Diet and exercise are among the easiest ways to promote heart health. Studies suggest that a diet rich in higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants may help prevent your risk of coronary heart disease and improve other risk factors, such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels, blood glucose levels and even stress.
Krill oil is gaining popularity as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is made from krill, a tiny crustacean consumed by whales, penguins and other sea creatures. It is a particularly good source of DHA and EPA, types of omega-3 fats found only in marine sources. These specific omega-3’s have important functions in the body and have a variety of health benefits, including heart health.
Research has shown that krill oil may be especially effective at lowering levels of triglycerides and other blood fats. One study compared the effects of krill oil and purified omega-3’s on cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Only krill oil raised “good” HDL cholesterol. It was also more effective at decreasing a marker of inflammation.
A recent review of seven studies concluded that krill oil is effective at lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and may increase “good” HDL cholesterol as well.
More long-term research is needed to determine how krill oil affects the risk of heart disease. But based on the evidence so far, it seems effective at improving certain known risk factors.
Heart disease refers to a number of problems affecting the heart and blood vessels in the heart. There are different types of heart disease including:
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) – the most common type of heart disease and leading cause of heart attacks. With CAD, the arteries become hard and narrow and blood has difficulty getting to the heart. CAD can lead to Angina or chest pain. Angina is not a heart attack, but having it puts you at a higher risk of having a heart attack. CAD can also lead to heart attack. A heart attack occurs when an artery is severely or completely blocked, and the heart does not get the blood it needs for more than 20 minutes.
- Heart Failure – occurs when the heart is not able to pump blood through the body as well as it should, causing other organs to not get the blood they need. The heart does not stop with heart failure.
- Heart Arrhythmias – changes in the beat or rhythm of the heart, causing dizziness, shortness of breath and possibly chest pains.
You can improve your heart health by adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Taking krill oil is a simple way to do so. It’s widely available and the capsules are typically smaller than those of fish oil supplements and may be less likely to cause belching or a fishy aftertaste.
Krill oil is also typically considered to be a more sustainable choice than fish oil, because krill are so abundant and reproduce quickly. Unlike fish oil, it also contains astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant. The antioxidants in krill oil help to neutralize harmful free radicals. Krill oil is 48 times more potent than fish oil and has 300 times the antioxidant power of vitamins A and E. So, do your heart a favor and start taking krill oil.