Krill Oil and Its Heart Health Benefits
For years, many doctors have been proponents of fish oil supplements because they were an excellent source of omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to positively affect heart health by reducing blood pressure and triglycerides while inhibiting inflammation. Today, doctors are paying more attention to krill oil, which is harvested from tiny crustaceans in the Antarctic Ocean. Oil from krill contains high quality omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA along with potent anti-oxidants and phospholipids. Astaxanthin, an anti-oxidant from the nutrient family of beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein, has been shown to be especially effective in the human body for its various health benefits.
Krill oil from the Antarctic krill has been shown to lower bad LDL cholesterol while raising good HDL cholesterol in a 12-week study conducted on 180 women and men. The researchers compared the effects of fish oil versus krill oil on users with elevated blood lipid levels, and found that krill oil outperformed the fish oil for the reduction of total cholesterol. 1 to 1.5g of krill oil or 3g of fish oil were given to users each day. Higher doses of krill oil lowered users’ triglycerides, which the fish oil did not do. The researchers believe that krill oil’s unique molecular structure make it more potent than the fish oil supplement and helps to perform better.
The EPA contained in krill oil has been found to significantly improve heart health in other studies, as well. In 2007, 81 men with unhealthy levels in blood sugar were randomly chosen to receive 1800mg of EPA each day versus 81 that were used as a control group. The thickness of their carotid arteries and blood flow measurements were measured before and after the tests for about two years. Sixty patients completed the study, and those given EPA had a significant decrease in carotid artery thickness and improvements in blood flow.
Another EPA study was published by The Lancet in 2007, and was conducted on more than 18,000 patients who suffered from unhealthy cholesterol levels. These patients were randomly chosen to take 1800mg of E–EPA along with a statin drug or the statin drug by itself for five years. The patients given E–EPA demonstrated superior cardiovascular function and there was a significant reduction in nonfatal coronary events. Fish oil has only been found to lower HDL cholesterol if it is substituted for the saturated fats in dairy that can increase LDL cholesterol. Before taking any supplement, even an all-natural one, it is best to discuss this option with your doctor if you are hoping to lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels with krill oil.
The ingredients in krill oil have been proven to effectively improve and maintain cardiovascular health in several studies. As known by many statin drugs have several potential side effects which are undesirable. Therefore, If you are taking statins to control your cholesterol, it might be also a good idea to talk to your doctor about trying a krill oil supplement to help regulate your cholesterol levels. The benefits to your entire body can pleasantly surprise you!