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Aker BioMarine and collaborators announce a new study in the British Journal of Nutrition on krill oil. The study performed at ETAP, a preclinical research centre in France and the University of Bergen, Norway investigated the effects of dietary krill oil supplementation on cognition (learning acquisition and working memory) and depression in rats. Modulation of genes linked to memory and changes in neuronal connectivity was evaluated as well. After six weeks of treatment administration, the cognitive and antidepressant effects of krill oil were monitored with behavioral tests and compared to the effects of Imipramine, a reference antidepressant drug. The results showed that Superba™ krill oil was able to significantly improve learning and working memory and displayed antidepressant-like effects. Furthermore, krill oil enhanced expression of Bdnf, which is a gene implicated in neuronal growth and differentiation.

The Scientific & Medical Director of ETAP, Michaël Messaoudi, PhD commented on the study: “We found that in comparison to Imipramine, administration of krill oil did not lead to sedation, which is a regular problem with classic antidepressants. Instead krill oil treated animals remained alert and showed improved learning and memory functions, while displaying antidepressant-like effects.” Study coordinator Lena Burri, PhD, Director of Scientific Writing, Aker BioMarine added: “There is clearly a potential for krill oil to aid in the management of depressive disorders, while avoiding sedative effects. The special combination of omega-3 fatty acids in phospholipid form in krill oil might give it a further advantage over other omega-3 sources.”

In line with this study, a meeting on brain health with the Scientific Advisory Board of Aker BioMarine was recently organized and the Board has recommended that a clinical study on the effects of krill oil on stress, anxiety, wellbeing, and memory function should be conducted.

Matts Johansen, Chief Operating Officer, Aker BioMarine confirms: “We are very excited about the results from the preclinical study on depression and cognitive function. They lay an excellent foundation for our commitment in future clinical brain studies and we are confident that we move in the right direction with investing in clinical brain health studies.”

Aker BioMarine is the only krill ingredient marketer that is primary in its supply. Aker’s proprietary Eco-Harvesting™ technology and on-board processing result in the unique composition of Superba™ Krill Oil and provide full traceability from sea to shelf. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has granted MSC Certification to Aker’s fisheries, an exclusive distinction that no other krill fishery has earned. As part of an established commitment to substantiating krill’s health benefits, Aker continues to sponsor in vitro, in vivo, and human clinical trials with phospholipid EPA & DHA from krill oil, consistently demonstrating a higher uptake of phospholipid omega-3 fatty acids, improved blood lipid profiles, and increased uptake of DHA in brain tissue compared to other omega-3 fatty acid sources.

Wibrand, K. et al., “Enhanced cognitive function and antidepressant-like effects after krill oil supplementation in rats.” BJN: October 2012, Volume .., Issue …