Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the management of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea.
PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of Neptune Krill Oil (NKO) for the management of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea. SECONDARY OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of NKO for the management of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea with that of omega-3 fish oil. METHODS/ DESIGN: Double-blind, randomized clinical trial. SETTING: Outpatient clinic. PARTICIPANTS: Seventy patients of reproductive age diagnosed with premenstrual syndrome according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised (DSM-III-R). INTERVENTIONS: Treatment period of three months with either NKO or omega-3 fish oil. OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-Assessment Questionnaire based on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) diagnostic criteria for premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea and number of analgesics used for dysmenorrhea. RESULTS: In 70 patients with complete data, a statistically significant improvement was demonstrated among baseline, interim, and final evaluations in the self assessment questionnaire (P < 0.001) within the NKO group as well as between-group comparison to fish oil, after three cycles or 45 and 90 days of treatment. Data analysis showed a significant reduction of the number of analgesics used for dysmenorrhea within the NKO group (comparing baseline vs. 45- vs. 90-day visit). The between-groups analysis illustrated that women taking NKO consumed significantly fewer analgesics during the 10-day treatment period than women receiving omega-3 fish oil (P < 0.03). CONCLUSION: Neptune Krill Oil can significantly reduce dysmenorrhea and the emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and is shown to be significantly more effective for the complete management of premenstrual symptoms compared to omega-3 fish oil. (+info)
Testing olfactory foraging strategies in an Antarctic seabird assemblage.
Procellariiform seabirds (petrels, albatrosses and shearwaters) forage over thousands of square kilometres for patchily distributed prey resources. While these birds are known for their large olfactory bulbs and excellent sense of smell, how they use odour cues to locate prey patches in the vast ocean is not well understood. Here, we investigate species-specific responses to 3-methyl pyrazine in a sub-Antarctic species assemblage near South Georgia Island (54 degrees 00 ' S, 36 degrees 00 ' W). Pyrazines are scented compounds found in macerated Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), a primary prey item for many seabird species in this region. To examine behavioural attraction to this odour, we presented birds with either scented or 'unscented' vegetable oil slicks at sea. As a positive control for our experiments, we also compared birds' responses to a general olfactory attractant, herring oil. Responses to pyrazine were both highly species specific and consistent with results from earlier studies investigating responses to crude krill extracts. For example, Cape petrels (Daption capense), giant petrels (Macronectes sp.) and white-chinned petrels (Procellaria aequinoctialis) were sighted at least 1.8-4 times as often at pyrazine-scented slicks than at control slicks. Black-browed albatrosses (Diomedea melanophris) were only sighted at pyrazine-scented slicks and never at control slicks. Wilson's storm-petrels (Oceanites oceanicus), black-bellied storm-petrels (Fregetta tropica), great shearwaters (Puffinus gravis) and prions (Pachyptila sp.) were sighted with equal frequency at control and pyrazine-scented slicks. As expected, responses to herring oil were more common. With the exception of great shearwaters (Puffinus gravis), each of these species was sighted up to five times as often at slicks scented with herring oil compared with control slicks. Together, the results support the hypothesis that Antarctic procellariiforms use species-specific foraging strategies that are inter-dependent and more complex than simply tracking prey by scent. (+info)
Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the clinical course of hyperlipidemia.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of krill oil on blood lipids, specifically total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). METHODS: A multi-center, three-month, prospective, randomized study followed by a three-month, controlled follow-up of patients treated with 1 g and 1.5 g krill oil daily. Patients with hyperlipidemia able to maintain a healthy diet and with blood cholesterol levels between 194 and 348 mg per dL were eligible for enrollment in the trial. A sample size of 120 patients (30 patients per group) was randomly assigned to one of four groups. Group A received krill oil at a body mass index (BMI)-dependent daily dosage of 2-3 g daily. Patients in Group B were given 1-1.5 g krill oil daily, and Group C was given fish oil containing 180 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 120 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per gram of oil at a dose of 3 g daily. Group D was given a placebo containing microcrystalline cellulose. The krill oil used in this study was Neptune Krill Oil, provided by Neptune Technologies and Bioresources, Laval, Quebec, Canada. OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary parameters tested (baseline and 90-day visit) were total blood cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, HDL, and glucose. RESULTS: Krill oil 1-3 g per day (BMI-dependent) was found to be effective for the reduction of glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and HDL, compared to both fish oil and placebo. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study demonstrate within high levels of confidence that krill oil is effective for the management of hyperlipidemia by significantly reducing total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, and increasing HDL levels. At lower and equal doses, krill oil was significantly more effective than fish oil for the reduction of glucose, triglycerides, and LDL levels. (+info)
Discovery of a ciliate parasitoid of euphausiids off Oregon, USA: Collinia oregonensis n. sp. (Apostomatida: Colliniidae).
