Omega-3s; Krill Oil; DHA and EPA
1:59:49 – Dr. Patrick explains what she knows about krill oil. EPA, DHA, and ALA make up the three types of omega-3 fatty acids. DHA is important for the brain because it is part of the cell membrane of the neurons and astrocytes and is particularly concentrated in the grey matter of the brain. Fish oil is distilled to get rid of the bad things that fish have accumulated over time. The distilling process adds an ethanol backbone instead of a glyceride backbone (triglyceride) to the fat molecule. Some companies leave the ethanol on the fat but this form is not recognized well by the lipase enzymes in our small intestines – so it doesn’t get absorbed well. Nordic Naturals, the company Dr. Patrick uses, does not keep the ethanol group so the fat is in its triglyceride form. Krill oil fats are in a phospholipid form, this form can be absorbed by the small intestine and studies have shown that there can be a 40% increase in bioavailability in this phospholipid form.
2:02:45 – More on krill oil. We have a transporter to get DHA into the brain and it is a form of DHA known as lysophosphatidylcholine. This form is in krill oil so this means that the brain can easily receive this form, according to Patrick, the brain prefers it. Krill oil is cool because the DHA is in that lysophosphatidylcholine form. Krill oil may make DHA very bioavailable but it doesn’t compete with fish oil’s concentrated EPA levels. In other words, krill oil is the winner when discussing DHA.
2:04:33 – EPA. Your brain needs a constant supply of EPA (unlike DHA, which the brain conserves very well). EPA is important for a number of reasons, including neuroinflammatory prevention as mentioned before. Fish oils can have concentrated amounts of EPA in the triglyceride form (without the ethanol group); this is the preferred form so check if a company keeps the glyceride backbone. Dr. Patrick takes both krill oil and fish oil; krill for the form the DHA comes in (lysophosphatidylcholine) and fish oil for the EPA. She takes 2 grams of fish oil [a day I’m assuming].
2:05:50 – Krill oil also has astaxanthin (a carotenoid). This compound is used in the rods and cones of our eyes to prevent singlet oxygen (created from UV radiation) from doing damage to our eyes.
2:07:06 – Rancidity. Apparently, some companies isolate their fatty acids under nitrogen conditions therefore eliminating most of the oxygen. This allows the fat to keep from going rancid for much longer. Regarding krill oil, the astaxanthin is also good at preventing lipid peroxidation so that helps the keep the fat from going rancid. She recommends finding krill oil with high astaxanthin.
Healthy Vision; Lutein and Zeaxanthin
2:08:15 – What specifically is a good thing to take for healthy vision? Dr. Patrick recommends things that contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds are present in greens, and kale in particular has a lot. Lutein and zeaxanthin are only found in the eyes and the brain.
Alpha Lipoic Acid; Brain Aging
2:14:35 – Alpha lipoic acid. Dr. Patrick’s mentor has shown in a study that when you give alpha lipoic acid to old rats, it made their brains young. It seemed to have reversed brain aging. Alpha liopic acid should be taken on an empty stomach because when taken with protein, [it is assumed] the protein cleaves away at the compound rendering it ineffective.
2:18:24 – Negative effects of nitrites. Nitrites can form nitrosamines. These can bind to DNA and form a bulky adduct, which replication machinery cannot recognize so it puts a random base pair. Therefore, these nitrosamines are carcinogens. There are some nitrites in greens but plenty of antioxidants come from these foods so there is a balance that makes it less likely for nitrosamines to form (the nitrites form nitrous oxide instead). Meat (cured meat) however have few antioxidants so the balance is shifted to a less favorable state. Moreover, cooking meat can create nitrosamines through the process of nitrites binding to water forming nitrous acid which reacts with amino acids forming nitrosamines. Look for meat without any nitrite treatment, because these foods can lead to the formation of carcinogenic compounds.