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What if a deep-sea creature could improve lupus patients’ quality of life? Science for Lupus, a partnership between Aker BioMarine and the Lupus Research Alliance, will dive deep to uncover a possible natural answer for this underserved patient need.
Science for Lupus is expanding on the understanding of lupus treatment through specially designed and thoughtfully constructed scientific research efforts. Our mission is to investigate the potential benefits of a special type of krill oil for people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). We believe that the unique characteristics of a concentrated krill oil may help improve the quality of life of lupus patients around the world. In order to test this possibility, we need to carry out rigorous scientific research and that is the goal of Science for Lupus.
Lupus is a devastating disease, and it’s not receiving the attention it deserves. We’re here to try and change that – starting now.
Scroll down to learn more about how krill oil may help fight lupus.
Did you know that many lupus patients have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids?1-4
Omega-3 fatty acids are a nutrient proven to play a crucial role in managing inflammation – a symptom that is essential in healthy people to control infection and trauma but is abnormally amplified in people with autoimmune conditions such as lupus.5-12 Furthermore, emerging research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids may also have anti-autoimmune properties.5-13
In one human clinical trial at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, 27 lupus patients were given an omega-3 rich oil, and the results were encouraging. The patients had a remarkable improvement in their quality of life and a significant reduction in overall inflammation and fatigue.14
Other human clinical trials and animal studies have suggested that the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), may help ease the symptoms of lupus.15-26However, this matter is not settled, hence more research is necessary.
Science for Lupus believes in krill's unique properties. In particular, krill oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that are bound to phospholipids, which significantly helps your body’s cells absorb the omega-3s better.27This may make krill oil a better alternative for lupus patients, but research will be necessary to test this.
At Aker BioMarine, we use a unique extraction method that increases the levels of phospholipids in our krill oil and boosts the efficiency of the omega-3s. It is not known whether the new formulation will benefit lupus patients and that is the goal of the research of Science for Lupus.
Krill oil also contains the naturally occurring nutrients choline and astaxanthin.28-35 Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that gives krill their reddish-pink color. Recognized for the health-promoting suppression of free radicals, astaxanthin protects the omega-3 fatty acids from oxidation, which means no additives are needed to maintain freshness and long-term stability of krill oil.
Lupus is an everyday struggle for those living with it, their families, and their friends. At Science for Lupus, we’re dedicating our resources in hopes of finding whether krill oil can promote better health for people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
Joint pain, fatigue, and other never-ending cascade of symptoms unfairly rob lupus patients of their livelihood. Despite the everyday struggle, there has not been much research on how to lessen the severity of symptoms associated with lupus. One of the reasons is because lupus is a highly complex disease with many different symptoms making research in this population very challenging.
In the search for answer to lupus, Lupus Research Alliance approached Aker BioMarine to find how the benefits of phospholipid-rich krill oil may improve the quality of life for people with Lupus. Together we formed the Science for Lupus initiative to conduct sound, powerful research around krill oil to discover how it can impact lupus biology and physiological manifestations in lupus patients.
One of the initiatives is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, multicenter study in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) involving a highly concentrated form of krill oil. During the trial, patients will receive a daily 4-gram dosage of a krill oil formulation from Aker BioMarine. Over the 12-month course of the trial, patients will be closely monitored for potential improvement in their lupus symptoms. The primary goal is to determine if a concentrated form of krill oil can restore normal omega-3 levels in people with lupus, thereby promoting better health. For more information about the trial, click here.
Science for Lupus cannot recruit participants for the above mentioned trial. For more information about the krill oil trial or other clinical trials on lupus please visit Lupus Trial s or clinicaltrials.gov.
Krill, tiny marine creatures that resemble shrimp, are an important part of the ocean's ecosystem. They feed on the nutrients in naturally occurring microalgae and are an important food source for marine life such as fish, penguins and whales.
Scientists estimate that there are up to 6 billion tons of krill in the Antarctic ocean alone – more than any other species on the planet. In fact, krill swarms are so large that they can be seen from outer space.
Because krill are at the bottom of the food chain, the harvest of krill has a low ecological footprint. High levels of the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are major components in krill oil, have documented health benefits for the heart, brain and joints, making krill an effective and sustainable source of important nutrients.
You can trust where this krill oil comes from!
