Krill for human consumption: nutritional value and potential health benefits.
The marine crustacean krill (order Euphausiacea) has not been a traditional food in the human diet. Public acceptance of krill for human consumption will depend partly on its nutritive value. The aim of this article is to assess the nutritive value and potential health benefits of krill, an abundant food source with high nutritional value and a variety of compounds relevant to human health. Krill is a rich source of high-quality protein, with the advantage over other animal proteins of being low in fat and a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Antioxidant levels in krill are higher than in fish, suggesting benefits against oxidative damage. Finally, the waste generated by the processing of krill into edible products can be developed into value-added products.
Nutr Rev. 2007 Feb;65(2):63-77
Supplementation of diet with krill oil protects against experimental rheumatoid arthritis.
Although the efficacy of standard fish oil has been the subject of research in arthritis, the effect of krill oil in this disease has yet to be investigated. The objective of the present study was to evaluate a standardised preparation of krill oil and fish oil in an animal model for arthritis. METHODS: Collagen-induced arthritis susceptible DBA/1 mice were provided ad libitum access to a control diet or diets supplemented with either krill oil or fish oil throughout the study. There were 14 mice in each of the 3 treatment groups. The level of EPA + DHA was 0.44 g/100 g in the krill oil diet and 0.47 g/100 g in the fish oil diet. Severity of arthritis was determined using a clinical scoring system. Arthritis joints were analysed by histopathology and graded. Serum samples were obtained at the end of the study and the levels of IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-7, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-15, IL-17 and TGF-beta were determined by a Luminex assay system. RESULTS: Consumption of krill oil and supplemented diet significantly reduced the arthritis scores and hind paw swelling when compared to a control diet not supplemented with EPA and DHA. However, the arthritis score during the late phase of the study was only significantly reduced after krill oil administration. Furthermore, mice fed the krill oil diet demonstrated lower infiltration of inflammatory cells into the joint and synovial layer hyperplasia, when compared to control. Inclusion of fish oil and krill oil in the diets led to a significant reduction in hyperplasia and total histology score. Krill oil did not modulate the levels of serum cytokines whereas consumption of fish oil increased the levels of IL-1alpha and IL-13. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that krill oil may be a useful intervention strategy against the clinical and histopathological signs of inflammatory arthritis.
BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010 Jun 29;11:136
Clinical efficacy and safety of glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate, their combination, celecoxib or placebo taken to treat osteoarthritis of the knee: 2-year results from GAIT.
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of pain and functional limitation in older adults, yet longer-term studies of medical treatment of OA are limited. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate (CS), alone or in combination, as well as celecoxib and placebo on painful knee OA over 2 years. METHODS: A 24-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, conducted at nine sites in the US ancillary to the Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial, enrolled 662 patients with knee OA who satisfied radiographic criteria (Kellgren/Lawrence grade 2 or 3 changes and baseline joint space width of at least 2 mm). This subset continued to receive their randomised treatment: glucosamine 500 mg three times daily, CS 400 mg three times daily, the combination of glucosamine and CS, celecoxib 200 mg daily, or placebo over 24 months. The primary outcome was a 20% reduction in Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) pain over 24 months. Secondary outcomes included an Outcome Measures in Rheumatology/Osteoarthritis Research Society International response and change from baseline in WOMAC pain and function. RESULTS: Compared with placebo, the odds of achieving a 20% reduction in WOMAC pain were celecoxib: 1.21, glucosamine: 1.16, combination glucosamine/CS: 0.83 and CS alone: 0.69, and were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Over 2 years, no treatment achieved a clinically important difference in WOMAC pain or function as compared with placebo. However, glucosamine and celecoxib showed beneficial but not significant trends. Adverse reactions were similar among treatment groups and serious adverse events were rare for all treatments.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2010 Aug;69(8):1459-64
Hyaluronan reduces inflammation in experimental arthritis by modulating TLR-2 and TLR-4 cartilage expression.
