The brain utilizes a tremendous amount of energy in processing information, making decisions, interpreting and perceiving everyday occurrences.
Since the brain itself is mainly composed of this energy-rich “good fat”, or omega-3 fatty acids, taking omega 3 supplements may result in enhanced cognition skills dealing with memory, attention, problem solving and learning.
Individuals taking omega 3 capsules have also reported positive emotional and mood adjustments.
Omega 3 krill oil benefits the brain in many ways, such as:
- facilitates communication between neurons by contributing to myelination
- maintains flexibility of cell membranes
- allows healthy synaptic transmission of mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters
- increases cell communication, resulting in clearer thinking and focus
- keeps blood freely flowing to allow more oxygen to reach the brain (the brain loves to “eat” oxygen)
It is easy to introduce Omega 3 krill oil into your diet by taking krill oil supplements, which contain pure omega 3 fatty acids. But what is krill oil and where does it come from?
Krill oil is from shrimp-like crustaceans, which live in large swarms in the Antarctic Ocean. Krill represents the principal food of many marine animals also living in those waters, and sustains much of the world’s marine life.
Krill oil, unlike fish oil, is free of pollutants such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls, or toxic industrial waste) which have been found in fish that live outside the clean waters of the South Pole. Poisoning caused by heavy metals (nickel, mercury, lead and cadmium, in particular) is also a danger potentially encountered by taking fish oil supplements.
Currently, literally hundreds of dietary supplements are advertised as containing omega 3 krill oil. However, most of these products only contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), and not the more potent and beneficial eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Because EPA and DHA are long-chain forms of omega 3 fatty acids exclusively found in fish and algae, they do not require the body to convert them into essential fatty acids.
However, ALA is the short-chain form of omega 3 fatty acids and originates from plants like soybeans, flax seeds and walnuts. Your body has no choice but to convert this type of fatty acid into the long-chain type, which the body can readily absorb. Conversion, however, can take quite a long time and some of the benefits can be lost in this lengthy process.
Other Benefits of Omega 3
During the 1970’s, researchers found that Inuit tribes living in Greenland were extraordinarily healthy, exhibiting little to no heart disease, diabetes, arteriosclerosis or other diseases normally inflicting individuals older than 35 years.
After performing studies for several months, these researchers found that these Eskimos consumed a diet high in fat from eating seals, whales and salmon, which contain omega 3 fatty acids.
Icelandic people are also some of the healthiest people in the world, exhibiting the same lack of European-based diseases that the Inuit do, along with having the lowest infant mortality rate and the longest life expectancy out of any other country in the world–even Japan. Again, results of studies by researchers indicate that the diet of Icelanders rely on marine life which contains high amounts of omega 3.
Other omega 3 krill oil benefits found in this study (and subsequent studies) include:
- facilitating joint mobility
- eliminating skin and complexion issues
- promoting health of the immune system
- aiding visual function
- alleviating ADHD behavior in children
- aids in nervous system health
- memory enhancement
- weight maintenance
- reduces occurrence of varicose veins
In 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration gave “qualified health claim” status to omega 3 fatty acids, asserting that research had revealed omega 3 may indeed reduce the chance of coronary heart disease (in conjunction with other factors such as overall diet and lifestyle activity).
Cancer and Krill Oil Benefits
Results of ongoing studies are pointing to the possibility that Omega 3 krill oil may contain anti-cancer components, specifically directed towards colon, prostate and breast cancer.
During research conducted regarding krill oil benefits, scientists found that omega 3 slowed the growth of prostate tumors and reduced histopathological progression.
Additionally, longitudinal studies conducted by several research universities showed high amounts of docosahexaenoic acid contributed to reduced risks of breast cancer.
Further evidence of Omega 3 krill oil benefits emerged during a 1999 study published in the Lancet, which provided the results of a large clinical study involving over 11,000 patients suffering from myocardial infarction.
Subjects consumed one gram of krill oil in capsule form each day for one year.
Treatment with omega 3 fatty acids resulted in a 45% reduction in sudden cardiac death, a 30% reduction in cardiovascular death and a 20% in the occurrence of death.
Another study conducted in 2007 and published in Atherosclerosis involved 81 Japanese men experiencing high blood sugar levels.
Some took krill oil supplements while others, comprising the control group, received placebos. Prior to the study, these men had the thickness of their carotid arteries measured in order to determine rate of blood flow.
After two years of taking Omega 3 krill oil supplements, researchers examined all participants. Results indicated a statistically significant reduction in carotid artery thickness, as well as improvement in blood pressure.
Prenatal Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Studies performed using 9,000 pregnant women found that women who consumed a krill oil supplement once a week during the first three months of their pregnancy experienced a 28% less risk of giving birth to an infant weighing less than six pounds.
In addition, studies tracked school records of children whose mothers took Omega 3 krill oil supplements during their pregnancy and children of mothers who did not take the supplement.
Results showed that children of mothers using Omega 3 krill oil experienced better grades and less problems overall in school than those whose mothers did not take omega 3 supplements.
What is Omega 3 6 9?
The difference among Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids is based on whether that fat is an “essential” fatty acid (unable to be produced by the body) or is one that can be produced by the body.
- Omega 6 comes from a variety of oils such as sunflower, corn and canola oil but is manufactured within the body.
- Omega 9 is the most abundant type of fat available, contained in animal fats and olive oil, and produced by the body’s chemical interactions.
- Omega 3, while the most beneficial of the three, is not produced by the body and needs to be ingested as an “essential” nutrient vital to our health.
This is where omega 3 krill oil supplements can fill that void and promote the health of our nervous, immune and circulatory systems.
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Omega 3 Krill Oil