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How a daily dose of omega-3 phospholipids can boost women's health and wellness

Omega-3 Phospholipids Omega-3 Benefits Choline

14 min. read


Omega-3 phospholipids naturally containing choline has been the subject of scientific research for decades. Daily supplementing with these essential nutrients are proven to significantly improve women’s skin health and reduce symptoms of PMS and menopause. 


The global women’s health market is primed for growth, according to Polaris Market Research (1). Currently valued at US$38 billion (as of 2021), this market is expected to grow by nearly 5 percent by 2030, driven largely by greater general awareness and proactivity when it comes to women’s health and wellness.


Women’s health and beauty supplements make up a significant portion of this market, with women of childbearing age (31-50) comprising the largest consumer group of multivitamin or mineral supplements (2). It’s a statistic that signifies growing awareness about natural alternatives that can enhance wellness among women. 


For women of any age, omega-3 is a well-known and commonly used nutritional supplement. The body does not produce these essential fatty acids on its own, which is why humans from infancy to their senior years must consume omega-3 through food sources or dietary supplements. 


Effectiveness of omega-3s largely depends upon its source of origin

To get the most out of each omega-3 supplement, consumers need to evaluate the source. Most omega-3 products on store shelves are derived from fish oil. However, significant research has gone into exploring the effects of omega-3 from Antarctic krill, a tiny, bottom-feeding crustacean harvested around the Antarctic Peninsula.


Krill has something that fish oil simply doesn’t: phospholipids. Krill phospholipids play an important role in helping the body transport and absorb the omega-3 fatty acids. Phospholipids are already a natural part of the cell membrane, which means that the body recognizes it and absorbs it better, rather than storing it or metabolizing it on its journey through the digestive system (3).


This ‘phospholipid effect’ can make a significant impact on women’s health and wellness, in two areas in particular: skin health and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).


Phospholipid omega-3 supplements help women retain moisture and elasticity in skin

The skin is the largest organ in our bodies, and it has a major role to play in many of our bodily functions, such as regulating temperature and fighting off infection. The skin also plays a role in maintaining water levels in the body, serving as a barrier to limit the amount of water lost to the environment (4,5). As many women experience, especially during the winter months, the skin becomes dry and flakey, and it can be difficult to retain water moisture effectively. 


Dry skin is one of the biggest concerns among consumers, women in particular.
Dry skin is aggravated by several internal and external stressors, from cell hydration to the effects of sun and wind. As such, it is vital to nourish the skin cells throughout all three layers of the skin (6).


The outermost layer of skin is called the epidermis. This layer gives us protection from environmental elements and is responsible for the skin’s tone and texture. Under the epidermis is the dermis. This is the largest part of our skin structure and it contains connective tissue, such as elastic fibers and collagen. Below the dermis is the hypodermis. This is the innermost layer of skin which is made up of mostly fat, along with tissue and nerves that supply nutrients up through the skin layers. It’s also what protects us from the cold and helps us with shock absorption. (7) 


Superba_2D-Illustrations-Fig-1_v2.1-skin surface LOW


With omega-3 phospholipids, complete with nutrients like choline and astaxanthin, the skin is nourished from within. It works at a deep cellular level, across the skin layers, to help maintain hydration, elasticity and to optimize its barrier function by reducing water loss and improving the lipid (fat) barrier (3).


Phospholipids found in krill oil are what help lock in the moisture in the skin, promoting the skin barrier function. Astaxanthin is a natural antioxidant that helps protect the skin cells from damage and improve its resilience to environmental factors (8,9). 


In addition, krill oil phospholipid is an effective source of omega-3. Omega-3s are well-known and important fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, that increase our ability to retain moisture in the skin and keep our cells healthy from within. This makes our skin appear smoother and less inflamed (7,8,9). In addition, krill oil is a source of choline, which is an essential nutrient that helps us regulate water volume in our skin (10).


Cell & health benefits

Together, these benefits comprise the ‘triple effect’ of phospholipid omega-3s on the skin. Clinical tests on Aker BioMarine’s marine phospholipid skin care supplement,  have revealed that this unique combination of nutrients improves hydration, elasticity, and water retention in the skin.
As we age, women are increasingly focused on protecting and maintaining healthy skin, and krill represents a natural complex of nutrients that can give us the boost we need to maintain that much sought-after glow.”


Read more: The power of marine phospholipids for skin care



The phospholipid omega-3s effect on PMS

While dry skin can be bothersome for women, there’s perhaps nothing more aggravating than premenstrual syndrome. It’s a condition that can disrupt everyday life and impact women both emotionally and behaviorally.