An apostome ciliate, Collinia oregonensis n. sp., is reported inhabiting the cephalothorax and abdomen of 3 euphausiid species from the Oregon-Washington coast: Euphausia pacifica Hansen, 1911, Thysanoessa spinifera Holmes, 1900, and Thysanoessa gregaria G.O. Sars, 1883. This ciliate is the 7th species described for the genus Collinia and the 2nd species known to infect euphausiids. Disease progression and ciliate morphology are described using (1) modified protargol stain, (2) hematoxylin counterstained with Fast Green, and (3) Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). All endoparasitic developmental stages (trophont, tomont, tomitogenesis, protomite, and tomite) of C. oregonensis are astomatous and possess between 14 and 22 kineties. C. oregonensis is smaller than C. beringensis Capriulo & Small, 1986, which infects the euphausiid Thysanoessa inermis Kroyer, 1846 in the Bering Sea and which possesses between 24 and 80 kineties. The ciliate is a parasitoid because it must kill the host to complete its life cycle. Infections and mortalities in multiple host species likely reflect the virulent nature of the ciliate. Adult euphausiids infected with this parasitoid possess a swollen and bright orange cephalothorax. C. oregonensis feeds and proliferates inside euphausiids, producing fulminating infections that rupture the cephalothorax and release large numbers of tomites into the surrounding water. After several hours in the free swimming stage under shipboard conditions in the present study, the tomites adhered to each other, forming filaments. Infection rates ranged between 3 and 20% within individual euphausiid aggregations, but infected aggregations were randomly and sparingly distributed. Infected euphausiids were found at 6.7% of 316 stations sampled during 3 summer cruises. No infected euphausiids were collected in winter. Because E. pacifica and T. spinifera account for about 90% of the euphausiid standing stock in the northern California Current System, this parasitoid ciliate may have a significant impact on euphausiid population abundance, distribution and secondary productivity. (+info)
Observations of biologically generated turbulence in a coastal inlet.
Measurements in a coastal inlet revealed turbulence that was three to four orders of magnitude larger during the dusk ascent of a dense acoustic-scattering layer of krill than during the day, elevating daily-averaged mixing in the inlet by a factor of 100. Because vertically migrating layers of swimming organisms are found in much of the ocean, biologically generated turbulence may affect (i) the transport of inorganic nutrients to the often nutrient-depleted surface layer from underlying nutrient-rich stratified waters to affect biological productivity and (ii) the exchange of atmospheric gases such as CO2 with the stratified ocean interior, which has no direct communication with the atmosphere. (+info)
Sticholonche zanclea (Protozoa, Actinopoda) in fecal pellets of copepods and Euphausia sp. in Brazilian coastal waters.
Fecal pellets produced by mesozooplanktonic copepods (Centropages velificatus and Paracalanus parvus) and macrozooplanktonic Euphausiacea (Euphausia sp.) were examined using scanning electron microscopy. Fragments of the protozoan Sticholonche zanclea were found in both copepod and in Euphausia sp. fecal pellets, even when the abundance of the protozoan in the water was low. The results suggest that S. zanclea is an important food resource for different trophic levels, including meso- and macrozooplankton, in Brazilian coastal waters. (+info)
Marine pelagic ecosystems: the west Antarctic Peninsula.
The marine ecosystem of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) extends from the Bellingshausen Sea to the northern tip of the peninsula and from the mostly glaciated coast across the continental shelf to the shelf break in the west. The glacially sculpted coastline along the peninsula is highly convoluted and characterized by deep embayments that are often interconnected by channels that facilitate transport of heat and nutrients into the shelf domain. The ecosystem is divided into three subregions, the continental slope, shelf and coastal regions, each with unique ocean dynamics, water mass and biological distributions. The WAP shelf lies within the Antarctic Sea Ice Zone (SIZ) and like other SIZs, the WAP system is very productive, supporting large stocks of marine mammals, birds and the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba. Ecosystem dynamics is dominated by the seasonal and interannual variation in sea ice extent and retreat. The Antarctic Peninsula is one among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, having experienced a 2 degrees C increase in the annual mean temperature and a 6 degrees C rise in the mean winter temperature since 1950. Delivery of heat from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has increased significantly in the past decade, sufficient to drive to a 0.6 degrees C warming of the upper 300 m of shelf water. In the past 50 years and continuing in the twenty-first century, the warm, moist maritime climate of the northern WAP has been migrating south, displacing the once dominant cold, dry continental Antarctic climate and causing multi-level responses in the marine ecosystem. Ecosystem responses to the regional warming include increased heat transport, decreased sea ice extent and duration, local declines in icedependent Adelie penguins, increase in ice-tolerant gentoo and chinstrap penguins, alterations in phytoplankton and zooplankton community composition and changes in krill recruitment, abundance and availability to predators. The climate/ecological gradients extending along the WAP and the presence of monitoring systems, field stations and long-term research programmes make the region an invaluable observatory of climate change and marine ecosystem response. (+info)
Trophic interactions within the Ross Sea continental shelf ecosystem.
The continental shelf of the Ross Sea is one of the Antarctic's most intensively studied regions. We review the available data on the region's physical characteristics (currents and ice concentrations) and their spatial variations, as well as components of the neritic food web, including lower and middle levels (phytoplankton, zooplankton, krill, fishes), the upper trophic levels (seals, penguins, pelagic birds, whales) and benthic fauna. A hypothetical food web is presented. Biotic interactions, such as the role of Euphausia crystallorophias and Pleuragramma antarcticum as grazers of lower levels and food for higher trophic levels, are suggested as being critical. The neritic food web contrasts dramatically with others in the Antarctic that appear to be structured around the keystone species Euphausia superba. Similarly, we suggest that benthic-pelagic coupling is stronger in the Ross Sea than in most other Antarctic regions. We also highlight many of the unknowns within the food web, and discuss the impacts of a changing Ross Sea habitat on the ecosystem. (+info)