Algal Oil Efficiently Delivers EPA

October 26, 2013

Company researchers compare EPA uptake from algal oil and krill oil.

An algal oil ingredient from Qualitas Health (Jerusalem, Israel) appears to encourage EPA uptake into human blood plasma more so than krill oil.

Derived from Nannochloropsis oculata microalgae, Almega PL is rich in omega-3 EPA. And its unique structure of polar lipids may be its key to success. In a single-dose crossover study, human subjects consumed 1.5 g of either algal oil or krill oil with a high-fat breakfast. Blood analysis up to 10 hours after consumption showed greater uptake of EPA and greater maximum change in EPA concentration from baseline with algal oil. EPA levels increased with algal oil as much as 100% more than with krill oil.

The algal oil ingredient contains omega-3 EPA, but krill oil contains both EPA and DHA. While this could be a reason for krill’s lower EPA readings, the researchers acknowledge that “[omega-3] polyunsaturated fatty acids within glycolipids, as found in algal oil but not krill oil, are an effective system for delivering EPA to humans.”

Whether or not the polar lipid mechanism is more effective than that used in other oils remains to be determined. Almega PL is marketed as a vegetarian source of omega-3 nutrition that does not impact ocean wildlife.

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