The consumption of the omega-3 fatty acids (FA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have demonstrated numerous health benefits including lower rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) . Common sources of EPA+DHA include fish oil and krill oil. Fish oil is extensively utilized and available as a nutritional supplement or prescription. Krill oil (Euphausiasuperba) is another supplemental source but the EPA+DHA content is markedly less per serving compared to fish oil. Fatty acid form is also a key factor differentiating these agents. In fish oil,omega-3 FA are present as triglycerides, whereas in krill oil, 30-65% of theseFA are incorporated in phospholipids . In most prescription products, omega-3 FA are provided as ethyl esters. Previous data have suggested phospholipids are more efficient at delivering EPA+DHA, and ethyl esters can be poorly absorbed if taken without food . This difference in chemical for may therefore impact the absorption and bioavailability of the EPA+DHA, and potentially the subsequent cardioprotective effects of these products.
Citation: Backes JM, Ruisinger JF, Harris KA, Gibson CA, Harris WS, et al. (2014) Evaluating the Effects of Prescription Fish Oil, Supplemental Fish Oil and a Krill Oil Blend on Serum Lipids/Lipoproteins and the Omega-3 Index: A Pilot Study. J Glycomics Lipidomics 4:121.