Scientists from Leibniz University Hannover and Justus Liebig University Gießen reported that two grams of calanus oil per day increased the omega-3 index from 6.07% at the start of the study to 7.37% after 12 weeks.

“This is the first study to show an intake of 2 g [calanus oil] Over a 12 week period, the O3I improves significantly in older participants who engage in moderate exercise, while exercise alone does not affect the O3I, ”they wrote in the British Journal of Nutrition.

“These data provide the first indication that wax ester-bound n-3 PUFAs are from [calanus oil] are well absorbed and suitable for covering the n3-PUFA supply. “.

The omega-3 index measures the content of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA + DHA) in red blood cell membranes, expressed as a percentage of total fatty acids.

An omega-3 index in the 8-12% range is an indicator of better overall health. As part of an overall healthy lifestyle, an omega-3 index in the 8 to 12% range can help maintain heart, brain, eye, and joint health.

Obtained from copepods.

Calanus oil is obtained from the copepods of the same name, Calanus finmarchicus. According to Salma et al. (Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 2016, Vol. 108, pp. 13-21), Calanus finmarchicus is “the most common crustacean in the North Atlantic with an annual production of several hundred million tons. .

“The total annual harvest is less than 0.01% of the annual growth according to the rules of the Norwegian fisheries management.”

Calanus oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA mainly in wax ester form (the oil is slightly viscous). The oil also contains astaxanthin, which gives it its ruby ​​red color.

Wax esters are historically associated with penguin, seal and whale oil, but are made from C. finmarchicus by the Norwegian company Calanus AS. .

Study details.

For the new study, the Germany-based scientists recruited 72 people with an average age of 59 years to take part in their study. All participants were instructed to exercise twice a week, with half of them also receiving calanus oil supplements (two grams per day containing 124 mg of stearidonic acid (SDA), 109 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and 87 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) . The supplements were provided by Calanus AS.

After 12 weeks, while the omega-3 index increased in the calanus oil (CO) group, there were no significant increases in the exercise-only group (average values ​​of 6.01% at the beginning and 6.15% at the end of the study). .

“It is unlikely that the effect of CO supplementation on the O3I was due to gastrointestinal uptake of preformed EPA and DHA alone,” the researchers commented. “It is more likely that SDA also contributes to the O3I increase, as SDA is the most abundant n-3 PUFA in CO and one of the precursors in the metabolic pathway of EPA and DHA synthesis.

“Future studies should investigate the long-term bioavailability of n-3 PUFAs [calanus oil] compared to triglyceride or ethyl ester-bound n-3 PUFAs from fish oil or phospholipid-bound n-3 PUFAs from krill oil, ”the researchers concluded.

“Solid Evidence”.

Jan Erik Olsen, Sales and Marketing Director of Calanus Oil, welcomed the results of the study and told NutraIngredients-USA: “Calanus Oil is a natural oil with modest EPA and DHA levels (like all natural oils before refining) an increase The omega-3 index by more than 20% is solid evidence that the wax ester form is very well absorbed and used by the body. A baseline value of 6% is also unusually high, making the omega-3 index so close to 8 lies% in just 12 weeks is very satisfactory.

“The predominant omega-3 fatty acid in calanus oil is stearidonic acid, SDA, and this can be converted to EPA by the human body. This will most likely also contribute to EPA levels in red blood cells.

“Just a few years ago it was assumed that wax esters are not digestible. Through our own research and the research of our good partners, such as the excellent research team at Leibniz University in Hanover, it has been proven that wax esters are actually highly bioavailable and a very good source for these important fatty acids. “

Source:British Journal of Nutrition
Published online, doi: 10.1017 / S0007114520002809
“Taking Calanus finmarchicus oil for 12 weeks improves the omega-3 index in healthy elderly subjects who participate in an exercise program.”
Authors: P. Wasserfurth et al.

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