The krill oil that is under study via the Science for Lupus initiative is derived from a species of krill located only in the pristine, frigid waters of Antarctica, Euphausia superba. Aker BioMarine harvests the krill from these waters, taking extra precautionary steps to protect and conserve the Antarctic ecosystem as well as the quality of the krill harvested.
Fishing in these areas is strictly regulated, and Aker BioMarine works closely with its stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the fishery. In 2017, for the third year in a row, the krill fishery in the Antarctic was the only reduction fishery worldwide to receive an “A” rating for sustainability from the Sustainable Fisheries.
Aker BioMarine is a vertically integrated company within the krill fishing and processing industry. Our custom-built vessels process krill meal immediately after it arrives onboard, via our Eco-Harvesting technology. The fishing location is permanently recorded.
Once responsibly harvested, the precious, phospholipid-bound omega-3s and other important nutrients, like astaxanthin and choline, are extracted from the krill. We never use additives, fillers, or harmful chemicals when processing the krill. The result is an extremely pure krill oil with a deep ruby red color.
The krill is transported from the Antarctic Ocean to a processing facility in Houston, Texas, where the krill oil is produced using a patented and exclusive technology called FlexitechTM.
Lupus: The Great Imitator
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects at least 5 million people around the world. Lupus confuses your immune system, causing it to attack your own body. Commonly referred to as the "great imitator," lupus symptoms are often mistaken for other diseases. While lupus is more common in women, anyone can be affected.
Lupus sometimes feels like a bad rollercoaster ride with no end in sight. With an average 6-year diagnosis time, people with lupus are often left feeling hopeless and misunderstood, all the while suffering from various confusing symptoms.
Our sincere hope is to open the doors to a new way to improve the quality of life of lupus patients, naturally and effectively.
Lupus is a disease that has not received enough attention. Frustrated by insufficient scientific initiatives for lupus, the Lupus Research Alliance initiated a program to identify and accelerate the development of safe options that could improve lupus patients’ quality of life.
Aker BioMarine is a science-driven biotech firm that is dedicated to improving human and planetary health. After being approached by the Lupus Research Alliance in 2014, we recognized that one of our krill oil concentrates could potentially help those with lupus. While exploring the effects of krill in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), we realized that we had a potential to contribute to advancing science in lupus. In collaboration with the Lupus Research Alliance, we've worked hard to design a clinical trial investigating the possible health benefits of our concentrated krill oil in patients with SLE.
Lupus Research Alliance and Aker BioMarine are conducting research to investigate how krill can impact how lupus operates within the body of lupus patients and what that means for general health of lupus patients. Through the Science for Lupus initiative, the LRA and Aker BioMarine are committed to conducting sound, well designed and outcome driven research that will help shed light on how quality of life can potentially be improved among this underserved population.
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Numerous studies have shown that krill oil is a safe and effective way to increase one's omega-3 levels.1-2 Furthermore, the FDA has certified krill as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS). However, krill oil may not be appropriate for individuals with certain health conditions or shellfish allergies.
Krill oil is a rich source of nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and choline.3-12 Krill oil also contains astaxanthin, which is a powerful antioxidant. Recognized for the health-promoting suppression of free radicals, astaxanthin protects the omega-3 fatty acids from oxidation, which means no additives are needed to maintain freshness and long-term stability of krill oil. Furthermore, the omega-3s in krill are attached to phospholipids, a molecule that makes up the structure of cells. You can imagine phospholipids as a box that carries the omega-3s directly into your body's own cells. Krill oil is also extremely pure. Because krill are found at the bottom of the ocean's food chain, they don't accumulate harmful toxins like mercury and PCBs. Studies in healthy populations have shown several benefits of krill oil.14-24
In the search for an answer to lupus, Aker BioMarine and the Lupus Research Alliance, and its affiliate, Lupus Therapeutics are partnering for the first time. The combination of scientific knowledge of lupus and innovative marine biotechnology makes this a powerful and important partnership.
Together, we’re committed to helping those with lupus have a brighter, healthier future. With this we are demonstrating to patients a commitment to assist in finding new ways to improve lupus patients’ quality of life.
We are very pleased to work with Aker BioMarine to understand how krill oil extracts may be beneficial to persons living with lupus. The company is thoroughly testing the effectiveness of krill for this group of patients through well-designed scientifically rigorous clinical studies.