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Can Krill Help You Lose Weight?

July 18, 2009 | 40,972 views
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lose weightOmega-3s sourced from krill are more effective than fish oil in combating some metabolic symptoms, including raised fat levels in the heart and liver and violent mood swings.

The study concludes that while both fish-sourced and krill-sourced omega-3 fats are effective in reducing fat levels, krill is more effective.

The researchers said the mechanisms of why this was the case had not been made clear in the study, but suggested long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) may reduce activity in the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system consists of a group of neuromodulatory lipids and receptors that influence appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory.

The researchers found that, when parameters associated with obesity were considered, krill oil reduced rat heart fat levels by 42 percent, compared to 2 percent for fish oils.

In the liver, a 60 percent reduction was observed for krill, 38 percent for fish oil. Fat build up in the liver can lead to insulin insensitivity and cause type 2 diabetes
 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

When your body is deprived of important essential fats like omega-3s your metabolic rate slows down, so you can’t burn calories as efficiently. In fact, weight gain is one of the symptoms of omega-3 deficiency.

In addition, omega-3 fats, which are essential to optimal health, improve your cells’ response to insulin, neurotransmitters and other messengers. They’re also very important for the repair process when your cells are damaged.

In the new study above, the researchers also found that omega-3 fats helped to significantly decrease fat buildup in the heart and livers of obese rats … but it turns out the type of omega-3 made a big difference in how much.

The omega-3 fat from krill oil reduced rat heart fat levels by 42 percent, compared to just 2 percent for fish oils. Meanwhile, in the liver, a 60 percent reduction was observed for krill and just 38 percent for fish oil.

The study did not reveal the reasons why krill oil improved metabolic symptoms so much more than fish oil, but the findings are in-line with other studies that have also found superior health benefits from krill.

Krill Oil May be 48 Times Better Than Fish Oil

As you may know, I’m not a major fan of too many supplements, as I believe your best source for optimal nutrition is through whole foods. But omega-3 is one of the rare instances when I recommend you take a supplement instead of getting it from your food.

This is because most Americans consume far too few omega-3 fats, but the major source of dietary animal-based omega-3 is fish, and most fish that is commercially available (even wild-caught varieties) are polluted with mercury, PCBs and other toxic substances.

If you can find a source of lab-verified clean and pure fish, then this would be your best source of omega-3. But for those of you who can’t (the vast majority of people), a supplement is your next best option.

I used to recommend taking fish oil (and I still do in some cases), but aside from the problem of overfishing to the point of near extinction and the potential of mercury contamination in the oil, fish oils also have other drawbacks. (Also, please read my important update on why I no longer recommend cod liver oil for your omega-3s.)

Most importantly, fish oil is low in antioxidant content. And, as you increase your intake of omega-3 fats by consuming fish oil, you actually increase your need for even more antioxidant protection.

This happens because fish oil is highly perishable.

You have to have sufficient antioxidants to ensure that the fish oil doesn't oxidize and become rancid inside your body (oxidation leads to the formation of unhealthy free radicals).

So, you need to consume additional antioxidants both for your health in general AND for your increased need for antioxidants when using fish oil.

The antioxidant potency of krill oil is actually 48 times higher than fish oil, and krill oil also contains astaxanthin -- a unique marine-source flavonoid -- that creates a special bond with the EPA and DHA, which allows direct metabolism of the antioxidants, making them more bioavailable for you.

If you’re still not convinced of the antioxidant powers of krill oil, independent ORAC evaluations have also established that krill oil contains:

  • Over 300 times the antioxidant power of vitamin A and vitamin E
  • Over 47 times the antioxidant power of lutein
  • Over 34 times the antioxidant power of coenzyme Q-10
What Else is Krill Oil Beneficial For?

In my view, krill oil is clearly your best option when it comes to obtaining important high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats. It contains essential EPA and DHA in a double chain phospholipid structure that makes it far more absorbable than the omega-3s in fish oil.

Further, krill oil has been shown to be beneficial for a really wide range of health issues, including:

  • Support for concentration, memory and learning
  • Blood sugar health
  • Healthy joints, with an increase in joint comfort
  • Fighting signs of aging
  • Protection for cell membranes
  • Cholesterol and other blood lipid health
  • Healthy liver function
  • Relief of normal PMS symptoms
  • Bolstering your immune system
  • Healthy mood support
  • Optimal skin health

Numerous studies have come out showing just how beneficial krill oil can be for your health, including a 2007 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, which evaluated the effect of krill oil on patients with chronic inflammation and arthritis.

After just seven days of treatment, krill oil reduced inflammation by more than 19 percent, while the placebo group had an increase of inflammatory C-reactive protein of nearly 16 percent!

The study concluded that krill oil at a daily dose of 300 mg significantly inhibits inflammation and reduces arthritic symptoms in as little as 7 to 14 days!

According to another study published in the Alternative Medicine Review, double-blind, randomized, controlled trials have found that DHA and EPA in krill oil benefits a variety of brain- and mental disorders, including:

  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism
  • Dyslexia
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Cognitive impairment and dementia
  • Huntington disease (a neurological disorder characterized by abnormal body movements)

Meta-analyses also confirm krill’s benefits in major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, and show promising results in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Are You Trying to Lose Weight?

If you’re overweight and consume very little essential fats, you should seriously consider taking a high-quality krill oil supplement daily. You may also need to tweak the ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in your diet by finding out your nutritional type.

The amount and type of protein you need (as well as the ratio in relation to carbs and fat) can vary quite dramatically according to your gender, height, weight, exercise levels, and, most importantly, by your nutritional type.

Unfortunately, many are still unaware of nutritional typing and how it can completely revolutionize your overall health, and help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, so I recommend you start to learn more by reading my Beginner’s Nutrition Plan.

Exercise is another major component, and it is becoming increasingly clear that a well-rounded exercise program is an important component of staying healthy and reaching an optimal weight. When I say “well rounded” I mean a program that includes the four primary types of exercise, as explained in my Principles of Exercise video.

By consuming more omega-3 fats like krill oil, adjusting your diet and exercise routine, and also addressing any emotional triggers that are sabotaging your progress, you should be well on your way to reaching your healthy weight.


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