University of Oulu

van der Wurff, I. S. M., von Schacky, C., Bergeland, T., Leontjevas, R., Zeegers, M. P., Jolles, J., … de Groot, R. H. M. (2019). Effect of 1 Year Krill Oil Supplementation on Cognitive Achievement of Dutch Adolescents: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 11(6), 1230.

Effect of 1 year krill oil supplementation on cognitive achievement of Dutch adolescents : a double-blind randomized controlled trial

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Author: van der Wurff, Inge S. M.1; von Schacky, Clemens2,3; Bergeland, Trygve4;
Organizations: 1Welten Institute, Research Centre for Learning, Teaching, and Technology, Open University of the Netherlands, 6419 AT Heerlen, The Netherlands
2Omegametrix, 82 152 Martinsried, Germany
3Preventive Cardiology, Medical Clinic and Poli-Clinic I, Ludwig Maximilians-University Munich, 80336 Munich, Germany
4Aker BioMarine Antarctic AS, NO-1327 Lysaker, Norway
5Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Open University of the Netherlands, 6419 AT Heerlen, The Netherlands
6Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (School NUTRIM), Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
7Care and Public Health Research Institute (School CAPHRI), Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
8Section of Educational Neuroscience and LEARN! Research Institute, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
9University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-08-14


Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) are important for brain development and function, maybe especially during adolescence. Observational studies have demonstrated an association between fish consumption (a source of LCPUFA) and cognition in adolescents, but intervention trials are lacking. The goal of the current study was to investigate the effect of one year of krill oil (a source of LCPUFA) supplementation on the cognitive performance of adolescents with a low Omega-3 Index (O3I ≤ 5%). A double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled supplementation trial with repeated measurements (baseline (T0), three months (T1), six months (T2), and 12 months (T3)) in adolescents (267 randomized) was executed. Participants were randomized to 400 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day in Cohort I or placebo and 800 mg EPA + DHA per day in Cohort II or placebo. O3I was monitored by a finger prick at all time points. At T0, T2, and T3, participants executed a neurocognitive test battery. Covariate corrected mixed models were run with either condition (krill or placebo) or O3I as predictors. Krill oil supplementation led to a small but significant increase in mean O3I, but few participants increased to the intended O3I range (8–11%). There was no significant effect of supplementation on the neurocognitive tests, nor a relationship between O3I and neurocognitive test scores. The increase in O3I was small in most participants, probably due to non-compliance. Possibly the increase in O3I was too small to demonstrate an effect. More research on the influence of LCPUFAs on cognition in adolescents is needed.

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Series: Nutrients
ISSN: 2072-6643
ISSN-E: 2072-6643
ISSN-L: 2072-6643
Volume: 11
Issue: 6
Article number: 1230
DOI: 10.3390/nu11061230
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: This research was partly funded by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research grant number [057-13-002] and by AkerBiomarine.
Copyright information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (