Krill oil shows great promise for skin, though much research remains to be done.
Essential fatty acids are helpful for addressing acne and reducing skin inflammation, say James Balch, MD, and Mark Stengler, ND, in Prescription for Natural Cures (John Wiley and Sons, 2004). It may take four to eight weeks for improvements to be noticed, they say.
Psoriasis, a common skin condition that causes skin redness and irritation, can benefit from EPA, albeit at relatively high doses. One study followed 28 people for eight weeks and found 1.8 grams per day EPA led to much improved itching, redness and scaling.1
You would need perhaps six times that dose of EPA in a typical daily dose of krill to get at that level of EPA. Even so, at the end of a three-month krill study on 120 people, the participants were given a questionnaire asking whether the krill had any ancillary effects on their physical appearance – hair, skin, nails, wrinkles, need for facial creams.2
After only one month on krill, most subjects said, “Forget the facial cream because my skin feels hydrated,” said Tina Sampalis, president of Neptune Bioressources, which supplied the krill for the study. “There was a significant, 50 percent improvement in hydration, tone of skin, tone of hair, appearance of wrinkles. That’s very important because that’s what people will see.”
Another interesting unpublished study found that the equivalent of two grams per day of krill oil reduced the incidence of skin cancer by 50 percent for those exposed to chronic UV radiation. For those who both took krill oil orally as well as rubbed it on topically, the result was an additional 67 percent reduced incidence.
Two catches here: You can’t make cancer-related health claims with supplement ingredients. And secondly, the 96 study subjects with squeaky-clean complexions were mice. Even so, the study results ought to provide grist for the mill of researchers looking for additional ways krill can contribute to human health and beauty.
Bittiner SB, et al. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of fish oil in psoriasis. Lancet 1988;k:378-80.
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