The DAILY Habit That Breaks Down Fat?
By Kevin DiDonato MS, CES--Level 1 Precision Nutrition Certified and Certified Personal Trainer
It has been suggested from many clinical studies, that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to your health.
They have been linked to improvements in heart, brain, eye, dental, joint health, and may even promote fat loss.
In fact, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to potentially lower cholesterol, decrease the incidence of age-related macular degeneration, improvements in both depression and cognitive scores, and alleviation of pain due to arthritis.
However, you already know that you can get omega-3 fatty acids from plant sources (ALA), from wild fatty fish intake, as well as grass-fed beef.
Besides those sources, you may also be able to get healthy doses of omega-3 fatty acids from both fish oil and krill oil.
In fact, research suggests that both krill oil and fish oil are very good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Some studies have shown that krill oil may be more bioavailable then fish oil due to its chemical structure, and may be more effective than fish oil at burning unwanted fat and improving health.
In fact, a new study published in European Journal of Nutrition, shows that krill oil (due to its chemical makeup) may be more effective at burning fat than fish oil.
Let me explain…
Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil (again)
Both krill oil and fish oil have been shown to be effective means for increasing your intake of the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA.
However, recent studies have shown that due to the phospholipid backbone found in krill oil, the bioavailability may be greater in krill as opposed to fish oil.
Fish oil, in which the omega-3 fats are attached to a triaglycerol backbone, has to be processed in your liver in order for the omega-3 fats to bind to choline, and then they are able to be transported to the rest of your body.
Krill oil, on the other hand, is already bound by a phospholipid backbone, which means it may be able to bypass that extra step in your liver, therefore, it could be easily absorbed and transported to the rest of your body.
Krill May Burn More Fat
The authors of this study point out that the biological effects of fish and krill oil are due to the high content of the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA.
They wanted to investigate the influence fish and krill oil had on lipid metabolism and inflammation in an animal model of low-grade exposure to hTNF-alpha, and to evaluate whether those effects were due to the structure of the two oils.
TNF-alpha is a cytokine that is released in your body and is responsible for increasing your level of systemic, chronic inflammation.
The researchers fed mice either a high-fat diet (control) or a high-fat diet consisting of equal amounts of omega-3 fats from fish or krill oil for a period of six weeks.
They noted that the krill oil group was able to control fat metabolism by lowering levels of triaglycerols and cholesterol, compared to both the control and the fish oil groups.
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Also, the researchers noted that krill oil was able to stimulate greater mitochondrial and peroxisome fatty acids beta-oxidation than the other two groups.
Fat metabolism, a good majority of the time, happens in the mitochondria of your cells. However, if it is a long-chain fat, then this fat is typically broken down in the peroxisomes, which are microbodies in your cells.
The krill oil group also showed improve carnitine turnover, which could be another sign of improved fat metabolism.
From their work, they concluded that both fish oil and krill oil have comparable levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA.
However, they did conclude that krill oil has a greater potential to promote fat catabolism (breakdown) as opposed to fish oil.
Although this research is new and exciting, it still warrants further research to verify their findings before krill or fish oil could be considered a treatment option for improving fat metabolism.
However, it does further strengthen the argument that krill oil may be superior to fish oil, due to its bioavailability of the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Health
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown beneficial to your overall health.
Most people, when they think of omega-3 fatty acids, think of fish oil, krill oil, or flaxseeds and oil.
These are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but krill oil may be more bioavailable, which means it could provide greater benefits in your body, as it relates to everything from brain and heart health to fat metabolism.
According to the results of this study, the authors showed that krill oil may be more available once in your body, which could improve fat metabolism in the mitochondrion and in other parts of the cell.
In order to maximize your health benefits, including omega-3 fatty acids in the form of krill oil may not only improve your overall health, but may even improve your ability to burn more fat.
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Filipchuk-Cigerust N, Bjorndal B, Bohov P, Brattelid T, Svardal A, Kristian-Berge R. Krill oil versus fish oil in modulation of inflammation and lipid metabolism in mice transgenic for TNF-α. Eur J Nutr. 2012. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0441-2.