Study suggests CET03 omega-11 raises omega-3 index more efficiently than fish oil

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Grontvedt Biotech plant in Norway
Grontvedt Biotech plant in Norway

Related tags omega-3 Research

Norwegian marine ingredients firm Grøntvedt Biotech has published its first study suggesting its CET03 Cetoleic acid omega-11 can raise EPA and DHA levels more efficiently than traditional omega-3 oil via the conversion of ALA.

The new randomized double-blind parallel-design study funded by the firm concluded that CET03 might be able to deliver a 50% efficacy improvement in the omega-3 index when compared to a standard omega-3 fish oil, although further research is needed to confirm this.

Sourced from North Atlantic pelagic fish, CET03 contains high levels omega-11, which stimulates the human bodies own production of EPA/DHA, as well as omega-3 EPA/DHA.

Henrik Traaholt, chief commercial officer at the young spin-off firm, explained that the goal with this ingredient is to help the wider omega-3 category to grow at a time of troubled supply and sustainability.

"We know we need to find new sources to support the omega-3 industry," he told NutraIngredients. "We’ve seen in a human liver cell study​ in 2018 the cetoleic acid stimulates conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA, and this is the first time ensuring conversion of ALA in cells of the body enhanced by cetoleic acid."

The new study, conducted by the firm's consultant Mike Wakeman, a researcher from the University of Sunderland, and carried out in pharmacies in Derbyshire, UK, saw 30 participants between the ages of 20 and 70 years randomized to take 2 X 1 gram capsules of either CET03 (400 mg/day, 200 mg of DHA/EPA, n = 14) or fish oil (FOil; 600 mg/day, 300mg DHA/EPA n = 16) for 12 weeks.

At baseline, both groups exhibited comparable Omega-3 Index values (CET03: 4.96 ± 1.18%, fish oil: 5.55 ± 0.88%). Following completion of the intervention, the increase in Omega-3 Index was slightly higher in the CET03 group (5.73 ± 1.38%; p<0.00001) than the fish oil group (6.24± 1.35%; p<0.0003).

"The study suggests that pro-rata, based on EPA and DHA equivalent dosing, CET03 can increase the n3 PUFA status more efficiently than fish oil and is therefore a credible equivalent alternative marine source of bioavailable n3 PUFA," the report stated.

Stig Jansson, the firm’s chief innovation officer, suggested the ingredient can be used synergistically with other omega-3 oils but that the concept would require consumer education.

“This ingredient unlocks the body’s ability to produce EPA and DHA, and this needs to be built up with science and communication," he said.

18.5% increase in Omega-3 Index

Blood samples were collected at the beginning of the study (t0), at 6 weeks (t6) and then again at the end of the test period at 12 weeks (t12) and sent for analysis at the OmegaQuant Lab at University of Stirling, UK.

The primary outcome of the study was the Omega-3 Index. A t-test was used to assess the significance of the changes between the results of the t0 and t12 examinations. A level of statistical significance of p ≤ 0.05 was used.

Omega-3 index increased by 18.5% in the CET03 group compared to the fish oil group. The research also suggests CET03 was less likely to lead to side effects.

"Four of the participants in the FOil Group, shortly after t0 withdrew from the study due to nausea and reflux when taking the capsules," the report noted. "None of the participants taking CET03 Group withdrew for this reason, so it would appear that reflux and nausea typically associated with fish oil is not experienced with consumption of CET03."

In addition, one individual in the CET03 group reported a "significant enhancement in joint mobility" at the end of the trial; one noticed subjective improvements in their skin; and another whose cholesterol levels were being independently monitored by a healthcare professional reported a significant improvement in the status of this cardiovascular risk factor.

The researchers noted several potential study limitations. For example, neither of the two groups were matched regarding age and/or BMI, and the small number of participants means that results cannot be extrapolated to a more general population.

"These results demonstrate that the effect of CET03 on the O3I increase over 12 weeks is comparable to FOil and suggest CET03 can serve as a new marine source of EPA and DHA for cardioprotective, brain, joint and skin health," the study concluded. "Other studies are required to establish the kinetics of fatty acids in CET03 compared to FOil.

“Given that CET03 typically contains 200 mg of EPA/DHA per 1000mg capsule compared to 300 mg EPA/DHA in the fish oil capsules used in this trial, it would appear from the results of this pilot study, on a pro-rata dose equivalence, that CET03 might deliver a 50% improvement in the [omega-3 index]. However, this observation will need to be confirmed in larger studies where the above limitations of this small pilot study have been better eliminated."

Grøntvedt Biotech

CET03 is the first product launch by Grøntvedt Biotech, a one-and-a-half year young Friend of the Sea certified spin-off from Grøntvedt Group, which has worked with pelagic fish since 1830.

The company boasts a 30-minute process from fresh fish to oil and a production process that uses the whole fish to ensure for no waste and a low carbon footprint.

Additional claimed benefits of the oil include the lack of fishy smell or taste, or incidence of reflux.


Source: International Journal of Scientific Research
doi: 10.36106/ijsr/6726896​ 
“Equal effectiveness of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) from CET03 and fish oil in elevating the omega-3 index: A 12-week randomized placebo controlled parallel study”
Author: M. Wakeman

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