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New Study Shows Krill Increases Omega-3 Index in Pets

A 4-week 3-arm trial with 45 adult dogs shows that QRILL Pet PL Nutri Plus was most effective in raising the Omega-3 Index in dogs.




(PRESS RELEASE) OSLO — In a new study conducted by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Aker BioMarine, scientists evaluated the performance of three different omega-3 sources in canine feeds. Of the three ingredients tested, the krill-based ingredient, QRILL Pet PL Nutri Plus (QRILL Pet’s flagship krill meal product), was most effective in raising the dogs’ Omega-3 Index.

This study builds on a previous feeding trial conducted in 2020 by Aker BioMarine, which showed that of the dogs fed either QRILL Pet PL Nutri Plus (8%) or fish oil, the QRILL Pet group exhibited the greatest improvements to their Omega-3 Index after six weeks. In this new trial, the researchers aimed to build a greater understanding of how krill meal, at a lower inclusion level, would perform in comparison to two other omega-3 sources, namely fish and flaxseed. All three providing similar amounts of omega-3 to the study diets.

“The hypothesis we tested was whether krill, at a lower inclusion level of just 3% on a dry matter (DM) basis, would be as or more effective in raising the dogs’ omega-3 levels than other ingredients when omega-3 content was similar. We believe that both the delivery molecule of omega-3 as well as the type of omega-3 in a diet matters. To understand this, we did a side-by-side comparison of EPA/DHA from krill with two other omega-3 sources (EPA/DHA from fish and alpha-linolenic acid from flaxseed) which both are commonly found in pet food today,” says scientist Hanna Lindqvist from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

4-week 3 -arm trial tests 3 different omega-3 ingredients in the dog feed

Before launching the experiment, the omega-3 levels of the 45 participating Alaskan Huskies sled dogs were measured to establish a baseline. Researchers found that the Omega-3 Index for the dogs was at a low starting point (at 1.3% on average), a state that is not uncommon in pets, they report.

Over the next four weeks, the dogs received one of the three test feeds. The omega-3 ingredients were included in the raw food provided to the dogs twice daily. The trial was run during a low-training period for the dogs, meaning their dietary needs at the time were on par with the average active dog.


Key findings: Which omega-3 ingredient was most effective?

  • Krill meal, in the form of QRILL Pet PL Nutri Plus, was most effective in raising the Omega-3 Index in the dogs – bringing it to an average of 2.4%.
  • Fish meal was the second most effective source of omega-3, raising the Omega-3 Index to an average of 1.9%.
  • Flaxseed (alpha-linolenic acid) had no significant effect on the dogs’ Omega-3 Index.

“What we learned from this trial was that not every omega-3 source performs equally, and that both the delivery molecule of the omega-3`s as well as type of omega-3 makes a difference. The phospholipid omega-3 in krill appears to be more effective than triglyceride omega-3 from fish or alpha-linolenic acid from flaxseed. There is an opportunity for commercial feeds to benefit from a more effective ingredient, and we found that even in lower doses, krill meal is still the most effective in terms of raising the Omega-3 Index in pets,” says Hanna Lindqvist.

About QRILL Pet

QRILL Pet is a product of Aker BioMarine, a leading biotech innovator and Antarctic krill-harvesting company for consumer health and animal nutrition. The QRILL Pet product line consists of 3 products: PL NUTRI Plus (our flagship krill meal product) PL OMEGA Plus oil, and ASTA OMEGA Plus oil. When developing our functional marine ingredients for pets, we kept our focus on the needs of pets and pet food formulators. Aimed at keeping pets healthy, QRILL Pet is not only a superior omega-3 source but also contains a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin, natural choline, and palatable marine proteins. The unique distinction of krill omega-3s is that they are mainly bound to phospholipids. This superior marine ingredient is beneficial for cats, dogs, and even horses at every life stage.



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