Krill oil is antioxidant, anticancer and from today we also know cardioprotective. In fact, the intake of krill oil helps reduce cholesterol, both total and bad, and triglycerides. This emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the journal Marine Drugs by a Korean team (Kim et al, Marine Drugs, 2022).
The properties of krill oil
Krill is a small crustacean that lives in all the oceans of the world. From krill an oil is obtained that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and carotenoids, precious antioxidants that give the oil its typical orange color. Previous studies had already shown that krill oil fights free radicals and cellular degeneration. Not only that, studies on humans had also shown that the intake of krill oil is beneficial for the heart as it is capable of reducing cholesterol levels. However, the mechanism of action of krill oil was not understood. Hence, to shed light on this aspect too, Korean scientists have developed the research we are talking about today.
Krill to reduce cholesterol, the study
The study took place in the laboratory on mice that were given a high-fat diet. This diet increased triglycerides, bad LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol in mice as well as increased ALT and AST values, indicators of liver distress. Part of the mice were given krill oil for three months. Well, compared to the mice that didn't take this oil, krill had decreased liver disorder indicators, triglycerides and both total and bad cholesterol. Therefore, further evidence was obtained that krill oil protects the liver from damage induced by a high-fat diet and improves the lipid profile with a beneficial effect on the heart. But the researchers also managed to understand the mechanisms of action of krill oil. In particular, it has been observed that krill oil is able to inhibit the endogenous synthesis of cholesterol. Not only that, krill reduces circulating LDL cholesterol levels by stimulating the use of this cholesterol by the tissues and at the same time its elimination from the body. In addition, it was also observed that krill oil reduced the thickness of the aorta, which instead increased following the high-fat diet, since it decreased the plaques deposited, thus helping to counteract the arteriosclerosis.
Krill, conclusions, intake and warnings
Cholesterol is necessary for our body to preserve the integrity of cell membranes, for the synthesis of hormones, bile acids but also vitamin D. However, an excess of circulating cholesterol must be avoided. Among all the tools that we can use, we can now also evaluate krill oil, which is shown to be able to protect the heart and liver, reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. If you are already taking cholesterol medications ask your doctor for advice before starting any treatment. Then, pay attention if you have to undergo surgery. In these cases, the krill oil must be stopped at least one week before to avoid a risk of more bleeding during the operation. In rare cases krill can cause nausea and stomach problems, avoid if you have a shellfish allergy.