Krill oil is turning heads for its potential to boost heart health.
Taken from tiny shrimp-like shellfish in the Antarctic, krill oil includes omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that have been linked with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, Dr. Celeste Robb-Nicholson wrote on Harvard Medical School's website.
Studies are limited but have suggested that krill oil may improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels and improve inflammation linked to cardiovascular disease, Robb-Nicholson said, cautioning that more research is needed.
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Phospholipid in krill oil is more easily absorbed than fish oil, another common source of omega-3 fatty acids, according to Healthline.
Krill oil can be taken at any time of day, but could be taken after a full meal to reduce stomach irritation, Healthline said. Bleeding problems are a concerns for people taking blood thinners.
A study published in Hospital Pharmacy said krill oil supplements appear to be a safe alternative to fish oil supplements, and are smaller capsules and more tolerable. The cardiovascular benefits of krill oil are unproven, and increasing consumption of fish is considered the best first step to boost omega-3 fatty acids.
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Dr. Dennis Goodman highlighted five benefits of krill oil in an article published by Fox News.
- It's tolerable — The smaller capsules are easier to swallow than fish oil supplements and lack the fishy aftertaste and reflux.
- It is effective — Because of the phospholipids, the omega-3 fatty acids of krill oil are more easily absorbed by the body than those of fish oil supplements.
- It doesn't spoil — The antioxidant astaxanthin keeps the supplements stable on the shelf and provides protections within the body.
- It lacks toxins — Krill oil lacks the levels of mercury and other toxins found in fish oil.
- It's sustainable — Krill is abundant, and less than 1 percent of ocean krill is harvested each year.
This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.
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