XBrain Antarctic Krill Oil is the best way of making sure you are getting enough omega-3 polyunsaturatied essential fatty acids (PUFAs). Studies have shown that oil pressed from krill, a small shrimp-like marine crustacean, are a better omega-3 fats supplement than fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain development and function, cardio-vascular health and the immune system. XBrain ensures that their Krill Oil supplement is of the highest quality. The krill are harvested in pristine Antarctic waters and the oil is pressed as soon after harvest as possible, still on board the ships. It is then sent to the lab for testing to ensure that it is free of any contaminants. The extracted oil is enhanced with the addition of a small amount of high quality European anchovy and sardine oil, to boost the amount of the DHA fatty acid, which is particularly important for brain health. A small amount of pharmaceutical grade microalgae (haematococcus pluvialis) oil is also added to boost the amount of astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant in the supplement. Astaxanthin not only supports your body’s ability to withstand oxidative stress and fight the ageing effects of free radical damage, but also protects the omega-3 fatty acids in the Krill Oil from oxidation.
What are Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids?
The human body cannot synthesise essential fatty acids, but they are crucial for a number of different biological functions. They therefore have to be obtained from the diet. All the essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated, they have more than one double bond in their carbon chains. The names of the fatty acids (omega-3, or omega-6) come from the position of the first double bond from the omega (last) carbon in the chain. So omega-3 fatty acids have a double bond between the carbon atoms three atoms away from the end of the chain. The various fatty acids also differ in the length of the carbon chain.
In theory there are only two essential fatty acids, the shortest omega-3, alpha linoleic acid (ALA) and the shortest omega-6, linoleic acid. However, the really important omega-3 PUFAs are the longer ones, in particular eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Although EPA can be synthesised by the body from ALA; and DHA can be synthesised from ALA, the synthesis is metabolically costly for the body and might not proceed at optimal rate. The recommendation from medical professionals is to make sure you get enough of EPA and DHA from the diet. Although the body also requires omega-6 fatty acids, they are naturally present in abundance in most people’s diets. Vegetable oil or olive oil are rich sources of linoleic acid and most people do not need to worry about getting enough of them. In fact too much omega-6 fatty acid compared to omega-3 is bad, since the two forms of fatty acids compete for the same rate-limiting enzyme during their processing in the body.
It is the omega-3 fatty acids that are frequently missing from our diet. They are mostly obtained from oily fish or other marine creatures. Doctors recommend that everybody eats at least two portions of oily fish a week to ensure sufficient consumption of EPA and DHA. There are, however, problems with this recommendation. Due to the pollution of the marine environment, fish nowadays are frequently contaminated with mercury and other toxins. Consumption of oily fish or other food of marine origins carries with it the risk of ingesting these poisons, which then accumulate in the body. Researchers think, however, that fish oil supplements are generally safe and uncontaminated, since the toxins accumulate in muscle and not in adipose tissue. To ensure the lack of any contaminants, krill oil from XBrain undergoes thorough laboratory testing before being packaged for consumption.
Once they are absorbed from the digestive tract the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are converted into phospholipids and incorporated into the plasma membranes of cells. However, they are also the precursors of eicosanoids, signalling molecules in the central nervous and the immune systems. When they are required, they are released from the plasma membranes and used in metabolic pathways to synthesise signalling molecules. In general the eicosanoids synthesised from omega-3 PUFAs have opposite effects of those synthesised from omega-6 PUFAs. Maintaining the correct balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is essential for health. It is thought that in ancient times our ancestors ate approximately the same amounts of the two types of PUFA, and that our bodies have evolved to work best with this balance. Unfortunately the modern Western diet has 10 times, and sometimes 30 times as much omega-6 as omega-3. A supplement such as XBrain Krill Oil redresses this imbalance.
Not all omega-3 fatty acid supplements contain the PUFAs in the same form. In fact the fatty acids can be found in three different states depending on how the oil was prepared, re-esterified triglycerides, ethyl esters and phospholipids. Fish oil supplements usually contain the first two forms, while krill oil contains mostly phospholipids. Official government advice on the consumption of essential fatty acids does distinguish between these different forms, however several recent studies pointed to the fact the phospholipids (krill oil) have much higher bioavailability than triglycerides or ethyl esters. The studies tested the concentration of EPA and DHA in the membranes of red blood cells from subjects taking different types of supplements. The rise was the highest in people taking EPA and DHA in the form of free phospholipids. This shows that krill oil is a superior essential omega-3 supplement.
