4 Proven Health Benefits of Krill Oil

Ever since krill oil broke onto the scene in the early 2000s, people have tried drawing parallels between krill oil and fish oil, but the truth is that two have many perks independent of each other. Many of these perks were outlined in our article Fish Oil or Krill Oil? That is the Question, but we wanted to drill into some of the more specific health benefits that come from adding omega-rich krill oil to your regimen.

Here are 6 scientifically proven reasons you may want to consider adding krill oil to your daily regimen.

1. Krill Oil’s One-Two Punch Promotes Better Eye Health

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP), which is a major risk factor for glaucoma. But krill oil actually goes a step farther in offering vision support, as astaxanthin — the powerful antioxidant compound responsible for krill’s pink hue — floods the cells of the eyes with impressive free-radical fighting support.

In a recent study, researchers recruited a group of young adults with normal blood pressure.

The participants were randomized to receive one of the following for three months: krill oil, fish oil, fish-plus-flaxseed oils or a placebo.

Those taking the omega-3 supplements showed a significant 8% reduction in IOP across the groups. The placebo group, on the other hand, showed increased IOP.

Numerous studies also show that taking the omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil can help soothe dry, irritated eyes and that the phospholipid based DHA and EPA in krill, may produce more therapeutic benefits than regular fish oil can.

2. Krill Oil Fights Inflammation and Curbs Joint Pain

The omega-3 fatty acids and powerful antioxidants in krill oil can help fight off chronic inflammation. They work by lowering levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory protein associated with heart disease, diabetes, dementia and some forms of cancer.

In one study, 90 patients with cardiovascular disease and/or arthritis took 300 mg of krill oil for 30 days. At day seven, levels of the inflammatory protein C-reactive protein (CRP) were reduced by a whopping 19.3%. And by the end of the trial, CRP was decreased by nearly 31%.

At the same time, all of the arthritis patients showed significant reduction in pain scores and stiffness as well as improvements in physical function.

Another study, which compared the anti-inflammatory effect of krill oil against omega-3 oil, found that krill had a significantly higher effect when it came to reducing CRP levels.

The study authors attribute this inflammation fighting power to astaxanthin, which has also been shown to be an extraordinarily potent anti-inflammatory.

3. Krill Oil Helps Support Your Brian Health

Numerous studies find that the DHA and EPA fish and krill oils help prevent brain shrinkage, boost blood flow to the brain, aid in the clearance of beta amyloid and strengthen neuron activity.

But when it comes to cognitive function, krill oil may have a leg up on traditional triglyceride-based fish oils.

This is due to the fact that the omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil are phospholipid based. These phospholipids carry both DHA and EPA directly into your cell membranes, so they cross cellular barriers more effectively than triglyceride-based fish oil.

4. Krill Oil Promotes Heart Health and Lowers Cholesterol Levels

DHA and EPA are both well-known for their cardiovascular benefits. But, guess what happened when researchers performed a head-to-head test comparing the effects of krill oil vs. fish oil, on patients with high cholesterol and triglycerides?: Those taking a 3g dose of krill oil each day saw their total cholesterol decreased by 18%!

Over 12 weeks, researchers had patients take a daily dose of krill oil, fish oil or a placebo oil and when the end of the study rolled around the krill oil group not only saw the 18% reduction in total cholesterol, they also saw their LDL cholesterol drop by 39%, good HDL cholesterol increase by 60% and triglycerides decreased by 27%.

While they still experienced some notable changes, those in the group taking 3g of fish oil each day did not fare nearly as well the krill oil group. Their total cholesterol only decreased by 6%. With their LDL levels only showing a meager 5% drop, with HDL rising by 4% and having an only small, insignificant drop in triglycerides.

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Scientific References:

Bunea R, et al. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the clinical course of hyperlipidemia. Altern Med Rev . 2004 Dec;9(4):420-8.

Kravitz BA, et al. Elevated C-reactive protein levels are associated with prevalent dementia in the oldest-old. Alzheimers Dement . 2009 Jul;5(4):318-23.

Watanabe Y, et al. Elevated C-Reactive Protein Is Associated with Cognitive Decline in Outpatients of a General Hospital: The Project in Sado for Total Health (PROST). Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra . 2016 Jan 19;6(1):10-9.

Dehghan A, et al. Risk of type 2 diabetes attributable to C-reactive protein and other risk factors. Diabetes Care . 2007 Oct;30(10):2695-9.

Prizment AE, et al. Plasma C-reactive protein, genetic risk score, and risk of common cancers in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Cancer Causes Control . 2013 Dec;24(12):2077-87.

Deutsch L. Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms. J Am Coll Nutr . 2007 Feb;26(1):39-48.

Konagai C, et al. Effects of krill oil containing n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in phospholipid form on human brain function: a randomized controlled trial in healthy elderly volunteers. Clin Interv Aging . 2013; 8: 1247–1257.

Pottala JV, et al. Higher RBC EPA + DHA corresponds with larger total brain and hippocampal volumes: WHIMS-MRI study” Neurology . 2014 Feb 4;82(5):435-42.

Jackson PA, et al. DHA-rich oil modulates the cerebral haemodynamic response to cognitive tasks in healthy young adults: a near IR spectroscopy pilot study. Br J Nutr . 2012 Apr;107(8):1093-8.

Fernando Gómez-Pinilla. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nat Rev Neurosci . Jul 2008; 9(7): 568–578.

Downie LE, et al. Oral Omega-3 Supplementation Lowers Intraocular Pressure in Normotensive Adults. Transl Vis Sci Technol . 2018 May 1;7(3):1.

Deinema LA, et al. A Randomized, Double-Masked, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of Two Forms of Omega-3 Supplements for Treating Dry Eye Disease. Ophthalmology . 2017 Jan;124(1):43-52.

Sampalis F, et al. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the management of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea. Altern Med Rev . 2003 May;8(2):171-9.

Dana Nicholas is a freelance writer and researcher in the field of natural and alternative healing. She has over 20 years of experience working with many noted health authors and anti-aging professionals, including James Balch, M.D., Dr. Linda Page, “Amazon” John Easterling and Al Sears M.D. Dana’s goal is to keep you up-to-date on information, news and breakthroughs that can have a direct impact on your health, your quality of life… and your lifespan. “I’m absolutely convinced that America’s misguided trust in mainstream medicine – including reliance on the government to regulate our food and medicine supply – is killing us, slowly but surely,” she cautions. “By sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years I hope I can empower others to take control over their own health.”

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