Postprandial long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid response to krill oil and fish oil consumption in healthy women: A randomised controlled, single-dose, crossover study

Hyunsin H. Sung, Andrew J. Sinclair, Paul A. Lewandowski, Xiao Q. Su

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Background and Objectives: Krill oil (KO) and fish oil (FO) are good sources of health-benefiting long chain n- 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA), EPA and DHA. There are conflicting outcomes on the bioavailability of LC n-3 PUFA from KO compared with FO. This study investigated the postprandial incorporation of LC n- 3 PUFA into plasma lipids following consumption of 5 capsules of KO or FO in comparison with olive oil (OO) control in healthy women. Methods and Study Design: 10 women (aged 18-45 years) consumed a high-fat (15 g) breakfast, supplemented with 5 g of KO, FO, or OO in a random order with a minimum seven-day washout period between the supplementations. The LC n-3 PUFA content in KO was 907 mg compared with 1441 mg in FO. Blood samples were collected in the fasting state and for the next 5 hours after test meal consumption on an hourly basis. Results: Significant increases in plasma EPA concentrations were observed starting at 2 h after KO and FO consumption (p < 0.05). There were no significant changes in either DHA or DPA between the three groups. The increases in plasma EPA concentrations were similar between the KO and FO groups (p > 0.05). Conclusions: The lower dose (31%) of EPA from KO led to a similar plasma EPA concentration as in the FO group, suggesting that EPA from KO may be more efficiently incorporated into plasma. This may be related to the high content of phospholipids and free fatty acids in KO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-157
Number of pages10
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • EPA
  • Fish oil
  • Krill oil
  • LC n-3 PUFA
  • Postprandial response

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