A Phospholipid-Protein Complex from Antarctic Krill Reduced Plasma Homocysteine Levels and Increased Plasma Trimethylamine-N-Oxide (TMAO) and Carnitine Levels in Male Wistar Rats
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Seafood is assumed to be beneficial for cardiovascular health, mainly based on plasma lipid lowering and anti-inflammatory effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, other plasma risk factors linked to cardiovascular disease are less studied. This study aimed to penetrate the effect of a phospholipid-protein complex (PPC) from Antarctic krill on one-carbon metabolism and production of trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) in rats. Male Wistar rats were fed isoenergetic control, 6%, or 11% PPC diets for four weeks. Rats fed PPC had reduced total homocysteine plasma level and increased levels of choline, dimethylglycine and cysteine, whereas the plasma level of methionine was unchanged compared to control. PPC feeding increased the plasma level of TMAO, carnitine, its precursors trimethyllysine and γ-butyrobetaine. There was a close correlation between plasma TMAO and carnitine, trimethyllysine, and γ-butyrobetaine, but not between TMAO and choline. The present data suggest that PPC has a homocysteine lowering effect and is associated with altered plasma concentrations of metabolites related to one-carbon metabolism and B-vitamin status in rats. Moreover, the present study reveals a non-obligatory role of gut microbiota in the increased plasma TMAO level as it can be explained by the PPC’s content of TMAO. The increased level of carnitine and carnitine precursors is interpreted to reflect increased carnitine biosynthesis.