Obesity is often associated with a condition called fatty liver. Fatty liver is the accumulation of triglycerides within the liver cells, can lead to inflammation of the liver and, in the long term and if not properly treated, even to cirrhosis. It has been observed that krill oil can be particularly beneficial for liver health, counteracting hepatic steatosis, or fatty liver, but also improving insulin sensitivity. This is what emerges from a recent scientific research published a few days ago in the journal Nutrients (Sistilli et al, Nutrients, 2021).
Fatty acids can play a role in lipid metabolism. In particular, saturated fatty acids, contained, for example, in the visible fat of meat, in lard, but also in coconut oil and palm oil, are pro-inflammatory and stimulate the accumulation of fat in the liver. On the other hand, unsaturated fatty acids, especially of the omega 3 type, abundant, for example, in extra virgin olive oil, oilseeds and fatty fish, are anti-inflammatory and aim to regulate lipid metabolism, avoiding fat accumulation in the liver. Therefore, given these considerations, scientists have tried to understand the action of krill oil, a precious source of omega 3 fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA, on liver health. To do this, they analyzed the effect of a diet high in fat and lard taken alone, taken together with krill oil supplements and taken together with supplements containing the same percentage of omega 3 fatty acids found in krill. What emerged was that both supplements reduced the accumulation of fat in the liver. However, krill was found to be significantly more effective. In fact, while the omega 3 supplement led to a 12% reduction in fat in the liver, krill oil led to a decrease of more than 40%. Not only that, krill oil reduced by almost 70% plasmatic ALT levels, which are indicators of possible liver damage, and improved insulin sensitivity.
Therefore, omega 3 counteract fatty liver disease but krill oil has proved to be more beneficial than omega 3 alone taken in the form of supplements. Researchers explain this effective action with the presence, in krill oil, of other healthy substances, such as alkaloids and other types of fatty acids, not only EPA and DHA, such as palmitoleic acid, capable of improving the metabolism of fats and sugars.