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New Study Shows Cognitive & Antidepressant Effects of Superba™ Krill

Researchers from Aker BioMarine have published a new study on krill oil in Lipids in Health and Disease. The study performed at ETAP, a preclinical research centre in France and the University of Bergen, Norway, investigated the effects of Superba™ 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 7 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 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.”

Matts Johansen, Chief Operating Officer, Aker BioMarine confirms: “We are very excited about the results from this preclinical study on depression and cognitive function. This lays an excellent foundation and provides added confidence we are moving in the right direction by investing in additional brain health studies.”

Aker BioMarine is a krill ingredient company that is primary in its supply. Its 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. Lipids in Health and Disease. 2013,12:6                    


About SuperbaTM Krill

SuperbaTM Krill is a pure, natural source of the health-promoting EPA & DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids and the naturally occurring antioxidant astaxanthin. The uniqueness of SuperbaTM Krill Oil is that the omega-3 fatty acids are provided in phospholipid form.  In vitro, in vivo and human clinical research has demonstrated the safety and efficacy of SuperbaTM Krill Oil.


About Aker BioMarine

Aker BioMarine is an integrated biotechnology company dedicated to the sustainable harvesting of krill and development of krill-derived biotech products. The company supplies biomarine ingredients through an optimized value chain from raw materials to customers. Aker BioMarine’s SuperbaTM Krill products are provided with  100-percent traceability from the Antarctic sea to the end user.  Only Aker’s krill fishery has been awarded Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certification.


For more information, please contact:

Matts Johansen, COO, Aker BioMarine, +47 916 30 120.


North America:  

Todd Norton, +1 206-855-6736 x 215



Roar Hernes, +47 (241) 30123  



Chris McReynolds, +1 206-660-6756