Krill derived ingredients may have health benefits

Krill capsules Mice fed diets containing krill oil had reduced cholesterol levels

A new study shows that krill derived ingredients may have health benefits as it reduces atherosclerosis in mice.

In testing, Apo(e) knock-out mice, a model of dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis, that were fed diets containing krill oil had reduced cholesterol levels, inhibited plaque development and no liver damage. Krill protein also reduced atherosclerosis, however, though a mechanism not involving cholesterol reduction.

High arginine level

Rimfrost carried out the study with Norway’s University of Bergen, whose Professor Rolf Kristian Berge, stated: “It was interesting to find that krill protein reduced atherosclerosis by a different mechanism than krill oil. This could be due to the high level of arginine contained naturally in the krill proteins. Arginine is a precursor for nitric oxide (NO) synthesis and known to improve vascular function in humans.

“Another explanation could be that proteins which undergoes gastrointestinal digestion have released bioactive peptides. Peptides are also known from the literature to have cardiovascular protective effects.”

The mice were provided either a control diet or diets enriched with krill oil, krill protein or krill protein and krill oil in combination.

Proteins and lipids

Rimfrost and University of Bergen conducted the study as part of a long-term collaboration to increase knowledge about the biological effects and mechanism of actions of proteins and lipids derived from krill.

‘Effect of Dietary Components from Antarctic Krill on Atherosclerosis in apoE-Deficient Mice’ was published in the Journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research in August.

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