, Volume 51, Issue 10, pp 1137–1144 | Cite as

Wax Ester Rich Oil From The Marine Crustacean, Calanus finmarchicus, is a Bioavailable Source of EPA and DHA for Human Consumption

  • Chad M. CookEmail author
  • Terje S. Larsen
  • Linda D. Derrig
  • Kathleen M. Kelly
  • Kurt S. Tande
Original Article


Oil from the marine copepod, Calanus finmarchicus, which contains >86 % of fatty acids present as wax esters, is a novel source of n-3 fatty acids for human consumption. In a randomized, two-period crossover study, 18 healthy adults consumed 8 capsules providing 4 g of Calanus® Oil supplying a total of 260 mg EPA and 156 mg DHA primarily as wax esters, or 1 capsule of Lovaza® providing 465 mg EPA and 375 mg DHA as ethyl esters, each with an EPA- and DHA-free breakfast. Plasma EPA and DHA were measured over a 72 h period (t = 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h). The positive incremental area under the curve over the 72 h test period (iAUC0-72 h) for both EPA and DHA was significantly different from zero (p < 0.0001) in both test conditions, with similar findings for the iAUC0–24 h and iAUC0–48 h, indicating the fatty acids were absorbed. There was no difference in the plasma iAUC0–72 h for EPA + DHA, or DHA individually, in response to Calanus Oil vs the ethyl ester condition; however, the iAUC0–48 h and iAUC0–72 h for plasma EPA in response to Calanus Oil were both significantly increased relative to the ethyl ester condition (iAUC0–48 h: 381 ± 31 vs 259 ± 39 μg*h/mL, p = 0.026; iAUC0-72 h: 514 ± 47 vs 313 ± 49 μg*h/mL, p = 0.009). These data demonstrate a novel wax ester rich marine oil is a suitable alternative source of EPA and DHA for human consumption.


n-3 Fatty acids Fat absorption Lipid absorption Waxes 



Docosahexaenoic acid


Eicosapentaenoic acid


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Incremental area under the curve


Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol

n-3 PUFA

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids


Maximal concentration


Non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Stearidonic acid




Total cholesterol


Time to maximal concentration



The authors would like to thank Margie Huebner of ClinData Services (Fort Collins, CO) and Hua Kern of Biofortis Clinical Research for assistance in planning and performing statistical analyses.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

This was a sponsored study funded by Calanus AS (Tromsø, Norway). At the time the study was conducted, C.M. Cook and L.D. Derrig were employees of Biofortis Clinical Research, and K. Tande was an employee of Calanus AS. T. Larsen has received research support from Calanus AS.


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Copyright information

© AOCS 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chad M. Cook
    • 1
    Email author
  • Terje S. Larsen
    • 2
  • Linda D. Derrig
    • 1
  • Kathleen M. Kelly
    • 1
  • Kurt S. Tande
    • 3
  1. 1.Biofortis Clinical ResearchAddisonUSA
  2. 2.Cardiovascular Research Group, Department of Medical BiologyFaculty of Health Sciences, UiT the Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  3. 3.Calanus ASTromsøNorway

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