Previous studies have reported that low molecular mass HA and highly polymerized HA respectively elicited pro- and anti-inflammatory responses by modulating the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) and the TLR-2. The activation of TLR-4 and TLR-2 mediated by collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) induces the myeloid differentiation primary response protein (MyD88) and the tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), and ends with the liberation of NF-kB which, in turn, stimulates pro-inflammatory cytokine production. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of high molecular weight HA at different concentrations on TLR-4 and TLR-2 modulation in CIA in mice. Arthritis was induced in mice via intradermal injection of an emulsion containing bovine type II collagen in complete Freund’s adjuvant. Mice were treated with HA intraperitoneally daily for 30 days. CIA increased TLR-4, TLR-2, MyD88 and TRAF6 mRNA expression and the related protein in the cartilage of arthritic joints. High levels of both mRNA and related protein were also detected for tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1-beta (IL-1-β), interleukin-17 (IL-17), matrix metalloprotease-13 (MMP-13) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the joint of arthritic mice. HA treatment significantly limited CIA incidence and decreased all the parameters up-regulated by CIA. The improvement of biochemical parameters was also supported by histological analysis, plasma and synovial fluid HA levels. These results suggest that the TLR-4 and TLR-2 play an important role in the arthritis mechanism and the interaction/block of HA at high molecular mass may reduce inflammation and cartilage injury.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Sep;1812(9):1170-81
The effect of glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulfate on the progression of knee osteoarthritis: a report from the glucosamine/chondroitin arthritis intervention trial.
OBJECTIVE: Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee causes significant morbidity and current medical treatment is limited to symptom relief, while therapies able to slow structural damage remain elusive. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate (CS), alone or in combination, as well as celecoxib and placebo on progressive loss of joint space width (JSW) in patients with knee OA. METHODS: A 24-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, conducted at 9 sites in the United States as part of the Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), enrolled 572 patients with knee OA who satisfied radiographic criteria (Kellgren/Lawrence [K/L] grade 2 or grade 3 changes and JSW of at least 2 mm at baseline). Patients with primarily lateral compartment narrowing at any time point were excluded. Patients who had been randomized to 1 of the 5 groups in the GAIT continued to receive glucosamine 500 mg 3 times daily, CS 400 mg 3 times daily, the combination of glucosamine and CS, celecoxib 200 mg daily, or placebo over 24 months. The minimum medial tibiofemoral JSW was measured at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months. The primary outcome measure was the mean change in JSW from baseline. RESULTS: The mean JSW loss at 2 years in knees with OA in the placebo group, adjusted for design and clinical factors, was 0.166 mm. No statistically significant difference in mean JSW loss was observed in any treatment group compared with the placebo group. Treatment effects on K/L grade 2 knees, but not on K/L grade 3 knees, showed a trend toward improvement relative to the placebo group. The power of the study was diminished by the limited sample size, variance of JSW measurement, and a smaller than expected loss in JSW. CONCLUSION: At 2 years, no treatment achieved a predefined threshold of clinically important difference in JSW loss as compared with placebo. However, knees with K/L grade 2 radiographic OA appeared to have the greatest potential for modification by these treatments.
Arthritis Rheum. 2008 Oct;58(10):3183-91
Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and the two in combination for painful knee osteoarthritis.
BACKGROUND: Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are used to treat osteoarthritis. The multicenter, double-blind, placebo- and celecoxib-controlled Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT) evaluated their efficacy and safety as a treatment for knee pain from osteoarthritis. METHODS: We randomly assigned 1583 patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis to receive 1,500 mg of glucosamine daily, 1,200 mg of chondroitin sulfate daily, both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, 200 mg of celecoxib daily, or placebo for 24 weeks. Up to 4,000 mg of acetaminophen daily was allowed as rescue analgesia. Assignment was stratified according to the severity of knee pain (mild [N=1229] vs. moderate to severe [N=354]). The primary outcome measure was a 20 percent decrease in knee pain from baseline to week 24. RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 59 years, and 64 percent were women. Overall, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate were not significantly better than placebo in reducing knee pain by 20%. As compared with the rate of response to placebo (60.1%), the rate of response to glucosamine was 3.9 percentage points higher (P=0.30), the rate of response to chondroitin sulfate was 5.3% points higher (P=0.17), and the rate of response to combined treatment was 6.5% higher (P=0.09). The rate of response in the celecoxib control group was 10.0 percentage points higher than that in the placebo control group (P=0.008). For patients with moderate-to-severe pain at baseline, the rate of response was significantly higher with combined therapy than with placebo (79.2 percent vs. 54.3 percent, P=0.002). Adverse events were mild, infrequent, and evenly distributed among the groups. CONCLUSIONS: Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate alone or in combination did not reduce pain effectively in the overall group of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Exploratory analyses suggest that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may be effective in the subgroup of patients with moderate-to-severe knee pain.
