How is something like krill oil good for your brain?
Almost all of the brain's structures and functions are dependent on the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, abundant in krill oil.
The brain is the center of your nervous system, and is the most energy hungry of all organs. It is also nearly 60 percent fat.
Krill oil contains up to 42 percent phospholipids. The omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil (DHA/EPA) are bound to these phospholipids. All the cells of the brain and nervous system are covered by a two-layer membrane that is made up of fatty molecules (phospholipids). The nerve fibers in our brains and our bodies themselves are surrounded by myelin, which is made up of various fats and fatty acids, phospholipids, cholesterol and protein.
Scientists have found, for instance, that the brain cells of people with multiple sclerosis tend to be very low in essential fatty acids, such as DHA. Individuals with symptoms of hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder have lower levels of DHA in their blood.
Phospholipids deliver the brain power
Phospholipids are increasingly being used as treatments for such conditions as depression, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. For more on this, you can read the abstract (summary) of one interesting study by a Harvard physician, in which the author stated “In approximately 347 patients with neuropsychiatric disorders treated with choline or lecithin [phospholipids], 106 showed significant improvement, 61 demonstrated partial improvement, and 80 showed no changes.”
Brain function largely depends on the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. If one’s circulatory system is constricted, less oxygen flows to the brain. The blood is filled with tiny circulating structures called platelets, which get sticky when omega-3 fatty acids are low. This stickiness can cause blood to act more like sludge, as it works its way through the tiniest blood vessels.
Omega-3s let it flow
The omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil can loosen up the stickiness of these platelets and reduce the amount of “sludging” in the blood—in effect slightly thinning the blood. This is one of the key brain and cardiovascular benefits of omega-3-rich substances. It is also the reason that manufacturers of krill oil suggest avoiding high doses of krill oil if you are already taking prescription blood thinning drugs.
An interesting study in the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that premature babies receiving a high dose of DHA had a significantly greater growth rate of the head than infants receiving a standard DHA dose. This difference in head growth was associated with a “significant increase in the mental development index,” the authors said.1
1. C.T. Collins, et al. Pre- and post-term growth in pre-term infants supplemented with higher-dose DHA: a randomised controlled trial, British Journal of Nutrition; Published online ahead of print, FirstView Articles, doi:10.1017/S000711451000509X
Disclaimer: The information provided in this krill forum is a public service of WellWise.org, and should not in any way substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended to constitute personal medical advice.