Omega-3 Guide by Aarja Health
Optimal Health for Your Body
Quality of fats is important for normal functions of human body. There are four types of fats humans get from nutrition: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and the worst group of fats – trans fats.
But what kind of fats are good for your health then? Saturated fats are not necessarily harmful but a diet rich in saturated fats may increase the bad LDL cholesterol in your blood. Polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats are the most healthful fat qualities and polyunsaturated fats (like fish and krill oil) are the most essential fats for humans, which e.g. decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol, if used instead of saturated fats. There are two types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (1).
In this Aarja blog post we’ll explain you the health benefits of omega-3 – the king of the fats – and why we prefer krill oil over fish oil as a source of omega-3.
Fish is traditionally known as a good source of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. Sources of omega-3 usually contain several different fatty acids and you may have heard of the most beneficial ones - docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA, DHA and EPA are long-chain fatty acids with plenty of researched health benefits.
DHA and EPA are specifically good for...
o Healthy eyes & brain*
Did you know that your brain is nearly 60% fat and DHA is the main fatty acid of nerve system, brain and eyes? The highest concentration of DHA in the body is found in the retina, whilst it has an essential role for a healthy vision. The daily diet rich in omega-3 sources contributes to the maintenance of healthy vision and normal brain function.
o Heart & blood*
It has been scientifically proved that DHA helps to maintain normal blood triglyceride levels and the daily intake of DHA with EPA together contributes to normal blood pressure. These effective fatty acids are also good for the maintenance of fasting triglycerides levels in blood and omega-3 fatty acids are especially good for the healthy heart.
o Normal brain and visual development of infants and fetus*
Consumption of omega-3 sources are vitally important for pregnant women and it’s likely that the body needs more omega-3 fatty acids (especially EPA and DHA) during pregnancy to support fetal growth. EPA and DHA have proven to contribute particularly normal development of fetal brain and eyes. The usual reason for deficit in omega-3 during pregnancy is related to concern about adverse effects of mercury. (2)
ALA is good for the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. For vegans and people allergic to fish or shellfish ALA is especially important, as it’s able to produce small amounts of EPA and DHA for the body.
Where to get omega-3 fatty acids naturally?
The best and probably also the most widely known source of omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fishes (like salmon, mackerel, seabass etc.). The only plant-based sources of EPA and DHA are seaweed and microalgae. Good sources of ALA are chia, hemp and flaxseeds and walnuts. A varied diet, that includes these omega-3 sources is one of the best ways to ensure a daily intake of EPA, DHA and ALA, but if you are worried about getting all the essential fatty acids from your diet, are omega-3 supplements a good and healthy option.
There are few types of omega-3 supplements in the market. Fish oil is the most commonly known omega-3 supplement, but krill oil supplements are also rich in omega-3, especially in EPA and DHA.
Next, we’ll explain you why we consider that krill oil is better than fish oil.
KRILL OIL VS. FISH OIL
A noticeable difference between krill and fish oil is the color of oil and capsules. Krill oil has a natural reddish color and fish oil more yellow shaded. Both supplements are healthful, but the composition of krill oil contains naturally some different properties that are not found in fish oil.
Krill oil contains this natural antioxidant - astaxanthin that not only gives that beautiful red color to the krill oil but protects the oil from oxidation and works as a natural preservative keeping it good longer.
But in any case, if you open a fish oil jar and smell repulsive odor, it’s usually a sign of oxidised fish oil, and hence not recommend to be used – why? Oxidised fish oils have proved to be harmful in animal studies, but there is still a lack of proper long-term studies that show clearly the health risks for humans.(3) However, it’s good to follow the best before -mark.
Krill oil also contains phospholipids that allow a greater bioavailability and better absorption. (4) Scientific evidence shows that fish oil contains fatty acids in the form of triglycerides, which ability to enter the interior of cells is much less effective.(5) The physical characteristics also affect that triglycerides don’t disperse and have tendency to float on top of stomach fluids, which may cause fishy burps. Phospholipid formed omega-3 fatty acids disperse in water and blend easily with the stomach fluids – so there will be no fishy aftertaste.(6)
Krill oil may contain less omega than fish oil, but the key is the quality, not the quantity – krill oil is undoubtedly one of the best options as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike fish oils, krill oil contains these phospholipids - small structures that assist to transport omega-3 fatty acids into the cells more effectively.
Krill is free from mercury or PCBs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) for at least two important reasons: krill is the last in the food chain, so it does not accumulate mercury like other marine species, and it is found in the pure clean waters of Antarctica away from such common pollutants and mercury.
Krill oil contains naturally choline - an essential nutrient for a healthy body. Choline has been scientifically proved to contribute to healthy liver and normal homocysteine metabolism. And the normal function of the liver is important for maintaining the proper level of nutrients in the blood.
Unfortunately, poor diet, especially high consumption of processed meat can damage hepatocytes in the liver and thus create different health problems. About 25 % of adults around the world have non-alcoholic fatty liver, which poses a risk e.g. for cardiovascular disease. (7) Choline helps to move fat out of the liver and to prevent liver disease from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Choline is one of the most essential nutrients for normal lipid metabolism.* And by reducing the fat in the liver, choline releases the liver to do its key functions - filtering, detoxifying and converting food into energy.
Choline also helps to create neurotransmitters, which are an important part of our nervous system and phospholipids.(8)
OMEGA3 BOOST By Aarja Health®
At Aarja Health® we love ethical values and nature along the pure nutrition and that’s also why we choose to use krill oil instead of fish oil in our OMEGA3 BOOST.
The capture of krill oil is sustainable.
Krill has been estimated to have the largest biomass of the ocean. Fishing of krill is in the sustainable limits and the krill oil we use in Aarja comes from 100% sustainable and traceable source, read more about the supplier and Eco-Harvesting here.
Traditional trawling methods can cause unwanted catches (fish, seals, etc.) which threatens the fragile Antarctic marine ecosystem. Our krill oil supplier uses the EcoHarvesting™ system, which is currently the most sustainable way to harvest krill and avoid the harm for other marine species. Our supplier has also the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, which is globally noticed criteria for sustainable fishing.
Our OMEGA3 BOOST is 100% natural, pure and sustainable omega-3 source with the high quality and superior absorption.
• It needs less quantity, thanks to the phospholipids that make it a much more effective and allow smaller capsules.
• It’s well absorbable since its omega-3 fatty acids are attached to phospholipids.
• Contains astaxanthin, to help maintain its stability and resistance to oxidation.
• Don’t worry, it’s clean – doesn’t contain any mercury or other contaminants.
• It is sustainable and traceable – we love nature!