N Engl J Med. 2006 Feb 23;354(8):795-808
Effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate on Cartilage Metabolism in OA: Outlook on Other Nutrient Partners Especially Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that is characterized by increasing loss of cartilage, remodeling of the periarticular bone, and inflammation of the synovial membrane. Besides the common OA therapy with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the treatment with chondroprotectives, such as glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, collagen hydrolysate, or nutrients, such as antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids is a promising therapeutic approach. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that the targeted administration of selected micronutrients leads to a more effective reduction of OA symptoms, with less adverse events. Their chondroprotective action can be explained by a dual mechanism: (1) as basic components of cartilage and synovial fluid, they stimulate the anabolic process of the cartilage metabolism; (2) their anti-inflammatory action can delay many inflammation-induced catabolic processes in the cartilage. These two mechanisms are able to slow the progression of cartilage destruction and may help to regenerate the joint structure, leading to reduced pain and increased mobility of the affected joint.
Int J Rheumatol. 2011;2011:969012
A preliminary study of the effects of glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate on surgically treated and untreated focal cartilage damage.
The effects of Glucosamine Sulphate (GS) and Chondroitin Sulphate (CS) on the healing of damaged and repaired articular cartilage were investigated. This study was conducted using 18 New Zealand white rabbits as experimental models. Focal cartilage defects, surgically created in the medial femoral condyle, were either treated by means of autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) or left untreated as controls. Rabbits were then divided into groups which received either GS+/-CS or no pharmacotherapy. Three rabbits from each group were sacrificed at 12 and 24 weeks post-surgery. Knees dissected from rabbits were then evaluated using gross quantification of repair tissue, glycosaminoglycan (GAG) assays, immunoassays and histological assessments. It was observed that, in contrast to untreated sites, surfaces of the ACI-repaired sites appeared smooth and continuous with the surrounding native cartilage. Histological examination demonstrated a typical hyaline cartilage structure; with proteoglycans, type II collagen and GAGs being highly expressed in repair areas. The improved regeneration of these repair sites was also noted to be significant over time (6 months vs. 3 months) and in GS and GS+CS groups compared to the untreated (without pharmacotherapy) group. Combination of ACI and pharmacotherapy (with glucosamine sulphate alone/ or with chondroitin sulphate) may prove beneficial for healing of damaged cartilage, particularly in relation to focal cartilage defects.
Eur Cell Mater. 2011 Mar 15;21:259-71; discussion 270-1
Effect of glucosamine sulfate with or without omega-3 fatty acids in patients with osteoarthritis.
INTRODUCTION: A total of 177 patients with moderate-to-severe hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) were tested over a period of 26 weeks in a two-center, two-armed, randomized, double-blind, comparison study. The aim was to see if a combination of glucosamine sulfate (1500 mg/day) and the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (group A), showed equivalence (noninferiority) or superiority as opposed to glucosamine sulfate alone (group B). METHODS: The primary therapy evaluation was performed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthrosis index (WOMAC) score. At the end of the study, a reduction in the pain score of > or =20% was required (primary target criterion) and the quantitative difference in the WOMAC subscores pain, stiffness, and function were analyzed (secondary target criteria). RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: When a minimal pain reduction of > or =20% was chosen, there was no statistically significant difference in the number of responders between the two groups (92.2% group A, 94.3% group B). A higher responder criterion (> or =80% reduction in the WOMAC pain score) was chosen. Therefore, the frequency of responders showed a therapeutic and statistical superiority for the combination product of glucosamine sulfate and the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients who complied with the study protocol (group A 44%, group B 32%; P=0.044). OA symptoms (morning stiffness, pain in hips and knees) were reduced at the end of the study: by 48.5%-55.6% in group A and by 41.7%-55.3% in group B. The reduction was greater in group A than in group B. There was a tendency toward superiority shown in the secondary target criteria and concurrent variables. In the global safety evaluation, both products have been demonstrated to be very safe in long-term treatment over 26 weeks. To our knowledge, this is the first clinical trial in which glucosamine was given in combination with omega-3 fatty acids to patients with OA.
