The heart health market for dietary supplements and health ingredients remains one of the largest markets, which is no surprise since cardiovascular disease and issues with the cardiovascular system are some of the most common causes of health issues in today’s modern world. Maintaining a healthy body and a healthy heart are among the top priorities of today’s health-conscious consumers.
Omega-3 fatty acids are some of the most well-known nutrients supporting heart health, however choosing the right omega-3 supplement for heart health benefits can be a difficult task, with an abundance of information and various options to choose from.
Krill oil stands out from the crowd with a unique advantage when it comes to supporting your heart and your heart systems. What does it boil down to? Krill oil contains both omega-3 fatty acids and choline offering a 2-pronged approach to providing support for your heart.
Antarctic krill oil for a healthy heart
Choline and omega-3s are two very important nutrients that our bodies need to function properly, and we must get them from the food we eat. They are different in that they support a variety of different functions in several areas around the body. However, when it comes to the heart, omega-3 and choline have some very distinct mechanisms that help keep our heart health in check, every day.
Read about all the health benefits of krill oil
Krill oil delivers choline and omega-3 fatty acids in the phospholipid form, for efficient delivery and uptake of these nutrients into the body’s cells.
Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA)
Omega-3s, in particular EPA and DHA, which are found in oily fish and krill oil, are some of the most researched nutrients on the planet. In fact, there are more scientific studies documenting the beneficial effects of omega-3s EPA and DHA on our health than any other nutrient, including Vitamin D and Vitamin C.
Based on strong scientific evidence, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), one of the strictest health claim regulators in the world, has authorized the use of 6 health claims related to the benefits of EPA and DHA (omega-3s). When it comes to heart health, the following health claim applies:
EFSA Health Claim:"EPA and DHA contribute to the normal function of the heart"
Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) integrate into our cell membranes where they exert their beneficial effects. They help to keep cell membranes fluid and flexible, whilst slowing the build of plaque in the blood vessels and can help to reduce triglyceride levels, which can be a risk factor for developing cardiovascular issues.
A double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial published in Nutrition Research demonstrated the beneficial effects of krill oil supplementation on heart health. Participants who took krill oil for 12 weeks reduced their fasting triglyceride levels (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease) by 10% relative to placebo.
Choline heart health benefits
Choline is an essential nutrient that we must obtain from our diet. Choline plays a vital role in many of our body systems, but importantly, it is a vital precursor to acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter.
This neurotransmitter plays a role in keeping our muscle control and function operating normally – including one of our most important muscles, the heart. Choline also plays a role in cell to cell signalling to help our cells communicate and do their job efficiently.
When it comes to heart health, there are two mechanisms whereby choline can have a beneficial effect.
EFSA Health Claim:“Choline contributes to the maintenance of normal lipid metabolism”
Choline is a key building block for lipoproteins, which help transport fat and cholesterol out of the liver and into the body to be used and metabolized. Having adequate levels of choline intake helps ensure that fat and cholesterol are not left in the liver to build up. Krill oil is a powerful way to supplement the body with the choline it needs to maintain a healthy liver and cardiovascular system.
EFSA Health Claim:“Choline contributes to normal homocysteine metabolism”
High homocysteine levels have been suggested as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and can lead to damage to the blood vessels such as arteries, eventually leading to problems with your cardiovascular system. Choline helps convert homocysteine into methionine which can then be used safely by the body or excreted. In this way, adequate choline intake can help keep your homocysteine levels in check.
Choline is an underrated nutrient in krill oil that you should not ignore!
The ‘heart’ of the matter
Your heart is arguably your body’s most important muscle and it has a tough job to do. To support it the best you can it’s important to get enough of the right nutrients throughout life. Omega-3s and choline from krill oil, in addition to a healthy diet, can be a cost-effective and efficient way to ensure that you’re getting enough of these nutrients to support a healthy heart.