Will Krill Oil Lower Cholesterol…Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland….
I am a big proponent of omega-3 fish oil or cod liver oil, (lemon flavor). Not only do I take an omega-3 supplement myself, but I recommend it to many, if not most, of my patients. Omega-3s have been shown to play a key role in heart health, from reducing triglycerides and blood pressure to inhibiting inflammation all over the body.
In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz about krill oil being even better than fish oil for heart health, and I have to say I am intrigued. This marine oil, which is produced from shrimplike krill harvested from Antarctic waters, not only contains significant amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, but also phospholipids (which are integral to the building of cell membranes) and potent antioxidants, including astaxanthin, a carotenoid from the nutrient family that includes beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene.
Krill oil has become widely touted not only because it may help to lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol, but also because it could help with arthritic joint pain and the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Apparently it is only the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) — not just any krill (there are 85 species identified worldwide) — that is the source of the powerful oil.
So how does krill oil work for reducing cholesterol? No one is quite sure. But in a 12-week study involving 120 men and women ages 25 to 75, Canadian researchers tested the effects of krill oil (Neptune krill oil was used in the study) vs. fish oil on elevated blood lipid levels and found that it outperformed fish oil in reducing total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels — while, at the same time, increasing amounts of “good” HDL cholesterol. In the study, a dose of 1 to 1.5 grams of Neptune krill oil a day was significantly more successful at lowering LDL and triglyceride levels than a dose of fish oil three times greater (3 grams). Krill oil at higher doses (3 grams) also lowered blood triglycerides, while fish oil did not. The researchers theorize that it is the unique molecular structure of krill oil that gives it its potent effects.
In general, fish oil has not been found to lower LDL cholesterol unless it is substituted for dietary saturated fat that, by itself, increases LDL. I would not recommend krill oil or other omega-3s for the purpose of lowering LDL, and you should consult your physician before considering it. But as a way of increasing your overall intake of omega-3s, with some other potential health benefits, it looks promising.
You can purchase krill oil in capsule form at most vitamin shops or online. (It is not yet available in grocery stores.) Unlike fish oil, it does not become rancid at room temperature, and causes no fishy “burps.” I suggest looking for a product that contains Neptune krill oil (NKO), since it is the krill oil that was used in the cholesterol study. A dose of 1,000 milligrams of krill oil a day could prove useful for lowering total cholesterol and improving triglycerides. A dose of 500 milligrams once a day may help you maintain good cholesterol levels once you achieve them. If you’re already taking a statin, however, don’t stop in favor of krill oil.
Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation to see how acupuncture and food therapy can help to lower your cholesterol.
Four Seasons Acupuncture services the residents of Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Oviedo. 321-662-4871
185 N> Lakemont Ave. Winter Park, Florida 32792