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Table 1 Study characteristics of comparisons of krill oil and fish oil induced bloodstream fatty acid compositional changes in humans

From: A reexamination of krill oil bioavailability studies

Reference Krill oil Fish oil Outcome Adverse events Study limitations
  EPA (mg/d) DHA (mg/d) EPA (mg/d) DHA (mg/d)
Laidlaw et al. [9] 150 90 As rTG: 650 As rTG: 450 Percent increase in whole blood fatty acids No serious AEs Open-label crossover study
As EE: 756 As EE: 228 Extrapolation of data for blood composition at 1 g fatty acid intake Other AEs not specified EPA/DHA doses varied according to the lipid source
As TG: 180 As TG: 220 Estimation of cardiovascular risk reduction Short period of supplementation (4 wk)
Maki et al. [6] 216 90 212 176 4 wk supplementation with KO, menhaden oil, or olive oil No safety-related AEs Single dosage of EPA + DHA
Change in total plasma fatty acid (μmol/L) from baseline Frequency of gas/bloating and flatulence was greater in KO group than in FO group Short period of supplementation (4 wk)
Ramprasath et al. [3, 9] 493 (calculated) 284 (calculated) 404 (calculated) 260 (calculated) 4 wk supplementation with KO, FO, or corn oil No safety-related AEs LA content was higher in FO supplement than in KO supplement
Change in total plasma and RBC fatty acid (% TFA) from baseline Burping and aftertaste was greater in KO group than in FO group Short period of supplementation (4 wk)
Single dosage of EPA + DHA
Schuchardt et al. [7] 1050 630 As TG: 1008 As TG: 672 Plasma PL fatty acid at baseline, 2, 4, 6, 8, 24, 48, and 72 h after the one-day intervention NR Acute supplementation trial
As EE: 1008 As EE: 672 Comparisons made as change from baseline, area under the curve, C-max, and t-max Crossover design with high standard deviations
Ulven et al. [4] 348 195 450 414 7 wk supplementation with KO, FO, or no supplementation No safety-related AEs Intervention was not blinded
Change in total plasma fatty acid (μmol/L) from baseline Difference in tolerability not reported
  1. EPA = eicosapentaenoic acid; DHA = docosahexaenoic acid; KO = krill oil; FO = fish oil; LA = linoleic acid (18:2n-6); %TFA = percent total fatty acid; RBC = red blood cell; EE = ethyl ester; rTG = re-esterified triglyceride; TG = triglyceride; AE = adverse event; NR, not reported.