Adv Ther. 2009 Sep;26(9):858-71
Role of omega-3 longchain polyunsaturated fatty acids in reducing cardio-metabolic risk factors.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in many economically developed nations, and its incidence is increasing at a rapid rate in emerging economies. Diet and lifestyle issues are closely associated with a myriad of cardiovascular disease risk factors including abnormal plasma lipids, hypertension, insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity, suggesting that diet-based approaches may be of benefit. Omega-3 longchain-polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3 LC-PUFA) are increasingly being used in the prevention and management of several cardiovascular risk factors. Both the ω3 and ω6 PUFA families are considered essential, as the human body is itself unable to synthesize them. The conversion of the two precursor fatty acids - linoleic acid (18:2ω6) and α-linoleic acid (α18:3ω3) - of these two pathways to longer (≥C(20)) PUFA is inefficient. Although there is an abundance of ω6 PUFA in the food supply; in many populations the relative intake of ω3 LC-PUFA is low with health authorities advocating increased consumption. Fish oil, rich in eicosapentaenoic (EPA, 20:5ω3) and docosahexaenoic (DHA, 22:6ω3) acids, has been found to cause a modest reduction in blood pressure at a dose level of >3g/d both in untreated and treated hypertensives. Whilst a multitude of mechanisms may contribute to the blood pressure lowering action of ω3 LC-PUFA, improved vascular endothelial cell function appears to play a central role. Recent studies which evaluated the potential benefits of fish oil in type-2 diabetes have helped to alleviate concerns raised in some previous studies which used relatively large dose (5-8 g/d) and reported a worsening of glycemic control. Several meta-analyses have confirmed that the most consistent action of ω3 LC-PUFA in insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes is the reduction in triglycerides. In some studies, fish oil has been found to cause a small rise in LDL-cholesterol, but a change in the LDL particle size, from the smaller more atherogenic form to the larger, less damaging particle size, have also been noted. ω3 LC-PUFA are effective modulators of the inflammation that accompanies several cardio-metabolic abnormalities. Taking into consideration the pleiotropic nature of their actions, it can be concluded that dietary supplementation with ω3 LC-PUFA will lead to improvements in cardio-metabolic health parameters. These fatty acids pose only minor side effects and more importantly, do not interact adversely with the common drug therapies used in the management and treatment of hypertension, dyslipidemia, type-2 diabetes, and obesity/metabolic syndrome, but in some instances work synergistically, thereby providing additional cardiovascular benefits.
Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2011 Sep 1;11(3):232-46
Unsaturated fatty acids are inversely associated and n-6/n-3 ratios are positively related to inflammation and coagulation markers in plasma of apparently healthy adults.
BACKGROUND: Blood lipids and inflammatory markers levels have been associated with the development and progression of atherosclerosis. As the association of inflammatory markers with plasma fatty acids has not been extensively evaluated and understood, we sought to investigate the associations between dietary and plasma fatty acids with various inflammation and coagulation markers. METHODS: High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), fibrinogen, and homocysteine were measured in serum of 374 free-living, healthy men and women, randomly selected from the ATTICA’s study database. Total plasma fatty acids were determined by gas chromatography. Dietary fatty acids were assessed through a semi-quantitative FFQ. RESULTS: Multi-adjusted regression analyses revealed that plasma n-3 fatty acids were inversely associated with CRP, IL-6 and TNF-alpha; plasma n-6 fatty acids were inversely associated with CRP, IL-6 and fibrinogen; monounsaturated fatty acids were inversely associated with CRP and IL-6 (all p-values<0.05). Interestingly, the n-6/n-3 ratios exhibited the strongest positive correlations with all the markers studied. No associations were observed between dietary fatty acids and the investigated markers. CONCLUSIONS: Measurements of total plasma fatty acids could provide insights into the relationships between diet and atherosclerotic disease. Moreover, the n-6/n-3 ratio may constitute a predictor of low-grade inflammation and coagulation.
Clin Chim Acta. 2010 Apr 2;411(7-8):584-91
Metabolic effects of krill oil are essentially similar to those of fish oil but at lower dose of EPA and DHA, in healthy volunteers.
