The Profound Ways Krill Oil Affects Your Heart and Your Health
You may have heard of krill oil’s many benefits regarding joint and cognitive health, but there’s also evidence that potent omega-3s also positively affect your heart.
In fact, the American Heart Association recommends consuming fatty fish at least twice a week.1 We decided to look more deeply into how this nutrient benefits heart health, why taking krill oil is the best option, and what it can do for you.
What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are specific polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3s are commonly found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and krill. There are two main omega-3 EFAs that come from marine sources: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
EPA and DHA—otherwise known as long-chain omega-3 fatty acids— help maintain optimal brain activity, comfortable joint functioning, and, most importantly for this article, continued heart health.
How Do They Promote A Healthy Heart?
Omega-3’s are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that, when taken as a substitute to saturated fats, helps support the balance of your immune system and maintain an optimal heart rhythm. They have also shown to promote healthy cholesterol levels by supporting the regular functioning of your blood vessels.1
Why Krill Oil?
Plant-based sources of omega-3 contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that needs to be converted into DHA and EPA to have the same benefits. Oily fish, like krill, give us a direct serving of the latter. That’s why it’s usually better to get your omega-3’s directly from seafood sources.2
Fish oil contains the right nutrients, but it may also be contaminated with mercury from widespread pollution. That’s why krill is the best option –– it’s harvested directly from the Antarctic Ocean, which is considered to be one of the last remaining pure ecosystems on the planet.3
Another advantage: regular fish oil supplements have been known to leave an unpleasant, fishy aftertaste, but krill oil generally does not.
Krill oil has long been linked to joint and cognitive health, but it’s important to keep in mind the far-reaching benefits that this source of omega-3 offers for heart health.
4 Common Mistakes When Choosing An
It seems easy enough to get your Omega-3s –– go to your local health food store and pick out a fish oil. Many of us believe that they all contain the same DHA and EPA, anyway. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Omega supplements come in many forms, and even the method of oil extraction can change the quality of each product drastically.
We want to make sure that you’re informed about these disparities, so we listed 4 common mistakes consumers make when choosing their first omega supplement.
Thinking That All Omega Supplements Are The Same
There are different types of omega supplements, and some are of higher quality than others. For example, krill oil contains less mercury than fish oil. Methods of extraction are also different and can yield varying results. We recommend spending as much time as possible researching the different types of omega supplements on the market and narrowing down the best type for you.
Forgetting to Check the Ingredient List
Many omega oils contain synthetic ingredients and preservatives that can hamper with the quality of the supplement. Look for all-natural supplements that clearly list all of their ingredients on their label.
Not Knowing How Much EPA and DHA You Need
The two active ingredients in any type of omega supplement are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). We suggest finding an omega with at least 250 mg of EPA and 150 mg of DHA, but many supplements fail to hit this mark. While checking the ingredient lists, try to find the Amount Per Serving of DHA and EPA. If the supplement doesn’t clearly state these numbers, it’s best to avoid it.4
Choosing The Wrong Molecular Form
Omega oil generally comes in two molecular forms: ethyl esters and triglycerides. Fish fat is naturally made of triglycerides, however, during the distillation process, this fat is converted into ethyl ester form.
Manufacturers that value quality omega supplements will convert it back to its natural form as a triglyceride, which has higher absorption and is more easily metabolized. This is why it’s important to find a supplement with triglycerides for better absorption.
Picking the right omega supplement may take extra time and research, but the benefits are well worth it. If you're mindful about the brand you choose and make sure to balance both price and quality, you'll enjoy an extra boost of heart health for years to come.