Posts Tagged ‘krill oil’

Scientific research reveals brain alterations linking omega 3 fish oil deficit with depression

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The link between deficits of omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids (AGPO-3) and the onset of depressive disorders is not new in the medical field. However, what has not been known until now is the brain mechanism by which diet can condition mental health to a certain extent. Research undertaken by scientists in Bordeaux (France) and at the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and published in Nature Neuroscience, provides new clues to understanding this phenomenon.

The name of the research work, ‘Omega-3 nutritional deficiencies annul the neuronal functions of the endocannabinoid system’ describes the research findings, endocannabinoid system being linked to the onset of depressive disorders.

According to Doctor Susana Mato, researcher in the Ramón y Cajal programme, attached to the Neurosciences Department of the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology at the UPV/EHU and member of the Neurobiology Group, “we have observed that, in mice subjected to a diet low in omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids, they have lower AGPO-3 brain levels, and this fact is associated with an alteration in the functioning of the endocannabinoid system”. More concretely, the researcher points to the confirmation of “the existence of a deficit in the signalling of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This protein — the CB1 cannabinoid receptor — has been linked, over the last decade and in various studies, to depressive disorders.”

Doctor Rafael Rodríguez-Puertas, research worker responsible for the Neurochemical and Neurodegeneration team at the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology at the UPV/EHU, points out that “certain forms of synaptic plasticity — a change in the efficiency of neuronal communication — measured by the brain’s endocannabinoid system, disappear specifically from certain zones of the brains of mice with AGPO-3 deficit”.

Despite several example in the scientific literature referring to the existence of a link between the low presence of AGPO-3 in the diet and depressive disorders, Susana Mato recognises that “little more is known about how modern Western diets, poor in AGPO-3, affect brain function and what might be the reason for a greater rate of depression associated with a deficit of these fatty acids”.

As doctor Rodríguez-Puertas points out, “thanks to the results of this research new possibilities are opened up for undertaking deeper research, such as how diet modifies the functioning of the brain in general and the endocannabinoid system in particular, and how this is linked to mental disorders”.

It also, “reinforces the idea that manipulating the endocannabinoid system can be useful for the treatment of depressive disorders, although the data we have up to now is very green for us to say what would be the ideal way to do so”, pointed out Dr Mato.

Collaboration amongst European researchers

The research work started with two French teams located in Bordeaux and led respectively by doctors Olivier J Manzoni and Sophie Layé. They have been working for a number of years with mice which show low levels of AGPO-3 in their brain, due to a low diet in these fatty acids.

“Dr Manzoni’s team discovered that the synaptic plasticity of the neuronal connections, which is mediated by endocannabinoids, disappears in these animals”, pointed out Dr S. Mato. To this end, in 2008, they made contact with researchers at the Faculty of Medicine at the UPV/EHU in order to obtain their collaboration in undertaking new research in order to identify possible change sin the expression and activity of the cannabinoid receptors.

In fact, in order to draw conclusions from the study, it has been necessary to employ a large number of research techniques, amongst which were “the analysis of the brain’s fatty acids, electrophysiology, autoradiography of receptors, the western blot (for quantification of proteins), the determination of levels of endocannabinoids and behaviour tests”, listed Doctor Rodríguez-Puertas. “In fact”, continued the researcher, “in our research team we are experts in the autoradiography of receptors technique and in anatomically identifying the activation of the receptors of the endocannabinoid system”.

Omega 3 Fish Oil benefits help prevent muscle loss in breast cancer and protects immune system

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Fish oil supplements may help prevent muscle loss in breast cancer survivors and help them ward off other chronic diseases, new research from Australia suggests.The study suggests there are clear benefits fish oil supplementation.

Loss of muscle mass shortly after cancer treatment is a common problem for breast cancer survivors.

The problem may be partly due to the presence of chronic inflammation, which causes a breakdown in muscle tissue.

But fish oils interfere with inflammation, thereby reducing its effect.

University of Queensland researcher Cameron McDonald says exercise is effective in rebuilding lost muscle but it’s often hard to maintain over time.

He says muscle loss exposes survivors to the prospect of earlier onset, or exacerbated, obesity-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“If fish oil supplementation is effective in preventing muscle loss before it occurs, or even more effective when used in conjunction with exercise, it could significantly decrease the risk of survivors developing a chronic disease,” the PhD student says.

Research is still in its early stages and clinical trials are set to start later in the year.

Krill Oil passes stringent EU Safety Assessment

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Europe has since 1997 required a very high standard, and notoriously longwinded, procedure of safety assessments before anything produced for human consumption can be deemed fit for sale across all member states. They test the product as well as the source and the production facilities. Sensible precautions one would agree, but over the years the tests have received a lot of criticism from industry innovators for holding back the advancements of new developments. The Novel Food regulations cover any food ingredients not commonly consumed in the EU prior to May 1997. Krill oil produced by Israeli firm Enzymotec is the latest to face and pass these tests.

Krill are a type of plankton commonly eaten by whales and make up the biggest bio mass in the world. Currently we harvest only 1% of their population for human consumption, but with Enzymotec now licensed to farm them we can hope to see more krill oil in products on our shelves and its popularity increasing further.

One of the reasons for the strict tests is that there was concern that krill was not being responsibly farmed, and in turn having a negative effect on the populations of its natural predators. Whole Foods in the US even went as far as removing it from their shelves, saying:

“Fishery management needs to better understand how to evaluate the prey requirements of other marine species in order to set sustainable catch levels for krill.”

Enzymotec have proven through their success in the Novel Foods tests that their krill oil is produced to the highest standards and are responsibly farmed. Their sources are monitored by the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR,) which inspect and verify each and every krill catch. Enzymotec last year announced the development of a new 200,000sq foot facility, expanding its production capacity significantly and has meant they can now produce a lower grade but more affordable krill oil to be competitive in global markets alongside their normal standard of product.

Krill oil is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids, marine lecithin and astaxanthin (an antioxidant.) Much like other sources of Omega 3, krill oil has many health benefits for mother and child through pregnancy and for cardiovascular health, not to mention cholesterol, premenstrual syndrome and arthritis. The astaxanthin in krill oil is another reason for its popularity. It comes from the algae they eat and gives krill their red colour, bringing with it antioxidants which theoretically can protect brain cells, eyes and the central nervous systems. It has even been mentioned that it may have anti-cancer properties.

Why not try some krill oil today!



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