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Health Benefits

Improving human health

Krill oil has many health benefit applications due to its unique, natural composition of omega-3s EPA and DHA, phospholipids and choline.

omega-3s

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These essential fatty acids are one of the most researched nutrients, with a wide range of health benefits for your heart, eyes, liver and brain.

phospholipids

Phospholipids

Phospholipids help omega-3s integrate into the blood cell membranes leading to a higher level of omega-3s in the body’s organs when compared with most fish oils.  

choline

Choline

Choline is an essential nutrient for many body functions such as nerve signaling, liver and muscle functioning. Our body can't make enough therefore we must obtain it from our diet.  

astaxanthin

Astaxanthin

This natural antioxidant gives krill oil its red color, but also protects the oil from oxidation, eliminating the need to add preservatives.  

Superba-krill-brain-health Superba Krill Brain Health Benefits

Brain

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. 

Superba-krill-eye-health Superba Krill Eye Health Benefits

Eyes

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.

 

Superba-krill-eye-health Superba Krill Eye Health Benefits
Superba-krill-heart-health Superba Krill Heart Health Benefits

Heart

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.

Superba-krill-liver-health Superba Krill Liver Health Benefits

Liver

Choline and omega-3s are important for maintaining healthy liver function and aid in the proper metabolism of fat. The liver is a major organ which helps regulate the levels of nutrients in our blood. It's protection from damage is vital to good health.

Superba-krill-liver-health Superba Krill Liver Health Benefits
Superba-krill-joint-health Supberba Krill Joint Health Benefits

Joints

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.

Superba-krill-skin-health Superba Krill Skin Health Benefits

Skin

Omega-3s play a role in modulating the hydration and elasticity of the skin. Maintaining proper hydration of the skin helps prevent dryness and keeps the skin feeling smooth and soft.

Superba-krill-skin-health Superba Krill Skin Health Benefits

Importance of raising omega-3 levels

 

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 and Africa – those who have adapted to the westernized food habits (20).  

 

Get your Omega-3 Index Whitepaper

 

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). 

 

Omega-3-Index-Levels-Map

 

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).

 

omega-3 index-scale

 

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. 

Superba Krill - the most researched brand

Superba KrillTM is the most researched krill oil brand on the market with several studies documenting its efficiency in raising the Omega-3 Index in the body.

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: Multiple benefits and target areas 

 

Findings and current areas of research 

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 in particular have been shown to help the body deal with inflammation by keeping omega 6 fatty acids in balance whilst aiding in maintaining healthy cell membranes and supporting a variety of different functions at the cellular level (5-7) 

However, krill oil is more than just an omega-3 supplement, and provides additional advantages due to other naturally occurring constituents, choline and phospholipids. This opens up new and exciting opportunities that go beyond the traditional health benefits of omega-3 supplements.  

 

“Superba Krill is the most researched krill oil brand on the market” - says Dr. Nils Hoem, Chief Scientist at Aker BioMarine.

 

Phospholipids: Krill oil raises the Omega-3 Index faster than fish oil 

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 blood brain barrier. DHA is especially important for brain function, structure and maintenance throughout all stages of life, and accounts for about 40% of all the poly-unsaturated fatty acids (long chain PUFAs) in the brain. Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated that omega 3s (specifically DHA) delivered with phospholipids can lead to higher levels of omega-3 incorporation in the brain (12,13). Exciting research is ongoing in this area to investigate how this can impact on brain function and maintaining a healthy brain.

 

 

 

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: An underrated nutrient with a myriad of important functions 

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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New areas of exploration: Sports Nutrition and Skin Health 

Dues to its role in nerve signaling, choline may be especially beneficial in muscle function and sports. Intense physical activity challenges cellular functions and increases the stress on our muscles and joints in order to perform at a high level.  

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 to begin with.

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.  

Skin hydration and elasticity

Aker BioMarine has recently conducted clinical trials to investigate the effects of krill oil on skin health. The proprietary, unpublished data demonstrates significant improvements on skin hydration and elasticity which may improve skin smoothness and softness. Research is continuing in this area to understand the mechanisms behind these improvements in skin health.  

