Over the past few decades, the research on krill oil has shown us time and again how important omega-3 fatty acids are to our health. The significant impact of DHA and EPA is well documented for their role in the prevention of heart disease and reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels to healthy brain development in infants and children.
Unfortunately, many people are still unaware that our bodies are incapable of producing omega-3s and it is up to us to ensure consumption via diet and supplementation. For years, fish oil supplements were the answer. However, scientists have found that up to 90% of omega-3s in fish oil are lost upon consumption due to poor absorption.
Krill oil is extracted from tiny sea creatures, called krill. It is a rich, bioavailable source of omega-3s, and unlike fish oil, absorption isn’t an issue. Omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil are attached to phospholipids instead of triglycerides. It is more effective, as it allows the body to absorb more of the omega-3, meaning you can take lower doses.
Krill oil also contains a powerful antioxidant known as astaxanthin. Antioxidants keep the krill oil fresh in your cupboard and your stomach! Plus, we know that antioxidants are powerful protectors from damaging free radicals. Krill oil is actually considered to be the cleanest, purest source of omega-3 fatty acids. It has non-detectable levels of mercury because it feeds on phytoplankton and not other fish that have been accumulating mercury.
Important Health Benefits of Krill Oil
- Promotes Cardiovascular Health – Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for heart health because they fight inflammation in the blood vessels, lower triglyceride levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising HDL (good) cholesterol. Omega-3s also lower blood pressure and because of an anticoagulant effect, can help prevent and treat atherosclerosis by inhibiting the development of artery-clogging blood clots, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. (If you are taking blood thinners, be sure to consult your physician prior to taking krill oil supplements.)
- Reduces Inflammation – Studies have shown that krill oil prevents new inflammation from occurring while also reducing existing inflammation. Scientists believe this is because omega-3s are transformed in the body to potent hormones called eicosanoids, which control many important functions and trigger the secretion of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are known to reduce CRP (c-reactive protein) levels.
- Improves Mood – Recent research suggests that EPA and DHA have effective antidepressant properties. EPA is believed to enhance mood by reducing inflammatory processes in the brain. DHA appears to have hormonal effects by increasing the amount of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which has moderating effects on mood. DHA also increases serotonin and dopamine levels, which also improve mood and help alleviate depression.
- Promotes Digestive Health – the latest, most exciting research around omega-3s involves gastric inflammation. The research suggests omega-3s may help alleviate inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms. IBD includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. You may also reduce your risk of colon cancer by taking krill oil. Preliminary studies on people suggest a daily dose may help slow colon cancer’s progression if taken during the early stages of the disease. Clearly, there is more research to be done, but what has begun is quite promising.