Krill Oil May Help with Weight Loss Efforts

2011-07-26 06:32

Supplementation with krill oil for eight weeks reduced levels of a substance that has a significant impact on appetite, energy balance, and the accumulation of fat, according to results of a new study published in Nutrition & Metabolism. This benefit was observed in a study of animals that were fed an obesity-promoting diet.

Krill oil offers a variety of health benefits

The krill oil used in the latest study, which was conducted by researchers from Italy and Australia, was supplied by Aker Biomarine under the brand name Superba. Krill oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have demonstrated a variety of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.

The rats in the study were fed a high-fat diet rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which are associated with elevated levels of endocannabinoids, lipid molecules (e.g., fats, waxes, fat-soluble vitamins) that have an influence on appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory. Krill oil supplementation lowered endocannabinoid levels in the study rats.

According to the study’s leader Kjetil Berge, PhD, of Aker Biomarine, their results support findings of previous studies and show that “krill oil has a high potential to alleviate metabolic dysfunctions associated with obesity and other metabolic disorders.”

Krill oil is derived from the tiny marine creatures, also known as deepwater shrimp, that make up the primary food source for whales, seals, penguins, and many fish. The oil from krill contains nearly 50 times the antioxidant power of regular fish oils, according to ORAC (oxygen radial absorbance capacity) scales.

ORAC testing was developed by researchers at the National Institute of Aging as a way to measure the antioxidant protection capacity of a food or product. The higher a food’s ORAC value, the greater its ability to neutralize cell-damaging, disease-causing free radicals.

Although more research is needed before experts can recommend krill oil as part of a weight loss program, other important benefits have been demonstrated. One double-blind, placebo-controlled study, for example, found that 300 mg of krill oil for 1 to 2 weeks resulted in significantly less inflammation in people with arthritis. Another reported that 1,000 to 1,500 mg of krill oil daily significantly lowered cholesterol, triglyceride, and other lipid levels.

SOURCES:
Bunea R et al. Alternative Medicine Review 2004 Dec; 9(4): 420-28
Deutsch L. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2007 Feb; 26(1): 39-48
Piscitelli F et al. Nutrition & Metabolism 2011; 8:51

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