Krill oil has many health benefit applications due to its unique, natural composition of omega-3s EPA and DHA, phospholipids and choline.
Phospholipids assist in the transportation of omega-3 DHA across the blood brain barrier. Omega-3s play key roles in the proper structure and function of brain cell membranes and insufficient levels can lead to negative effects on brain functioning.
Omega-3s are especially important to help keep your eyes healthy, with the highest concentration of DHA in the body found in the retina. Omega-3 DHA helps your eyes to see and adjust to different light conditions.
Krill oil has shown to have beneficial effects related to heart health, such as lowering fasting triglyceride levels which are a risk factor for heart disease. Both choline and omega-3s found in krill oil work together to help keep the heart healthy.
Choline and omega-3s are important for maintaining
Omega-3s play an important role in regulating inflammation in the body, which can have a crucial impact in protecting our joints throughout life. Maintaining an optimal level of omega-3s helps our joints function at their best.
A 2016 study published in Progress in Lipid Research found that 97% of the world population has below the optimal level of omega-3s in their body. The lowest omega-3 levels were observed in North America, central and South America, Europe, Middle East, South East Asia
Another study from 2017 compared data from the U.S. and Germany found that despite adequate knowledge of the health benefits of omega-3s, 98% of the population exhibits levels below the optimal range for cardiac protection and protection against cardiovascular disease (21).
The Omega-3 Index is a measure of the amount of EPA and DHA in the red blood cell membranes, which correlates to the amount of these omega-3 fatty acids in the heart and other tissues. A measure of 8% or above is considered optimal for maintaining cardiovascular health while a level below 8% increases your risk of developing cardiac issues (22).
In light of this, Aker BioMarine formed The Omega-3 Index Project (O3i) with several global partners. The goal of the Project is to bring more awareness to the health consequences of low omega-3 levels, how to measure those levels, and how to increase these levels.
In Superba Krill oil, the majority of the omega-3s are bound to phospholipids, making them naturally more efficiently incorporated into the body’s cells than most other fish oils.
Krill oil offers many different benefits to help support a healthy and active lifestyle. Containing long chain omega 3s, krill oil is backed by a wealth of literature supporting the beneficial effects of these marine omega 3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA.
Many studies indicate a link between the level of omega-3 fatty acids in tissues and blood cells with the overall health of the cardiovascular system (1-4). EPA and DHA omega 3s
However, krill oil is more than just an omega-3
“Superba Krill is the most researched krill oil brand on the market” - says Dr. Nils Hoem, Chief Scientist at Aker BioMarine.
Studies have shown that krill oil significantly raises the omega-3 index faster than fish oil. The phospholipids attached to krill oil’s omega-3s aid in better cellular integration and utilization of EPA and DHA in the body. Specifically, they aid in the incorporation of EPA and DHA into the red blood cell membranes, which is correlated with the levels of EPA and DHA in the heart (8-10).
A study by Ramprasath et al. 2013 (11) showed that when similar amounts of EPA and DHA were given as krill oil or fish oil to 24 health participants in a 4-week crossover trial, krill oil significantly increased the levels of omega 3 fatty acids in the blood and consequently the Omega-3 Index. This change was twice as high after the krill oil supplementation when compared with fish oil (11).
Phospholipids are the main component of the transporter of omega-3s (EPA & DHA) across the
In 2014, Aker BioMarine conducted a study on 300 subjects with high triglyceride levels, an important marker for CVD risk. The study, published in Nutrition Research, found that krill oil supplementation was associated with a 10% reduction in triglyceride levels. The EPA & DHA in krill oil may help with lowering the risk of health issues associated with the cardiac system (15).
Choline is a conditionally essential nutrient which is needed by the body to make neurotransmitters, an important part of our nervous system, and indeed phospholipids.
Only a small amount of choline can be made in our bodies, so we need to obtain this nutrient from our diet. However, the national health and nutrition survey in 2003-2004 has concluded that 90% of the American population has an inadequate intake of choline (16).
Choline has been shown to have positive effects on nerve signaling, lipid metabolism and water balance in our cells. Interestingly, there is a strong link between choline deficiency and accumulation of fat in the liver (16,17). Making sure your diet contains enough choline is essential in maintaining healthy and balanced body functioning.
“Aker BioMarine is committed to exploring new ways by which krill oil can improve human health” - Andreas Berg Storsve, Director R&D, AKer BioMarine.
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Dues to its role in nerve signaling, choline may be especially beneficial in muscle function and sports.
If enough choline is available in the body, sufficient amounts of neurotransmitters can be produced, which have an integral role in muscle function. Studies have shown that marathon runners can end up with a 40% decrease in blood choline levels which could have an impact on performance (18). This effect could be exacerbated if choline levels are already low
Krill oil has been shown to strengthen markers of immune function, in a study conducted in 2015 by Da Boit et al, which could benefit those who engage in intense physical exercise (19). Since illness can affect training and performance, having a well-functioning immune system is important for athletes to perform at their best. Aker Biomarine is currently investigating the role of krill oil in sports to identify mechanisms by which krill oil can benefit athlete performance and recovery.
Aker BioMarine has recently conducted clinical trials to investigate the effects of krill oil on skin health. The proprietary, unpublished data demonstrates significant improvements