Omega-3 Fatty Acids Healthy omega-3 phospholipid status affects cell membrane function and cardiometabolic health. EPA and DHA have been extensively studied for their positive effects on cardiovascular health, cognitive integrity, immune function, and the natural response to inflammation.[1,2] Research suggests that serum EPA and DHA, which reflect dietary intake, are inversely associated with mortality, cardiovascular risk, and sudden cardiac death.[3,4] The omega-3 index, a measurement of erythrocyte EPA plus DHA, has become recognized as a biomarker of cardiovascular health. Clinical trials suggest that LipiChol promotes an improvement in omega-3 index.
Adequate serum and cell-membrane levels of EPA/DHA are crucial to cell function. Many individuals have a limited ability to convert the parent omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to EPA and DHA; therefore, adequate intake of preformed EPA and DHA is necessary. This is why we generally do not recommend taking Flax Seed Oil as a source of Omega-3’s as it is simply ALA and doesn’t produce the needed results.
LipiChol provides EPA and DHA in a concentrated, bioavailable, phospholipid form found to positively affect blood lipids, including triglycerides, to a greater extent than the triglyceride or ethyl-ester form of fish oil does. [5,6] Some studies suggest that fish oil may increase low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels,[1,7,8] while krill oil may decrease LDL.
Phospholipids Considered the building blocks of healthy cells, phospholipids are water- and fat-soluble and help maintain cell membrane fluidity and function. The phospholipid form (versus triglyceride form) of omega-3 EPA and DHA is easily recognized, integrated, and utilized by the body’s cells.
Healthy phospholipid levels are important to maintaining normal levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), serum triglycerides, and cardiovascular health as well. Phosphatidylcholine (PC)—the major phospholipid found in LipiChol—is highly concentrated in the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys. PC is a source of choline for acetylcholine production and may directly support cardiovascular health by participating in the metabolism of homocysteine.[11,12] RevChol’s marine phospholipids are a concentrated 53-58% purified phospholipid (PPL), 80% of which occurs as phosphatidylcholine.
Antarctic Krill (Euphausia superba) Krill, a coldwater marine crustacean, is a rich source of omega-3 EPA and DHA. Krill oil has been used in several human clinical trials, and research consistently suggests that krill omega-3 phospholipids support antioxidant activity, healthy cell membranes, healthy blood lipids, and the normal response to inflammation.[13-15] Krill is low on the food chain and is considered a sustainable source of nutrients. Precautionary catch limits are established by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
Astaxanthin As a red-orange member of the carotenoid family, astaxanthin provides antioxidant activity. Both animal and clinical research suggest that astaxanthin supports antioxidant mechanisms as well as a healthy response to inflammation. Krill is recognized as a rich source of astaxanthin and a potentially valuable contributor to cardiovascular health.
Research The chemical form of omega-3 fatty acids can determine their bioavailability. A double-blind crossover trial compared uptake of EPA/DHA from krill (mainly phospholipid form) to uptake from two forms of fish oil—re-esterified triacylglycerides (rTAG) and ethyl- esters (EE). Results suggested that krill oil had superior bioavailability and promoted the highest incorporation of EPA and DHA into plasma phospholipids. A multi-center, three-month, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study compared the effects of krill oil versus fish oil on serum lipids. Results suggested krill oil reduced total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, while it increased HDL, improving each of these parameters to a greater extent than 3 g of fish oil did. Results were even more dramatic with higher doses of krill oil. Doses of 1-1.5 g krill oil per day appeared to support healthy blood glucose metabolism as well.
A randomized double-blind parallel arm trial of 76 subjects indicated that 2 g krill oil per day significantly increased plasma EPA and DHA levels and was well tolerated. Highly concentrated krill oil, LipiChol’s main component, was administered to a total of 203 subjects in six clinical trials with no serious side effects observed at a dose up to 6g/day. This concentrated form of krill oil was found to decrease serum triglycerides to levels similar to prescribed fish oil found in the market place. Clinical trials also noted a better and faster improvement of the omega-3 index using concentrated krill oil in comparison to fish oil.
Take 2 capsules daily – be sure to take them with the largest meal of the day. Taking them with the largest meal of the day seems to impact the absorption and the clinic results as well. If we do not see the benefits we are seeking then we may increase the dose to 3 capsules daily.
- Linus Pauling Institute. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/ omega3fa/#metabolism. Accessed April 20, 2012.
- GOED. http://www.goedomega3.com/clinical-studies.html. Accessed April 20, 2012.
- Pottala JV, Garg S, Cohen BE, et al. Blood eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids predict all-cause mortality in patients with stable coronary heart disease: the Heart and Soul study. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2010 Jul;3(4):406-12. [PMID: 20551373]
- Harris WS. The omega-3 index as a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jun;87(6):1997S-2002S. [PMID: 18541601]
- Onemia. http://onemia.com/professional/studies.php. Accessed May 8, 2012.
- Gerster H. Can adults adequately convert alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3)? Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1998;68(3):159-73. Review. [PMID: 9637947]
- Hartweg J, Perera R, Montori V,et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD003205. [PMID: 18254017]
- Montori VM, Farmer A, Wollan PC, et al. Fish oil supplementation in type 2 diabetes: a quantitative systematic review. Diabetes Care. 2000 Sep;23(9):1407-15. [PMID: 10977042]
- Bunea R, El Farrah K, Deutsch L. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the clinical course of hyperlipidemia. Altern Med Rev. 2004 Dec;9(4):420-8. [PMID: 15656713]
- Phosphatidylcholine. Natural Standard Database. http://naturalstandard.com/ databases/herbssupplements/phosphatidylcholine.asp. Accessed April 16, 2012.
- Olthof MR, Brink EJ, Katan MB, et al. Choline supplemented as phosphatidylcholine decreases fasting and postmethionine-loading plasma homocysteine concentrations in healthy men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jul;82(1):111-7. [PMID: 16002808]
- Onemia. http://onemia.com/professional/professional.php. Accessed April 16, 2012.
- Stillwell W, Wassall SR. Docosahexaenoic acid: membrane properties of a unique fatty acid. Chem Phys Lipids. 2003 Nov;126(1):1-27. Review. [PMID: 14580707]
- Tou JC, Jaczynski J, Chen YC. Krill for human consumption: nutritional value and potential health benefits. Nutr Rev. 2007 Feb;65(2):63-77. Review. [PMID: 17345959]
- Deutsch L. Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Feb;26(1):39-48. [PMID: 17353582]
- CCAMLR. http://www.ccamlr.org/pu/E/sc/kri-surv-intro.htm. Accessed April 16, 2012
- Hussein G, Sankawa U, Goto et al. Astaxanthin, a carotenoid with potential in human health and nutrition. J Nat Prod. 2006 Mar;69(3):443-9. Review. [PMID: 16562856]
- Schuchardt JP, Schneider I, Meyer H, et al. Incorporation of EPA and DHA into plasma phospholipids in response to different omega-3 fatty acid formulations—a comparative bioavailability study of fish oil vs. krill oil. Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Aug 22;10:145. [PMID: 21854650]
- Maki KC, Reeves MS, Farmer M, et al. Krill oil supplementation increases plasma concentrations of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in overweight and obese men and women. Nutr Res. 2009 Sep;29(9):609-15. [PMID: 19854375]