STUDIES & EXPERT OPINIONS

Krill oil significantly normalises indicators of blood lipids

There have been several studies which indicate the beneficial effect krill oil has in normalising blood lipids. Krill oil decreases blood cholesterol better than fish oil, and is almost three times as effective.
The purpose of a randomised, prospective, multi-centred clinical study was to find out how krill oil and fish oil affect blood lipids: the total cholesterol level, triglyceride (TG) level, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (“bad” or LD) level, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol („good” or HD) level and the glucose level in the blood. 120 participants were divided into four groups: 1–1.5 g krill oil group (A), 2–3 g krill oil group (B), fish oil group (3 grams) (C) and the placebo group (D). The research lasted 12 weeks. Krill oil decreased total cholesterol (13–18%, depending on the dose, but fish oil by 6%); ”bad” cholesterol (by 32–39%, but fish oil by 5%), triglycerides (by 11–28%, but fish oil by 3%) and increased the ”good” cholesterol (by 44–59%, but fish oil by 4%). Also the glucose level significantly decreased in all groups taking krill oil. The results show that krill oil decreases the level of glucose, triglycerides and ”bad” cholesterol much more effectively than fish oil, and is also more effective than fish oil in reducing hyperlipidaemia.

Research publication: Bunea R, El Farrah K, Deutsch L. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the clinical course of hyperlipidemia. Altern Med Rev. 2004 Dec;9(4):420-8.

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Krill oil decreases hunger

The endocannabinoid system is a unique communication system in the brain and body, which among other things stimulates hunger. The source of endocannabinoids is the Omega-6 arachidonic acid found in cell membranes.
A double-blind, randomised study shows that the amount of these hunger-inducing substances in the body is decreased by Omega-3 phospholipids from krill oil. 63 participants, both normal body weight (body mass index or BMI = 18.5–24.9) and overweight (BMI = 25–29.9), as well as with obesity (BMI > 30) took part in the research. After taking 2g of krill oil or olive oil as a food supplement for four weeks, the level of hunger-inducing endocannabinoids significantly decreased (p<0.001) in the group of obese people.

 Research publication: Banni S et al. Krill oil significantly decreases 2-arachidonoylglycerol plasma levels in obese subjects. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011; 8: 7.

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Most athletes have a low Omega-3 index

A German study (Kemper et al) showed that only one out of 96 athletes had a sufficiently high Omega-3 index (8–11%): the most precise indicator of the presence of Omega-3 fatty acids in the body.
Most of the participants had an insufficient level of Omega-3, and the athletes were exposed to unnecessary risk of disease, such as congestive heart failure, depression, lowered cognitive ability (including a decreased level of reaction), osteoporosis, delayed immune reaction and inflammation. The reason for a low level of Omega-3 in the athletes’ cells is that most Omega-3 fatty acids taken in with food are used to produce energy. Krill oil is a better source of Omega-3 for athletes, because it is in phospholipid form and thus not suitable for producing energy. Most of it is incorporated in the cells’ membrane, making for a higher level of Omega-3 in the body, unlike the triglycerides contained in fish oil, which are much more suitable for energy production, but do not fit the structure of the cell so well.

Research publications: Buckley JD et al. DHA-rich fish oil lowers heart rate during submaximal exercise in elite Australian Rules footballers. J Sci Med Sport. 2009 Jul;12(4):503-7.

Peoples GE et al. Fish oil reduces heart rate and oxygen consumption during exercise. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2008 Dec;52(6):540-7. 

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Omega-3 fatty acids protect the heart of an athlete and help it slow down quicker after a work-out

Regardless of the kind of sports you play, a high physical load is a great test for the body, especially for the heart muscle. Every year highly-trained young athletes, including football players, cyclists and runners, die due to sudden cardiac death.
People with regular heavy physical loads must pay special attention to the health of their heart, also making use of the protective effect of Omega-3. 25 elite footballers took part in a double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled study. Some took Omega-3 fatty acids (6 g), while the others took sunflower oil. In the Omega-3 user group there was a significant decrease in the level of triglycerides, blood pressure, and pulse during submaximal loads, compared with sunflower oil users. In another double-blind, placebo-controlled study which compared the effect of using Omega-3 and olive oil for eight weeks on the consumption of oxygen for highly-trained cyclists, oxygen consumption during physical load decreased for the Omega-3 user group, while their athletic performance did not diminish. The Omega-3 group also showed a quicker normalisation of pulse after a physical load, which is a useful factor in sports like biathlon. This effect of Omega-3 on the normalisation of the pulse and oxygen consumption is a positive one, because it means that both the heart and muscles have a lower load during physical activities. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA decrease the pulse during submaximal loads, and also decrease other health-endangering risk factors for elite athletes.

Research publications: Buckley JD et al. DHA-rich fish oil lowers heart rate during submaximal exercise in elite Australian Rules footballers. J Sci Med Sport. 2009 Jul; 12(4):503-7. 
Peoples GE et al. Fish oil reduces heart rate and oxygen consumption during exercise. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2008 Dec; 52(6):540-7. 

