Here’s a health secret you might not know about: krill oil. This unique oil is full of essential fatty acids — mainly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA and EHA have been studied for their beneficial effects on the brain and heart, as well as their ability to improve eyesight (To learn more about DHA, read A Lesser-known Ability of Fish Oil.). Where does krill oil come from? It’s extracted from tiny shrimp-like creatures that live in all the world’s oceans.
In one clinical trial, researchers at the University of California searched for all the potential health benefits of krill oil by conducting a massive review of clinical trials. Here’s some of the positive evidence they found:
— In double-blind, randomized, controlled trials, DHA and EPA combinations have been shown to benefit attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, and aggression.
— Meta-analyses confirm benefits from EPA/DHA in major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, with promising results in schizophrenia and initial benefit for borderline personality disorder.
— Accelerated cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment are linked with lowered tissue levels of DHA/EPA. Supplementing with these two amino acids was found to improve cognitive function.
— Huntington disease responds favorably to EPA.
— Krill omega-3 phospholipids, containing DHA/EPA, markedly outperformed conventional fish oil when it came to DPH/EPA levels, triglycerides levels, and blood lipid levels.
— In double-blind trials for premenstrual syndrome/dysmenorrhea, krill oil outperformed all others.
— Krill omega-3 phospholipids demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity, lowering C-reactive protein levels.
In another clinical trial, a research team investigated the effects of krill oil and fish oil on EPA and DHA levels. A total of 113 subjects with normal or slightly elevated total blood cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels were randomized into three groups and given either six capsules of krill oil or three capsules of fish oil daily for seven weeks. A third group did not receive any supplementation and served as controls. The researchers found that there was a significant increase in plasma EPA and DHA in the subjects supplemented with the oils as compared with the controls.
To boost your nutritional health with krill oil, look for it at your local health-food store.