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Krill Oil is extracted from krill (Euphasia superba), small crustaceans that are found living deep within Antarctic oceans. Recent research in human clinical trials has allegedly found krill to be a rich source of healthy Omega fatty acids, especially Omega 3 fatty acids 1.
Omega 3 has been allegedly found to lower serum triglyceride levels, common biomarkers for heart disease risk, in numerous studies 2, 3. Eicosapentaeonic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are two of the most interesting fatty acids within the group of Omega 3 fatty acids, both alleged to play key roles in regulating inflammation 4, 5. One preliminary study allegedly found that Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation, particularly with higher dosages of EPA, was useful in managing symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) 6. Another study alleged that Omega 3 fatty acids may provide numerous mental health benefits particularly in regards to managing stress, mood disorders and anxiety 7.
In one study in the elderly it was found that krill oil assisted in cognitive function, even moreso than when compared to sardine oil. Also noted in the study was how the Omega 3 fatty acids in krill oil are in the form of phosphatidylcholine, as opposed to as triglycerides which are more common in fish and sardine oils 8. One study involving obese men and women compared the increase in bodily EPA and DHA levels in krill oil versus both menhaden oil and a control group over a 4 week period. The results allegedly showed that the krill oil group had a significant increase in EPA and DHA levels when compared to the other two groups, with no indication of adverse side effects 9.
Preliminary research shows krill oil may possess a variety of other health benefits as well. A study allegedly found krill oil to assist in the management of premenstrual symptoms and dysmenorrhea, even moreso than fish oil 10. Another study allegedly found krill oil to lower oxidative stress during intense physical activity and to reduce post-exercise recovery time 11. Unique to krill oil is also a substance called “astaxanthin”, which is obtained from the diet of krill. Astaxanthin has preliminary research from a multitude of studies suggesting potential in managing diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and diabetic nephropathy diseases, amongst others 12. Whether this research may lead to clinical relevance is yet to be determined.
The above statements refer to the supplement/drug used within the cited research. Individual results and effectiveness of this supplement may vary. Always consult your physician before beginning supplementation.
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11. Skarpanska-Stejnborn A, Pilaczyńska-Szcześniak Ł, et al. J Human Kinetics. 2010;25:49–57.
12. Yuan, J.-P., Peng, J., Yin, K., and Wang, J.-H. Mol Nutr Food Res. 55, 1 (2011), 150–165.