Jerry Hickey is a pharmacist and radio personality. He fills the esteemed role of Scientific Director and President of InVite Health. He has spent his professional career analyzing nutritional information and medical studies with the aim of creating the most natural and highest quality nutraceuticals for the customer’s maximum personal health benefits. Here, Jerry speaks about the benefits of Krill Oil.
Krill oil is like fish oil, but there are additional ingredients in it. Once again, there's always an interaction between supplements. If you know how to use them, you can achieve positive interactions.
For instance, Krill oil has a B-vitamin in it called Choline. Choline is somewhat rare, making it difficult to get a good source of Choline. Krill oil is a little shrimp-like organism – it is so packed with energy and nutrition that blue whales can exist on it! Now, when I say energy, I mean it as in the “antioxidant” energy. There are components of Choline that shield the whales and other creatures from cold water and freezing cold temperatures, etc.
Krill has very active fish oils, but the B-vitamin Choline is one of the most important. The Krill interacts with the ALCAR with ALA. The ALCAR attaches to the Choline and creates Acetylcholine in your brain. This is an important point – as we age, we lose Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine affects the memory. The level of this will drop with age in an organ called the Hippocampus, a tiny little seahorse-type structure in your brain that is needed for memory.
If you learn something new or if you meet somebody today, this information is stored through the hippocampus at night. Next week, when you bump into him or her, the hippocampus has to retrieve that information. The Choline and the Krill interact with the ALCAR with ALA to create Acetylcholine. This is something that decreases in the body with age, and the memory suffers. When you have this supplement, one of the great things it does is help other supplements create and restore memory.
I prefer a supplement that contains Choline, so I choose Krill oil over fish oil. Another reason I chose Krill over fish oils is because it's loaded with Astaxanthin, a very powerful antioxidant that shields the eyes. Not many antioxidants are accepted by the eyes, but Astaxanthin is one of the antioxidants that has the ability to get into the eyes and protect your vision with age. It also gets into your skin, and it's been shown to reduce wrinkling and damage to the skin in both men and women, as well as discoloration such as liver spots and blemishes.
The other thing I love about Krill is that I don't get fish burps! It's very hard to create a fish oil that doesn't give you fish burps. The Krill oil, for some reason doesn't repeat on people - maybe because it's so fresh, maybe because there are so many antioxidants in it. Maybe it’s because the fish oils were attached to phosphatides. University of Berkley performed a study that pointed out that because the fish oils are attached to phosphatides, they stay more active. They have more of an impact and you don’t need as high a dose. So, you don't get the fish burps and there's no mercury issue. It’s very easy to swallow – it’s like a tiny little torpedo.
Sometimes, in fish, there's a significant amount of mercury. Now, all of our fish oil capsules at InVite are checked for Methylmercury. There's no mercury in there. There's nothing. There's no Arsenic, there's no Cadmium, there's no PCBs or anything else – they’re very pure.
In the Krill, especially since we get it from the Antarctic, which is arguably the cleanest, purest water in the world - these are very clean organisms. The oils that come out of them, they don't have the PCBs, the Polychlorinated Biphenyls that come out of the energy industry and wiring and computers, etc. They don't have PCB contamination. They don't have Methylmercury. There's no mercury issue like there would be with tuna, or swordfish, or something like that. There's no cholesterol. That's the other thing – Krill has no cholesterol, yet it has that extremely powerful antioxidant Astaxanthin which is superb in the digestive tract, perfect for the eyes and great for the skin. It has the Choline that interacts with the ALCAR with ALA to make Acetylcholine for memory, and it has the Phosphatides. This is wonderful.
In one capsule, you get Phosphatides and fish oils. These make the coating on your brain cells. They have been shown to help preserve brain function with age, and the level of both of these decreases in the aging brain. The level of Phosphatides, like Phosphatidylcholine, and Phosphatidylinositol drops in the brain with age. The level of the fish oils drops in the brain with age.
It offsets all these things that occur because when these things drop and the brain doesn't work well and doesn’t transmit messages properly and doesn't feel right. These things are needed for focus and concentration and feeling happy and also for feeling calm. That's what the Krill oil is. I switched totally from fish oils to Krill oil about two or three months ago. I take three every morning with my breakfast. Once again, no fish burps, no mercury, no cholesterol, extremely easy to swallow and you get those superb fish oils for the brain, for the eyes, for the skin and for the immunity. You get the Astaxanthin, you get the Choline for your memory, and you get the Phosphatides for the brain cells and that happy and relaxed feeling.
Research in the past couple of years has shown that fat around the valves and inside the heart is extremely dangerous. This is because fat is not just fat. It’s not just insulation; it’s biologically active. It’s metabolically active in a very evil way. When you have the kind of fat that invades your organs, it’s the same kind that causes a fatty liver, it’s the same kind that goes into the heart and it’s the same kind that’s on your belly. It’s called VAT fat, visceral adipose tissue, and it creates its own nasty chemicals. And what that does is cause inflammation and damage to arteries. So when you have fat on your belly and fat in your liver, that’s creating inflammatory chemicals that cause damage to the arteries and blood vessels and leads to heart disease.
So, imagine if you have that same fat clogging up your heart, invading your heart muscle and replacing the healthy muscle cells inside your heart. It’s a terrible thing because it increases inflammation inside the heart muscle itself and it causes clogging of the arteries inside the heart. Now blood and oxygen can no longer reach the heart muscle and you start to develop conditions like ischemic heart disease, where you get chest pain and atrial fibrillation (which are very dangerous abnormal beating patterns that can lead to a stroke) or it can contribute to a whole bunch of really terrible things such as heart failure, heart attack or abdominal aortic aneurysms.
So when you have a fatty heart, it’s nasty. A very interesting study with animals that had fatty hearts and were put on Krill oil was published in the Journal of Nutrition. These animals are bred to have fatty hearts and then they test different things on these animals. They’ll see if a certain drug helps them or they’ll see if there’s a certain surgery that protects them. So they took animals, chubby rats in this case, bred to have fatty hearts. And these animals typically die young because they have a heart attack. They gave them either fish oils or they gave them krill oil. Within a somewhat short amount of time, Krill oil reduced the fat in heart of these animals by 42%, almost cutting it in half.
Fish oils, in the same amount of time and with a similar dosage, reduced the fat level in the heart by 2%. They also found that the krill reduced the amount of fat in their liver by 60% while fish oil reduced the amount of fat in the liver by 38%. This is a very important study. Even though it’s an animal study, these are pretty advanced rats; they’re very smart mammals. I don’t know if most people know that, but rats are very intelligent. They kind of have funny tails and I’m not sure I’d personally want one as a pet, but they are really smart. And so the rats had a 42% reduction of fat in their heart with krill oil versus only 2% reduction with fish oils.
80% of people with a big belly had fat going into their liver. The fat is replacing the healthy cells in their liver and it’s also starting to invade their heart. And a certain amount of these people are going to develop fatty liver to the point where the liver gets totally clogged, which is a terminal disease called cirrhosis. It necessitates a liver transplant, and there really are not a lot of livers around, or you can die. Or you can get liver cancer or carcinoma of the liver, simply by having fatty liver. So clearly, there’s a benefit here, not just for getting fat out of the heart with krill oil, but getting it out of the liver as well.
I think this probably would translate to people, the 60% reduction in liver fat by using krill oil versus a 38% reduction with fish oils. To sum it up – fish oils are good, but I like Krill oil better.