Just how great is krill oil?
During the 1980s researchers discovered a unique system in our body that is the cornerstone for health. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is comprised of cannabinoid receptors located in nearly every part of the body: brain, bones, organs, nervous system, immune system, muscles, etc. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds released by the ECS. Once released, they stabilize cells in irregular situations that have caused them to be overactive: e.g., stress, pain/trauma, inflammation, excessive cell growth. Stabilization helps regulate pain and ensure cells work efficiently and die when they are supposed to (apoptosis); without apoptosis, cancer can soon follow as old and malfunctioning cells overstay their welcome in the body.
It’s no coincidence that cannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant (the names are similar for a reason!). Specifically of interest in cannabinoids is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a compound that has been getting more and more attention these past few years. Truth is, it’s no longer a secret that cannabinoids are doing amazing things as a natural alternative to modern medicine.
Last month, a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study showed that cannabinoids are also produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids. More specifically, research showed that regular consumption from natural food sources or supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids can boost the immune system and combat inflammation. A 2013 study noted that the combined supplementation of omega-3 and vitamin D reduces deposits of amyloid plaque in the brain, protecting from neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Although direct CBD supplementation is more vital and beneficial, you can’t overlook the ability of omega-3 fatty acids in supporting the system that keeps our body in perfect balance.
The Joys Of Omega -3
To say that omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and krill oil, are genuine natural wonders would be somewhat of an understatement. An abundance of research over several decades has illustrated time and time again that as far as fats go, omega-3 fatty acids are among the best — if not the very best. The importance of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), in particular, is well-documented. Both pack a seriously beneficial punch for human health throughout life. From the prevention of heart disease to LDL cholesterol reduction and so much more, omega-3 is like a dose of pure gold for human health and well-being.
But as the human body cannot produce omega-3 on its own, it is crucial to ensure it is taken in both through dietary choices and daily supplements. Every day, tens of millions of us take various fish oil supplements in order to increase omega-3 intake, but up to 90 percent of what’s ingested is lost due to poor absorption. This is precisely why health and scientific communities alike are so encouraged by krill oil, which is already proving to be one of the most important discoveries since omega-3 itself was first identified.
What Is Krill Oil And What Can It For You?
As the name quite rightly suggests, krill oil is extracted from tiny sea creatures of the same name and to our benefit they contain a rich dose of omega-3. But what’s truly extraordinary about krill oil is the way in which it takes all the benefits of standard fish oil and ups the ante considerably with a series of unique properties.
So in accordance with what research today has taught us, here’s a quick overview of the 10 biggest benefits of krill oil when used as a nutritional supplement:
First up, the composition of krill oil is somewhat different to that of fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil attach to phospholipids as opposed to triglycerides, which in simple terms makes the omega-3 easier to absorb. As such, a lower dose of krill oil is required to gain the same benefit as a higher dose of standard fish oil.
2. Improved Cardiovascular Health
The omega-3 found in krill oil has long been associated with improvement to cardiovascular health, including the lowering of LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, the reducing of triglyceride levels and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. The anticoagulant effect of omega-3 is also beneficial in preventing blood clots which can cause strokes and heart attacks.
3. Taste Tolerance
Fish oils are often notorious for presenting a rather unfortunate aftertaste which can perpetuate somewhat tenaciously. By contrast, the much smaller gel tablets krill oil is supplied in are both easy to swallow and present little to no aftertaste whatsoever.
Extensive studies have shown how effective krill oil can be in the reduction and prevention of inflammation. Scientists suggest that omega-3 is converted by the body up into eicosanoids – powerful hormones which are responsible for several important purposes within the body including the release of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.
Krill oil contains astaxanthin – a powerful antioxidant that keeps the compound stable and prevents it from spoiling both in your stomach and in your cupboard. And of course, the benefits of antioxidants for the human body are equally well-documented.
Nutritionist Daniel Marzullo explains:
This power-packed antioxidant [astaxanthin] supports a healthy immune system, improves ‘good’ cholesterol, preserves eye health, lowers inflammation, and can even improve workout performance, endurance, and recovery time! However, it can be difficult to consume the recommended dietary allowance of astaxanthin since it is only found in certain seafoods like salmon, shellfish, shrimp, lobster, and of course krill. Therefore, I suggest you supplement your diet with krill oil to supercharge your body with omega-3s and astaxanthin.
6. Neurological Development in Infants
Pregnant mothers are often recommended by their family doctors to increase their omega-3 consumption in order to benefit the neurological development of their unborn infants. The brain, central nervous system, and eyes of both unborn and newly-delivered babies rely heavily on omega-3 fatty acids for strong development.
While many fish oils contain detectable levels of toxins like mercury, krill oil does not. This is due to the position of krill in the marine food chain as these tiny creatures feed only on phytoplankton which do not contain mercury. In fact, omega-3 sourced from krill is considered to be the purest on the planet.
8. PMS Symptom Reduction
The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids have also been linked with a reduction in the unpleasant physical symptoms of PMS. Scientists are still not entirely sure exactly how and why omega-3 has such an effect on PMS symptoms, though it is theorized that the answer lies in the regulating and balancing of hormones.
Weighing in at an impressive 500 million tons, tiny krill amount to the world’s largest single biomass. Each year, less than one percent of the world’s total krill are taken and utilized for oil extraction and research purposes, resulting in a uniquely abundant and sustainable source of omega-3.
10. Better Digestion
Last up, several studies have linked both EPA and DHA with anti-depressive effects and mood and enhancement. This again is theorized to be the result of omega-3 leading to an increase in corticotropin-releasing hormone levels, which along with a boost in the dopamine and serotonin levels can have a marked effect on mood and perhaps even combat depression.
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So Much More
The above list is far from exhaustive and should be interpreted simply as an introduction to the incredible and seemingly-endless benefits of krill oil. Omega-3 remains the world’s most heavily-studied marine compound, with hundreds of thousands of studies having returned little other than extremely reassuring findings.
Review the benefits of krill oil over fish oil:
Eddie Jones is a British national from the North of England, who graduated university with First Class BA Honors in Journalism and has been working as a professional writer since 2010. He also has an FND in Journalism and Media Production. Eddie traveled extensively in Ireland, the USA and Thailand and now makes his home in Krakow, Poland where he lives with his fiancé. While he is not writing, he enjoys music, skiing, playing the guitar, and pretending he has a clue in the kitchen.
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