The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effects of krill oil and fish oil on serum lipids and markers of oxidative stress and inflammation and to evaluate if different molecular forms, triacylglycerol and phospholipids, of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) influence the plasma level of EPA and DHA differently. One hundred thirteen subjects with normal or slightly elevated total blood cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels were randomized into three groups and given either six capsules of krill oil (N = 36; 3.0 g/day, EPA + DHA = 543 mg) or three capsules of fish oil (N = 40; 1.8 g/day, EPA + DHA = 864 mg) daily for 7 weeks. A third group did not receive any supplementation and served as controls (N = 37). A significant increase in plasma EPA, DHA, and DPA was observed in the subjects supplemented with n-3 PUFAs as compared with the controls, but there were no significant differences in the changes in any of the n-3 PUFAs between the fish oil and the krill oil groups. No statistically significant differences in changes in any of the serum lipids or the markers of oxidative stress and inflammation between the study groups were observed. Krill oil and fish oil thus represent comparable dietary sources of n-3 PUFAs, even if the EPA + DHA dose in the krill oil was 62.8% of that in the fish oil.
Lipids. 2011 Jan;46(1):37-46
Supplementation of diet with krill oil protects against experimental rheumatoid arthritis.
BACKGROUND: Although the efficacy of standard fish oil has been the subject of research in arthritis, the effect of krill oil in this disease has yet to be investigated. The objective of the present study was to evaluate a standardised preparation of krill oil and fish oil in an animal model for arthritis. METHODS: Collagen-induced arthritis susceptible DBA/1 mice were provided ad libitum access to a control diet or diets supplemented with either krill oil or fish oil throughout the study. There were 14 mice in each of the 3 treatment groups. The level of EPA + DHA was 0.44 g/100 g in the krill oil diet and 0.47 g/100 g in the fish oil diet. Severity of arthritis was determined using a clinical scoring system. Arthritis joints were analysed by histopathology and graded. Serum samples were obtained at the end of the study and the levels of IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-7, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-15, IL-17 and TGF-beta were determined by a Luminex assay system. RESULTS: Consumption of krill oil and supplemented diet significantly reduced the arthritis scores and hind paw swelling when compared to a control diet not supplemented with EPA and DHA. However, the arthritis score during the late phase of the study was only significantly reduced after krill oil administration. Furthermore, mice fed the krill oil diet demonstrated lower infiltration of inflammatory cells into the joint and synovial layer hyperplasia, when compared to control. Inclusion of fish oil and krill oil in the diets led to a significant reduction in hyperplasia and total histology score. Krill oil did not modulate the levels of serum cytokines whereas consumption of fish oil increased the levels of IL-1alpha and IL-13. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that krill oil may be a useful intervention strategy against the clinical and histopathological signs of inflammatory arthritis.
BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010 Jun 29;11:136
Fish oil, but not flaxseed oil, decreases inflammation and prevents pressure overload-induced cardiac dysfunction.
AIMS: Clinical studies suggest that intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFA) may lower the incidence of heart failure. Dietary supplementation with omega-3 PUFA exerts metabolic and anti-inflammatory effects that could prevent left ventricle (LV) pathology; however, it is unclear whether these effects occur at clinically relevant doses and whether there are differences between omega-3 PUFA from fish [eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] and vegetable sources [alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)]. METHODS AND RESULTS: We assessed the development of LV remodelling and pathology in rats subjected to aortic banding treated with omega-3 PUFA over a dose range that spanned the intake of humans taking omega-3 PUFA supplements. Rats were fed a standard food or diets supplemented with EPA+DHA or ALA at 0.7, 2.3, or 7% of energy intake. Without supplementation, aortic banding increased LV mass and end-systolic and -diastolic volumes. ALA supplementation had little effect on LV remodelling and dysfunction. In contrast, EPA+DHA dose-dependently increased EPA and DHA, decreased arachidonic acid in cardiac membrane phospholipids, and prevented the increase in LV end-diastolic and -systolic volumes. EPA+DHA resulted in a dose-dependent increase in the anti-inflammatory adipokine adiponectin, and there was a strong correlation between the prevention of LV chamber enlargement and plasma levels of adiponectin (r = -0.78). Supplementation with EPA+DHA had anti-aggregatory and anti-inflammatory effects as evidenced by decreases in urinary thromboxane B(2) and serum tumour necrosis factor-alpha. CONCLUSION: Dietary supplementation with omega-3 PUFA derived from fish, but not from vegetable sources, increased plasma adiponectin, suppressed inflammation, and prevented cardiac remodelling and dysfunction under pressure overload conditions.
Cardiovasc Res. 2009 Feb 1;81(2):319-27