The DHA phospholipid was found in particularly high concentrations in the membranes of cells in the grey matter of the central nervous system, and in the cells of the retina. This suggests that it is important for correct brain and eye development and function. In fact animal studies have shown that a DHA deficiency can cause learning delay. It is thought that omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA are important for synaptic plasticity, which is the basis of learning and memory. They also seem to stimulate the creation of new synapses between nerve cells and to play a role in signal transmission across synapses. A study in healthy adults showed that a 35 day period of supplementing with omega-3 improved attention and cognitive function associated with coplex cortica processing. On electroencephalography traces, the essential fatty acid supplementation resulted in a shift towards alpha and theta waves. The mood of the volunteers taking the supplement also improved, they reported less anxiety, depression or anger. This supports what doctors had long suspected, that an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency might be a risk factor for depression, bipolar, and other mood disorders. It is also highly likely that they can help protect against developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
DHA is the longest of the omega-3 fatty acids, and appears to be the most important. It is certainly the fatty acid found in high concentrations in the grey matter of the brain, and thought to be the most important for brain development and cognitive function. Although the body can synthesise it from EPA, it Is more efficient to have supplements with a higher ration of DHA to EPA. Although oily fish naturally have more DHA than EPA, this ratio is often reversed in fish oil supplements. In contrast, XBrain Krill Oil has 150 mg of DHA and 90 mg of EPA per serving and is optimised to provide support for optimum central nervous system function.
Omega-3 fatty acid functions extend beyond the brain. Scientists are quite united at recognising their great benefits for cardiovascular health, and that consuming them can significantly decrease the risk of heart disease. They appear to prevent arrhythmias (irregular heart beat), which carry the risk of sudden death. They lower serum triglyceride levels, an important risk factor for heart disease and diabetes, and decrease the clotting properties of blood, decreasing the risk of clot formation, which can lead to heart attack or stroke, depending where the clot is formed.
EPA and DHA also decrease the disease known as atherosclerosis also known as the hardening of the arteries. This process starts with the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) particles in the blood. These become engulfed by macrophages, which then stick to the walls of the arteries, trapping more triglycerides and cholesterol and forming a plaque, eventually leading to the blocking of arteries and heart disease.
EPA and DHA polyunsaturated fatty acids also play an important role in modulating the immune system. This bears many similarities to their function in the central nervous system. Again they are the precursors of signalling molecules known as eicosanoids, except this time the signalling occurs in immune cells.
The eicosanoids and interleukins produced from omega-3 fatty acids generally have the opposite effect on the immune system than those produced from omega-6 fatty acids. The omega-3 metabolites have an anti-inflammatory effect while the omega 6 have a pro-inflammatory function. A correct balance between the two types of polyunsaturated fatty acids is essential to keep the immune system working in balance, to allow it to respond quickly to an invading pathogen, while preventing it from going into overdrive and resulting in chronic inflammation. As mentioned above, our diet is usually rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which are present in vegetable oils. It is the omega-3 EPA and DHA, which we are not getting enough of anymore. As a result systemic inflammation is present in large sections of the population. Since chronic inflammation appears to be associated with many of the modern diseases in industrialised countries, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and even cancer, consuming more omega-3 fatty acids is an important step to becoming more healthy.
Krill Oil from Natural Stack is also fortified with pharmaceutical grade microalgae oil. This increases the content of the potent antioxidant astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is present in krill oil, since krill feed on the algae that produce this carotenoid phytochemical. Most krill oil supplement don’t specify how much astaxanthin they contain, and the amount varies widely, a problem with supplements that rely on all natural ingredients. Adding the microalgae oil allows XBrain to standardise the amount and ensure that each serving contains 1.5 mg of astaxanthin. XBrain Krill Oil also naturally contains vitamins A and E. The fat-soluble vitamins co-purify with the omega-3 fatty acids.
Natural metabolic reactions result in the production of free radicals. These molecules contain unpaired electrons and are highly reactive. They will often produce reactive oxygen species, which are somewhat less reactive but still very unstable. Free radicals and reactive oxygen species can cause very serious damage to tissues and health, since they will readily react with proteins or lipids. Oxidative damage is one of the main reasons for the aging process, contributes to neuro-degeneration, and causes heart disease; the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol is the first step in the build up of plaques on the walls of arteries, which leads to atherosclerosis. The body produces its own antioxidants to prevent free radical damange, such as glutathione. However, when the free radicals produced overwhelm the body’s natural antioxidants the result is oxidative stress. Antioxidants from the diet or from supplements are very beneficial since they help quench the reactive oxygen species and prevent oxidative stress.
However, this is not the only reason why the presence of astaxanthin in Krill Oil from XBrain is beneficial. Without added antioxidants the essential fatty acids in the supplement would become oxidised and would lose their value. The microalgae carotenoid astaxanthin acts as a completely natural preservative, ensuring that the Krill Oil supplement retains its beneficial properties over time. The supplement also contains vitamin E and vitamin A, which purify together with the phospholipids and also add their antioxidant functions to that of astaxanthin.
XBrain Krill Oil is the best form of essential fatty acid supplement that you can find. It contains the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA in the form of phospholipids, which were shown by scientific studies to have better bioavailability than esterified triglycerides or ethyl esters found in fish oil. Studies have shown that krill oil is a better omega-3 supplement than fish oil for precisely this reason. The krill oil has more DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid that is particularly enriched in the grey matter of the brain than EPA. It also contains added astaxanthin the antioxidant carotenoid from microalgae. The Krill Oil supplement will ensure that you get the omega-3 essential fatty acids that you need for optimal congnitoin, cardiovascular health, and to combat chronic inflammation.
Health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids:
Improvement of cognitive abilities, especially complex cortical processing with omega-3 fatty acid supplementation:
EPA and DHA are absorbed better from krill oil than from fish oil: