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow.
"Krill oil protects dopaminergic neurons from age-related degeneration through temporal transcriptome rewiring and suppression of several hallmarks of aging"
SenGupta T, Lefol Y, Lirussi L, Suaste V, Luders T, Gupta S, Aman Y, Sharma K, Fang EF, Nilsen H.