Around 97 percent of women (of reproductive age) suffer from the symptoms of PMS (13). It’s a condition that occurs in the early stages of the menstrual cycle. Its exact cause is unclear, but it’s likely due to a fluctuation in hormones and related bodily inflammation.


Omega-3 has long been a go-to remedy for sufferers of PMS. But just like the lessons learned in the search for the right omega-3 supplement for the skin, the same goes for omega-3 for PMS: not all omega-3 supplements are equally effective.


The krill ‘phospholipid effect’ that yields significant skin benefits is also proven to alleviate some of the symptoms of PMS. Research on this very topic started 20 years ago, when a comparative study was run to measure the effects of krill oil versus fish oil in terms of giving women PMS relief (11). 


This scientific trial from 2003 was an early look into the impact of krill oil compared to fish oil on PMS symptoms. From this double-blind, randomized trial, the scientists concluded that krill demonstrated a statistically significant improvement (versus fish oil) after 45 and 90 days of treatment, proving its effectiveness in relieving both emotional and physical PMS symptoms.


In addition, the women in the trial who took krill reported taking significantly fewer over-the-counter pain remedies during the trial, versus the group consuming the fish oil supplements.


The same properties in krill that benefit the skin are also what aid the relief of PMS symptoms. Krill phospholipids ensure that more nutrients are absorbed into the cell membrane, which means that the body gets more of that essential omega-3, more choline and more astaxanthin with every supplement taken. Krill’s unique nutritional composition is also known to have anti-inflammatory effects, a finding that has been more recently confirmed through scientific studies on krill’s impact on joint pain. This effect could extend to PMS-related inflammation as well (12). 


Krill phospholipids are a powerful daily supplement that can give women relief by reducing the severity and frequency of their inflammatory PMS symptoms.


Read more: Daily supplementation with krill oil phospholipids helps ease pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms


The little red pill that gives a big health boost for women

Krill is the little red pill that can make a big impact on women’s health and wellness. From skin care to PMS symptoms, krill’s unique nutritional complex and its powerful phospholipid effect can yield significant benefits for women, especially in terms of skin health and PMS symptom relief.
The effects of krill for women are powerful and well-documented through scientific research, and the more we learn about krill, the more we understand just how meaningful it can be for our bodies as we age.”


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  1. Polaris Market Research: https://www.polarismarketresearch.com/industry-analysis/women-health-market
  2. Women’s Health And Beauty Supplements Market Size, Share & (globenewswire.com): https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/07/07/2475786/0/en/Women-s-Health-And-Beauty-Supplements-Market-Size-Share-Trends-Analysis-Report-By-Product-By-Application-By-Age-Group-By-Consumer-Group-By-Sales-Channel-By-Region-And-Segment-Forec.html
  3. van Hoogevest P, Fahr A. Phospholipids in cosmetic carriers. InNanocosmetics 2019 (pp. 95- 140). Springer, Cham
  4. Proksch, E., J.M. Brandner, and J.M. Jensen, The skin: an indispensable barrier. Exp Dermatol, 2008. 17(12): p. 1063-72.
  5. McCusker, M.M. and J.M. Grant-Kels, Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Clin Dermatol, 2010. 28(4): p. 440-51.2.
  6. Fanian, F., et al., Efficacy of micronutrient supplementation on skin aging and seasonal variation: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Clin Interv Aging, 2013. 8: p. 1527-37.7
  7. National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470464/#:~:text=It%20is%20made%20up%20of,and%20chemicals%2C%20and%20mechanical%20injur
  8. Tominaga K, Hongo N, Karato M, Yamashita E. Cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin on humans subjects. Acta Biochim Pol. 2012;59(1):43-7.
  9. Zhou X, Cao Q, Orfila C, Zhao J, Zhang L. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on the Effects of Astaxanthin on Human Skin Ageing. Nutrients. 2021 Aug 24;13(9):2917.
  10. Ueland PM. Choline and betaine in health and disease. Journal of inherited metabolic disease. 2011 Feb;34(1):3-15. Haruta Y, Kato K, Yoshioka T. Dietary phospholipid concentrate from bovine milk improves epidermal function in hairless mice. Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry. 2008, 72, 2151-2157.
  11. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the management of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea - PubMed (nih.gov): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12777162/
  12. Krill oil improved osteoarthritic knee pain in adults with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis: a 6-month multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial - PubMed (nih.gov): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35880828/
  13. Premenstrual syndrome - PMC (nih.gov):https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4548199/