Krill oil reduces elevated lipid and glucose levels, which is significant for diabetics. Diabetes is one of those canary-in-a-coal-mine conditions – if you’ve got diabetes chances are you are overweight, and if you’re overweight chances are you’re cruising for a coronary.
To this extent, Russian researchers discovered that diabetics who ate krill meat had reduced plaque buildup in arteries, which means the blood flowing through their pipes could flow less hindered by plaque deposits that can cause heart attacks, in particular the kind of heart attacks that kill you on the spot when the plaque deposits dislodge. The researchers also saw a similar effect in those who ate squid liver fat. Na zdorovie!1
People with diabetes produce insulin that is either not enough to deal with the sugar coursing through their veins, or their insulin receptors have become saturated – this is what is called being insulin resistant. In response to levels of sugar in the blood, insulin receptors become activated to produce insulin, which break down the sugar. Researchers believe krill might affect the insulin receptors located in cell walls. Exactly how krill does this remains unknown, but there’s no disagreement with the idea that krill does have this effect.
Hundreds of studies show omega-3s lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in both diabetics and healthy people.2,3,4,5,6 But can krill match the omega-3s from fish oils? Clearly there are many magnitudes of additional research done on the EPA and DHA from fish oil compared to krill, due to the fact that krill oil is rather new on the supplement scene. In fact, there’s been only one krill study in humans that show an effect with this condition. But the “blackboard” scientists were clearly on to something, because it makes sense that krill’s EPA and DHA content make it a viable candidate to study on health conditions where fish oil also benefits.
In this one krill study, between 1 and 3 grams per day of krill oil was given to diabetics. The difference in dosage was related to the body weight of the diabetics – the heavier the person, the higher the dose. Krill was found to be more effective for reducing glucose and all blood-lipid parameters like cholesterol and triglycerides compared to both fish oil and placebo. Indeed, krill oil was found to be significantly more effective than even fish oil at reducing elevated lipid and glucose levels.7
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Shagaeva MM, et al. Effect of squid liver fat and krill meat on blood serum atherogenicity in patients with type I diabetes mellitus. Probl Endokrinol (Mosk). 1993 Jul-Aug;39(4):21-3.