Krill Oil & Fish Oil

Krill, a tiny shrimp-like crustacean, is an important food source for marine animals. Krill, like fish oil, is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil and krill oil have both been shown through scientific search to have considerable health benefits. Fish oil and krill oil can be taken independently and as a combination therapy.

Weight Loss

Krill oil may be more efficient than fish oil at promoting weight loss and preventing metabolic syndrome, according to a study published in the January 2011 issue of the journal “Nutrition and Metabolism.” In the study, 2 g per day of krill oil lowered levels of endocannabinoids — a type of molecule related to appetite and weight control — more efficiently than the same amount of fish oil. The researchers noted that the benefits were observed in obese study participants, but not in overweight or normal-weight participants.

Blood Pressure

Fish oil may be better at lowering blood pressure than krill oil, according to a study published in the September 2009 issue of the journal “Nutrition Research.” In the study, overweight and obese participants to 2 g per day of krill oil, fish oil or olive oil for four weeks. While krill oil increased levels of eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexanoic acid, or DHA, significantly more than fish oil, systolic blood pressure — the upper number of the blood pressure ratio — declined significantly more in the fish oil group.

Cholesterol and Colon Cancer

A study published in the August 2008 issue of the journal “Lipids In Health and Disease,” reported that krill oil reduced cholesterol and inhibited colon cancer in laboratory animals. Total cholesterol, the LDL cholesterol and triglycerides decreased significantly, along with body weight. No effects on HDL-cholesterol were noted for the krill oil group. Krill oil inhibited growth in tissue cultures of colon cancer cells. The researchers concluded that krill oil shows promise as a functional food supplement.

PMS and Cholesterol

A study published in the September 2007 issue of the journal “Alternative Medicine Review” space found that krill oil may be superior to such oil the treatment of premenstrual syndrome and lowering cholesterol. Combination therapy using fish oil with phospholipids from krill oil produces good results in Huntington’s disease — a neurological disorder. Krill oil contains particularly high levels of phosphatidylcholine — a phospholipid that is an important component of cell membranes. The authors conclude that combination therapy using DHA/EPA with krill oil phospholipids provides a synergistic effect that may diversify the range of health benefits for the oils

Tracey Roizman, D.C., has been a freelance writer and speaker on natural and preventive health since 1995. She holds a B.S. in nutritional biochemistry, chiropractic degree, and is a postgraduate diplomate in functional neurology.

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