Krill Oil Supports Brain Health & Memory in Adults
As we age, we often don’t think much about our memory and the health of our brains. We take for granted the ease at which we can recall a list, the location of our keys, details from a conversation, or even someone’s name. In addition to the physical health of our brain, our culture writ-large has also been increasingly focused on mental and emotional health. Practices like affirmations, exercise, and talk therapy have become healthy habits that we can all embrace. But what happens when we can’t remember something? Is it because we woke up a little tired this morning, or could it be a sign of something more? And when we go through emotional low periods, is it a signal that we need to adjust our habitual coping mechanisms or is that low period linked to a biological mechanism, something systemic?
When it comes to the brain, scientists and regular aging adults alike still have lots of questions. But there are some things we do know. Making sure your diet is rich in Omega-3s is a great place to start. Omega-3s can provide the extra support your brain needs while delivering a meaningful impact to overall health.
How Omega-3s Benefit Your Brain
Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, are nutrients that play a crucial role in brain structure and performance. EPA is responsible for the support of mental and mood health while DHA supports overall brain function. Both deliver neuroprotective benefits. It may surprise you to learn that DHA is already located inside the brain, and in a higher concentration compared to other organs such as our liver. Researchers believe that these high DHA levels exist through the uptake of DHA from lipids in circulating blood. These lipids reach the brain by crossing through the blood-brain barrier. In contrast to DHA, EPA brain levels are considerably lower.
EPA depletion in the brain could be the result of its rapid oxidation. Oxidative stress inside the brain can damage structures inside brain cells or cause cellular death.
Our Diets Come up Short in Omegas-3s
Americans tend to eat less than half of the 26 pounds of fish per year recommended by experts. And in contrast, Americans on average buy seven times more chicken and beef in a year than fish (a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids).
It’s therefore not surprising that most people find themselves falling short when it comes to getting enough EPA and DHA (critical Omega-3 nutrients) in their diets. In fact, researchers estimate that only 10% to 20% of U.S. consumers meet the federal Dietary Guideline recommendation of 8oz of fish per week. We’re missing out on critical nutrients!
What Happens to the Brain as We Age
Let’s take a look at what actually happens to the brain as it ages. When we enter middle age, the brain undergoes small but measurable changes. From a structural perspective, parts of our brains actually begin to shrink beginning in our 30s or 40s, with the rate accelerating around age 60. As the size of the entire brain shrinks, neuronal changes take place as well, resulting in the decrease of connections, or synapses, between brain cells, which can affect learning and memory. Additionally, the process of creating new neurons slows as well, a process called neurogenesis.
A 2015 study undertaken to understand the connection between Omega-3s and brain health found that taking a daily Omega-3 supplement over time may result in less brain atrophy for some with normal cognition function.
Krill Oil Offers Superior Omega-3 Absorption
Of all the supplements that contain Omega-3, krill oil has some key advantages over fish oil, a common supplement taken for Omega-3 nutrients. A pure Antarctic krill oil like Kori Krill Oil delivers Omega-3s to our digestive systems in their most natural phospholipid form. Phospholipids are in fact the mechanism that delivers docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a vital Omega-3 fatty acid found in abundance in the brain, to the brain. DHA cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier on its own; phospholipids serve as the transporter. In contrast, fish oil loses these phospholipids during processing and delivers their Omega-3s in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride is a parallel chain of molecules with a molecular backbone used to transport essential fats around the body. While Omega-3s in a triglyceride formation can be absorbed by the body, Omega-3s that are phospholipid-bound have been found to be even more easily absorbed and utilized.
While our brain ages with us, proper Omega-3 fatty acid consumption can help you feel confident that you’re giving your brain, memory and mental health the extra support it needs.
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