10 Amazing Benefits of Krill Oil
Krill oil has become quite the rage lately as a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA. The increased popularity is because krill oil provides similar benefits to fish oil but without the side effects, making it a preferred alternative.
So many powerful health benefits are derived from this tiny shellfish. The krill is turned into oil, powder, and protein concentrate products to provide people with benefits for every part of their body including brain, heart, and liver.
Getting To Know Krill
The fat content of krill oil ranges from 12 to 50% of its total weight. In the spring season, the fat content is lower because of the lack of food for krill; when food is abundant during summer months, krill fat content is high.
The omega-3 fatty acids dominant in krill oil are EPA and DHA. The fatty acids in krill oil are in phospholipid form, which are more readily absorbed by the body than the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, bound to triglycerides, which must be broken down to be absorbed by the cells.
Krill contains several important vitamins, such as vitamin A, E, B9 (folate), and B12. Additionally, krill has choline which is responsible for transporting fats and reducing homocysteine. The fat-soluble pigment, astaxanthin, is also present in krill, and this is a powerful antioxidant.
The components of krill oil help to restore normal endocannabinoid system function, which plays a pivotal role in motivation, mood and memory.
Krill oil is quickly becoming the preferred choice over fish oil because it provides more EPA and DHA and has been shown to be more easily absorbed in our body. The reason being that the DHA and EPA in krill oil are free and not bound, making them more available for the body to use.
Additionally, people often complain of the size of standard fish oil capsules and the smaller sized krill oil capsules are easier to swallow, making them more popular.
The Benefits Of Krill Oil
1. May Prevent Obesity
Krill oil blocks the endocannabinoid pathway (EC) which controls appetite making this a potential solution for promoting weight loss. Although the studies have only been conducted in rats, an increase in krill oil and omega-3 levels reduces EC levels.
Krill oil does not have an impact on food intake, but it does lower a particular EC that is involved in overeating. It can help with weight control by reducing the chances of overeating, which prevents weight gain and obesity.
2. Lowers Cholesterol
Rat studies with healthy rats, those with high levels of fat in the blood and those fed a high-cholesterol diet, showed a reduction in overall cholesterol in the body. Krill oil lowered total cholesterol by 13%, which proved more effective than fish oil.
3. Reduces Inflammation
In a study of heart disease and arthritis patients, krill oil consumption was linked to a reduction of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation. As mentioned, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant, blocking nitric oxide production, which reduces the production of certain inflammation markers.
Studies are still ongoing, because it seems that the levels of astaxanthin in krill may be too low to provide real benefits to the human body. Regardless, krill possesses a compound that lowers inflammatory markers and prevents oxidative damage, as well as excessive inflammation.
4. Fights Arthritis
The anti-inflammatory properties of krill oil reduce the levels of inflammatory cytokines, which helps in the prevention of arthritis. Daily krill oil supplements are associated with reduced pain and stiffness as well as less functional impairment of inflamed joints.
Studies have even shown that krill oil improves mild knee pain and range of motion for arthritic patients. Regarding inflammation, krill oil helps to reduce inflammation through the colon commonly associated with colitis.
5. Protects Your Brain
DHA is an essential omega-3 oil for brain development, which is why it is a key ingredient of infant formula. EPA is just as important for improving mood and behavior.
Phospholipids found in krill oil have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The omega-3 content in krill oil prevents brain decline in elderly people and actually enhances the function of the brain areas that perform calculations and working memory tasks.
6. Improves Symptoms Of Depression
Seafood consumption has long been associated with lowering rates of depression and krill oil, specifically increasing DHA levels in the brain, which lowers depression-like symptoms. Studies have even reported that krill oil helps to relieve the symptoms related to PMS-associated depression.
The PMS symptoms like mood swings, fatigue, depression, irritability and stress are effectively relieved with a daily krill oil supplement. Additionally, women taking krill oil have less need to take pain relievers during times of PMS.
7. Protects Your Heart
It is the omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil that help to protect your heart health. The oil increases HDL cholesterol (which is the good one) in patients who have high cholesterol, at the same time reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.
Additionally, tests done with rats showed that krill oil consumption reduced blood pressure.
8. Helps To Treat Diabetes
Krill oil helps to reduce the risk factors associated with diabetes such as insulin resistance and glucose levels. Not only can it reduce blood glucose levels, but it improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.
The risk of heart attacks in diabetic patients is reduced by improved blood tissue function, lowered levels of C-reactive protein and increased HDL cholesterol.
9. Stops The Growth Of Cancer Cells
Fatty acid extracts from krill oil have been shown to stop the growth of colorectal cancer cells. Krill oil is better tolerated and without the side effects of other treatments, so researchers are further studying its usage.
10. Helps Dry Eyes
Dry eye disease and the eye pain and vision loss associated with it, have been linked to low omega-3 intake. In trials, consumption of krill oil was shown to reduce the symptoms and pain of dry eye, as well as eye inflammation and redness.