 

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Krill oil decreases arthritis symptoms by 30%

A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study proves that krill oil significantly diminishes symptoms of chronic inflammation and arthritis.
90 participants with cardio-vascular problems and/or rheumatoid arthritis, and/or osteoarthritis and an increased level of the inflammation marker C reactive protein (CRP > 1.0 mg/dl) were divided into two groups. One of the groups took 300mg of krill oil daily, and the other group took a placebo. As early as after seven days the CRP level decreased by 19.3% in the krill oil user group, whereas in the placebo group the CRP had increased by 15.7%. After taking krill oil for two weeks, the CRP level decreased even further, leading to a total decrease by 29.7%, whereas in the placebo group the CRP level in the body had increased even further. Krill oil significantly decreased pain (-28.9%), stiffness (-20.3%) and functional disturbances (-22.8%) after only 7 days (referring to the WOMAC osteoarthritis scale). Krill oil decreases the level of CRP, an indicator of inflammation. Any decrease of CRP beneficially affects the treatment/prevention of inflammation diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and inflamed blood vessels.

Research publication: 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.

 

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Extra intake of EPA and DHA promotes blood circulation

EPA and DHA fatty acids improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure. The exact same effect occurs during a physical load. Improved blood circulation accounts for lower muscle damage and quicker muscle regeneration after a physical load.
A beneficial effect can be observed even on untrained people. 27 people who had abstained from any kind of training 60 days before the test, took part in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The Omega-3 user group (1.8 g per day) experienced less muscle pain after the load, compared to the placebo group.

Research publication: Tartibian B et al. The effects of ingestion of omega-3 fatty acids on perceived pain and external symptoms of delayed onset of muscle soreness in untrained men. Clin J Sport Med. 2009 Mar; 19(2):115-9.

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Extra intake of EPA and DHA improves the physical condition of people not doing sports

Untrained older women showed better muscle fitness and functional ability after taking 2g of Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA daily for 60 days before starting to train and during the training period, compared with the group that did not take these fatty acids 1.

In another study, non-trained people showed a decreased inflammation reaction after a heavy physical load2. Another double-blind, placebo-controlled study, featuring 40 trained people taking 2224 mg EPA + 2208 mg DHA for six weeks, showed decreased levels of the inflammation markers C reactive protein (CRP) and tomor necrosis factor alpha  (TNF – alpha) in the body while resting3.
 
Research publications:
1.    Rodacki CL et al. Fish-oil supplementation enhances the effects of strength training in elderly women. Am J Clin Nutr 95, 428-436.
2.    Tartibian B et al. Omega-3 fatty acids supplementation attenuates inflammatory markers after eccentric exercise in untrained men. Clin J Sport Med. 2011 Mar; 21(2):131-7. 
3.    Bloomer RJ et al. Effect of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid on resting and exercise-induced inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers: a randomized, placebo controlled, cross-over study. Lipids Health Dis. 2009 Aug 19; 8:36. 
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Krill oil diminishes PMS symptoms for more than 35%

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is combination of physical and emotional symptoms, connected with hormonal swings during the menstrual cycle. Up to 85% of women of reproductive age have experienced at least one of the PMS symptoms, the most common of which are irritability, tension and depression.
These or others of the 200 or so PMS symptoms appear about 10 days before menstruation, and disappear right before or following the start of menstruation. A double-blind, randomised clinical study shows that taking krill oil significantly decreases a number of PMS symptoms. 70 women, divided into two groups, took part in the study. One of the groups took 2g of krill oil, while the other took the same amount of fish oil. The research lasted 90 days. Even after the first 45 days, many of the initial emotional and physical PMS symptoms had diminished within the krill oil user group (p<0.001). The effect of fish oil on PMS was limited: gaining weight and bloating stopped, but the other symptoms remained as intensive as they had been initially. Also after the 90 days of taking fish oil were over, no more significant effects on the range of PMS symptoms were observed. Having taken krill oil for 90 days, the women showed less frequent necessity for painkillers than at the beginning of the research and up to the 45th day of the research (p<0.001). Krill oil can help diminish a wider variety of PMS symptoms than fish oil.

Research publication: Sampalis F., et al. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the management of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea. Altern Med Rev 2003, 8(2):171-179

 

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Krill oil for Potency

The conclusions of studies regarding the connection between sexual activity and the Mediterranean diet are unanimous: it is effective for men with troubled potency!
After summarizing the data of various studies, it has been proven that about a third of men can recover their sexual ability by converting to healthy lifestyle, including adhering to the basic principles of the Mediterranean diet as well as increasing physical activity. The effect can be noticed after two years. Consuming fruit, vegetables, nuts, whole-grain products and fish, whilst reducing the amount of pork and beef in their daily diet are characteristic of men with normal erectile function. Comparing the Mediterranean diet with other diets in terms of effect on potency, the former is without doubt more effective.

