Study shows Calanus oil may benefit blood pressure and heart health

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

According to Salma et al, Calanus finmarchicus is “the most abundant crustacean in the North Atlantic Ocean with annual production of several hundred million tonnes. The total annual harvest amounts to less than 0.01% of the annual growth in accordance with regulations by Norwegian fisheries management.” Image: Uwe Kils
According to Salma et al, Calanus finmarchicus is “the most abundant crustacean in the North Atlantic Ocean with annual production of several hundred million tonnes. The total annual harvest amounts to less than 0.01% of the annual growth in accordance with regulations by Norwegian fisheries management.” Image: Uwe Kils

Related tags: Fatty acid, Fat

Supplements containing Calanus oil may support cardiovascular health via anti-inflammatory effects in blood vessel walls, says a new study.

Calanus oil, which is extracted from the copepods of the same name Calanus finmarchicus​, contains the omega-3s EPA and DHA predominantly in the wax ester form (the oil is slightly viscous). The oil also contains astaxanthin, which gives its ruby color.

“The oil extracted from ​C. finmarchicus is ruby colored and slightly viscous, with [greater than] 86% of the fatty acids present as wax esters bound predominantly to aliphatic long-chain monounsaturated alcohols [mostly 20:1(n-9) and 22:1(n-11) alcohols], with minor amounts of free fatty acids, free fatty alcohols, and glycerides,” ​explained the authors of the new study in Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids​.

The new study, which used lab mice, found that eight weeks of supplementation with Calanus oil attenuated increases in blood pressure when the animals were exposed to angiotensin II, a potent vasoconstrictor.

“In the present study we show for the first time that dietary Calanus oil has protective effects on the vascular system in obese mice by preventing the rise in systolic blood pressure following acute exposure to [angiotensin II], suggesting that dietary intake of oil from the marine copepod ​Calanus finmarchicus could be a hypertension treatment option,”​ wrote the researchers, led by Wahida Salma from UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

“In addition, [angiotensin II]-induced tissue wasting, especially of adipose tissue, was significantly reduced in mice receiving dietary Calanus oil, indicative of lower energy requirements for tissue preservation during the stress imposed by [angiotensin II] exposure.”

Study details

The researchers fed C57BL/6J mice a high fat diet with or without supplemental Calanus oil (2%) for eight weeks. The animals maintained the diets for a further two weeks but were further randomized to receive either angiotensin II (Ang II) or saline.

Krill supplements © robynmac
Wax esters are historically associated with penguin, seal, and whale oil, but are being produced by Norwegian company Calanus Helse AS from C. finmarchicus.Only one commercial product containing wax esters from calanus is currently available in the US: Arctic Ruby Oil. The product is expensive compared with other omega-3 forms, and retails for $59.95 for 60 soft gels (30 servings).Image: © iStockPhoto / robynmac

Results showed that during the initial eight week period, the non-supplemented high fat diet-fed mice feigned significant body weight, but this was significantly attenuated in the Calanus oil group. However, administration of Ang II led to a sharp drop in body weight – or tissue wasting – in the non-supplemented animals, and this body weight drop was double that observed in the Calanus oil-supplement animals, indicating that the oil protected against tissue wasting.

Ang II also increased blood pressure in the non-supplemented animals, but these increases were not observed in the Calanus oil-supplemented group.

“As expected, infusion of Ang II produced hypertrophy and up-regulation of marker genes (mRNA level) of both hypertrophy and fibrosis in cardiac muscle, but this response was unaffected by dietary Calanus oil,” ​added the researchers. “Fibrosis and inflammation were up-regulated also in the aorta following Ang II infusion. However, the inflammatory response was blocked by Calanus oil supplementation.”

“These results suggest that dietary intake of oil from the marine copepod Calanus finmarchicus could be a beneficial addition to conventional hypertension treatment,” ​wrote the researchers.

“The compound attenuates inflammation and the severe metabolic stress caused by Ang II infusion. Although the present study suggests that the anti-hypertensive effect of the oil (or its n-3 PUFAs constituents) is related to its anti-inflammatory action in the vessel wall, other mechanisms such as interaction with intracellular calcium mechanisms or a direct antagonistic effect on Ang II receptors should be examined.”

Source: Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
May 2016, Volume 108, Pages 13-21, doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2016.03.006
“Dietary Calanus oil antagonizes angiotensin II-induced hypertension and tissue wasting in diet-induced obese mice”
Authors: W. Salma et al. 

Related news

Related products

show more

The Elegance of Expeller Pressed

The Elegance of Expeller Pressed

Bunge Oils | 22-May-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Simply put: today’s consumers want food, simply. Shoppers are choosing products with fewer ingredients that are closer to the fresh foods they know. One...

Related suppliers

1 comment

Great Article Great Product in Arctic Ruby Oil

Posted by Mike Thomas,

So glad to see more research on this product. My father has been taking it for years, and swears by it. I gave in 3 months ago and it really is a great product. I'm actually excited to see my doctor. I hope my numbers back up how I feel!

Report abuse

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars