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Chronic treatment with krill powder reduces plasma triglyceride and anandamide levels in mildly obese men

Kjetil Berge1, Fabiana Piscitelli2, Nils Hoem1, Cristoforo Silvestri2, Ingo Meyer3, Sebastiano Banni45 and Vincenzo Di Marzo2*

Author Affiliations

1 Aker Biomarine ASA, Fjordallèen 16, NO-0115 Oslo, Norway

2 Endocannabinoid Research Group, Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via Campi Flegrei 34, Comprensorio Olivetti, 80078 Pozzuoli, (NA), Italy

3 Momentum Pharma Services GmbH, Kieler Strasse 99-105, 22769 Hamburg, Germany

4 Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Università di Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria, 09042 Monserrato, (CA), Italy

5 Nutrisearch s.r.l., Edificio 5 A1 Parco scientifico e tecnologico Polaris, 09010 Pula, Italy

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2013, 12:78  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-12-78

Published: 27 May 2013


We have previously shown that treatment of Zucker rats and mice with diet-induced obesity with dietary docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) acids in the form of krill oil reduces peripheral levels of endocannabinoids, ectopic fat formation and hyperglycemia. We reported that such treatment reduces plasma endocannabinoid levels also in overweight and obese human individuals, in whom high triglycerides may correlate with high circulating endocannabinoid levels. In this study, we report the effects of krill powder, which contains proteins (34%) in addition to krill oil (61.8%), on these two parameters. We submitted 11 obese men (average BMI of 32.3 kg/m2, age of 42.6 years and plasma triglycerides of 192.5 ± 96.3 mg/dl) to a 24 week dietary supplementation with krill powder (4 g/day per os) and measured anthropometric and metabolic parameters, as well as blood endocannabinoid (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) and esterified DHA and EPA levels. Six subjects were included as control subjects and not given any supplements. The treatment produced, after 12 and 24 weeks, a significant increase in DHA and EPA in total plasma, a 59 and 84% decrease in anandamide plasma levels, and a 22.5 and 20.6% decrease in triglyceride levels, respectively. There was also a significant decrease in waist/hip ratio and visceral fat/skeletal muscle mass ratio at 24 weeks, but no change in body weight. These data confirm that dietary krill powder reduces peripheral endocannabinoid overactivity in obese subjects, and might ameliorate some parameters of the metabolic syndrome.

Anandamide; N-acylethanolamines; Endocannabinoid; CB1 receptor; Obesity; n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; Krill oil; Fish oil