 

References

  1. Casula, M., et al., Long-term effect of high dose omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for secondary prevention of cardiovascular outcomes: A meta-analysis of randomized, placebo controlled trials [corrected]. Atheroscler Suppl, 2013. 14(2): p. 243-51.
  2. Ramprasath, V.R., et al., Enhanced increase of omega-3 index in healthy individuals with response to 4-week n-3 fatty acid supplementation from krill oil versus fish oil. Lipids Health Dis, 2013. 12(1): p. 178.
  3. Wang, C., et al., n-3 Fatty acids from fish or fish-oil supplements, but not alpha-linolenic acid, benefit cardiovascular disease outcomes in primary- and secondary-prevention studies: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr, 2006. 84(1): p. 5-17.
  4. Wen, Y.T., J.H. Dai, and Q. Gao, Effects of Omega-3 fatty acid on major cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis, 2014. 24(5): p. 470-5.
  5. Banni, S. and V. Di Marzo, Effect of dietary fat on endocannabinoids and related mediators: consequences on energy homeostasis, inflammation and mood. Mol Nutr Food Res, 2010. 54(1): p. 82-92.
  6. Calder, P.C., Marine omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: Effects, mechanisms and clinical relevance. Biochim Biophys Acta, 2015. 1851(4): p. 469-484.
  7. Cottin, S.C., T.A. Sanders, and W.L. Hall, The differential effects of EPA and DHA on cardiovascular risk factors. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 2011. 70(2): p. 215-31.
  8. Harris, W.S. and C. Von Schacky, The Omega-3 Index: a new risk factor for death from coronary heart disease? Prev Med, 2004. 39(1): p. 212-20.
  9. Metcalf, R.G., et al., Relation between blood and atrial fatty acids in patients undergoing cardiac bypass surgery. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2010. 91(3): p. 528-34.
  10. Metcalf, R.G., et al., Effects of fish-oil supplementation on myocardial fatty acids in humans. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 2007. 85(5): p. 1222-8.
  11. Ramprasath, V.R., et al., Enhanced increase of omega-3 index in healthy individuals with response to 4-week n-3 fatty acid supplementation from krill oil versus fish oil. Lipids Health Dis, 2013. 12(1): p. 178.
  12. Graf, B.A., et al., Age dependent incorporation of 14C-DHA into rat brain and body tissues after dosing various 14C-DHA-esters. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 2010. 83(2): p. 89-96.
  13. Liu, L., et al., Higher efficacy of dietary DHA provided as a phospholipid than as a triglyceride for brain DHA accretion in neonatal piglets. J Lipid Res, 2014. 55(3): p. 531-9.
  14. Dasgupta, S.; Bhattacharyya, D.K. Dietary effect of eicosapentaenoic acid (epa) containing soyphospholipid. J Oleo Sci 2007, 56, 563-568.
  15. Berge K, Musa-Veloso K, Harwood M, Hoem N, Burri L. Krill oil supplementation lowers serum triglycerides without increasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in adults with borderline high or high triglyceride levels. Nutrition research. 2014 Feb 1;34(2):126-33.
  16. Jensen, H.H.; Batres-Marquez, S.P.; Carriquiry, A.; Schalinske, K.L. Choline in the diets of the us population: Nhanes, 2003-2004. FASEB J 2007, 21, LB46.
  17. Fischer, L.M.; daCosta, K.A.; Kwock, L.; Stewart, P.W.; Lu, T.S.; Stabler, S.P.; Allen, R.H.; Zeisel, S.H. Sex and menopausal status influence human dietary requirements for the nutrient choline. Am J Clin Nutr 2007, 85, 1275-1285.
  18. von Allworden, H.N.; Horn, S.; Kahl, J.; Feldheim, W. The influence of lecithin on plasma choline concentrations in triathletes and adolescent runners during exercise. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology 1993, 67, 87-91.
  19. Da Boit M, Mastalurova I, Brazaite G, McGovern N, Thompson K, Gray SR. The effect of krill oil supplementation on exercise performance and markers of immune function. PloS one. 2015 Sep 25;10(9):e0139174.
  20. Stark KD, Van Elswyk ME, Higgins MR, Weatherford CA, Salem N. Global survey of the omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in the blood stream of healthy adults. Progress in lipid research. 2016 Jul 31;63:132-52.
  21. Thuppal SV, Von Schacky C, Harris WS, Sherif KD, Denby N, Steinbaum SR, Haycock B, Bailey RL. Discrepancy between Knowledge and Perceptions of Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake Compared with the Omega-3 Index. Nutrients. 2017 Aug 24;9(9):930.
  22. Harris WS, Von Schacky C. The Omega-3 Index: a new risk factor for death from coronary heart disease?. Preventive medicine. 2004 Jul 1;39(1):212-20.

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