Research publications: Giugliano D, Giugliano F, Esposito K. Sexual dysfunction and the Mediterranean diet. Public Health Nutr. 2006 Dec;9(8A):1118-20.

Esposito K, Giugliano F, Maiorino MI, Giugliano D. Dietary factors, Mediterranean diet and erectile dysfunction. J Sex Med. 2010 Jul;7(7):2338-45. 

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The level of Omega-3 and folic acid during pregnancy and the child’s behaviour

Folic acid (B9) ensures the normal development of the foetus’ central nervous system both during the first weeks of pregnancy, when the neural tube is created 1, and the next trimesters of pregnancy.
The higher the level of Omega-3 in the body of the mother-to-be, the lesser the risk of premature labour. The discovery by scientists with regard to the development of the foetus’ nervous system and the child’s behaviour when they are six years of age is also interesting. According to the observations of scientists, these facts can also be related to the amount of Omega-3 in the mother’s body during pregnancy 2. Folic acid and astaxanthin are the two substances that, taken together with Omega-3 fatty acids, encourage the better absorption of Omega-3 fatty acid in pregnant women 1.

1. Malouf M, Grimley EJ, Areosa SA. Folic acid with or without vitamin B12 for cognition and dementia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(4):CD004514. 

2. D'Souza V, Chavan-Gautam P, Joshi S.Counteracting oxidative stress in pregnancy through modulation of maternal micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids.Curr Med Chem. 2013;20(37):4777-83.

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The role of EPA and DHA in the development of the nervous system

The Omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHS), are one of the few nutrients the amount of which in mother’s milk highly depends on the mother’s nutrition.
The more EPA and DHA the mother consumes during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period, the more of them are in the mother’s milk. These fatty acids play a very important role in the development of the baby’s nervous system, which is extremely rapid during the baby’s first year. The weight of the brain during the baby’s first year increases almost three-fold: from 350g at birth to about 925 grams at the age of one 1;2. Research shows that children born to mothers with a higher concentration of DHA in the body can concentrate better at the age of two. During their first six months, these babies developed quicker than babies born to mothers with a low concentration of DHA in the blood samples taken from umbilical cords 3.

1. Nishimura RY et al. Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid intake during late pregnancy affects fatty acid composition of mature breastmilk.Nutrition. 2014 Jun;30(6):685-9.

2. Innis SM. Impact of maternal diet on human milk composition and neurological development of infants. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;99(3):734S-41S.

3. Greenberg A. J., Bell J. S., Wendy Van Ausdal. Omega – 3 Fatty Acids Supplementation During Pregnancy// http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2621042/pdf/RIOG001004_0162.pdf (sk.28.05.2013.)

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Taking DHA fatty acids during pregnancy improves a baby’s immune system in the first months of life

It is a well-known fact that a mother’s eating habits during pregnancy can have an effect on the functioning of the baby’s immune cells.
A double-blind randomised placebo-controlled research in which almost 1000 women took part, showed that babies whose mothers took 400 mg of the indispensable docosahexaenoic acid DHA daily during pregnancy, caught a cough 26% less often and rhinitis 20% less often than other babies. The babies that did fall ill showed far less severe symptoms, and also the illness lasted a shorter period of time.

Research publication: Imhoff-Kunsch B et al. Prenatal docosahexaenoic acid supplementation and infant morbidity: randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2011 Sep;128(3).

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Vitamin B6 is highly effective for severe anaemia in pregnancy

During the third trimester of pregnancy, mothers-to-be sometimes suffer from pregnancy-related anaemia. It is treated with medication that contains iron, so that the baby will not suffer from a lack of oxygen.
In this period, the reserves of not only iron and ferritin, but also vitamin B6 are far below normal. Vitamin B6 deficiency can be one of the reasons why iron reserves in the body are not easily renewed. Vitamin B6 is proven to be effective in cases of pregnancy-related anaemia that are difficult to treat 3.

3. Hisano M, Suzuki R, Sago H, Murashima A, Yamaguchi K. Vitamin B6 deficiency and anemia in pregnancy. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Feb;64(2):221-3

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Connection between a baby’s crying and the vitamin B 12 level in the mother’s body

The first attempt of Dutch scientists to explain the connection between crying in babies and their mother’s insufficient nutrition has produced interesting results.
The babies of mothers whose vitamin B12 level has been normal during pregnancy are a lot calmer, whereas the babies of mothers who have had an insufficient vitamin B12 level during pregnancy are hearty criers and cry for about three hours a day. First of all, the baby’s nervous system is not fully developed at birth, due to a lack of vitamin B12. Secondly, a lack of B12 might have caused disturbances in the sleep cycle, as the level of the sleep hormone melatonin is below normal 4.

4. Goedhart G, van der Wal MF, van Eijsden M, Bonsel GJ.Maternal vitamin B-12 and folate status during pregnancy and excessive infant crying. Early Hum Dev. 2011 Apr;87(4):309-14.

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