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Brain Food: Krill Oil for Cognition, Behaviour and Mood

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Omega-3 fatty acids from deep-sea fish have long been known to provide outstanding anti-inflammatory benefits that can protect you from cardiovascular disease. New findings show that omega-3 fatty acids also have profound benefits for brain function, including prevention of age-related brain shrinkage, protecting cognitive function and memory, and preventing dementia and possibly depression. As research continues to grow in this field, scientists have begun to analyse how different omega-3 sources affect the body.

Like fish oil, krill oil contains high levels of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA, however they are presented in different structural forms. In fish oil, the EPA and DHA components are bound to triglycerides, whereas in krill oil they are incorporated with phospholipids which seems to facilitate their transport into the brain. As well as this, krill oil is a rich source of the antioxidant astaxanthin which may protect fatty acids from oxidation and have a positive impact on brain function. The high content of phospholipids from krill oil may also benefit mood and cognition due to their incorporation into neuronal cell membranes. This may be particularly effective in modulating neuronal membrane function and signalling, including processes of synaptic transmission and plasticity. Recent studies have shown that krill oil may facilitate learning processes and provide antidepressant-like effects.

In this infographic we review the benefits of krill oil for cognition, behaviour and mood based on its unique chemistry and recent research.


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Melissa Lee
Melissa is a designer turned nutritionist, who has combined the two modalities to create purposeful designs for various health publications and websites. Having initially studied Multimedia Systems Design, she then went on to complete a BHSc in Nutritional Medicine which led to her involvement in the integrative medicine industry and eventually to FX Medicine.