Omega-3s; Krill Oil; DHA and EPA
(Episode 568) 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.
(Episode 568) 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.
(Episode 568) 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].
(Episode 568) 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.
(Episode 568) 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.
Micronutrients; Inflammation; Serotonin
(Episode 672) 2:42:06 – The role of micronutrients in the serotonin pathway. Vitamin D activates the gene that turns tryptophan into serotonin [mentioned in a earlier summary]. Omega-3s reduce the inflammatory molecules known as E2 series prostaglandins which get into the brain and stop the serotonin from being released [also mentioned in an earlier summary]. Vitamin D and omega-3s play a vital role in maintaining a healthy serotonin pathway. Abnormal activity in the serotonin pathway can lead to impulsivity.
(Episode 672) 2:43:54 – When you are exhausted or inflamed due to stress, tryptophan gets converted mostly into compounds that regulate the immune system (instead of being converted into serotonin). So there is a diversion towards a pathway, depriving the brain of serotonin. Not getting enough sleep can lead to impulsive behavior [there isn’t any technical information provided because it’s been a while since she read the study]. Dr. Patrick theorizes that people with serotonin problems (impulsivity and depression) need to supplement with vitamin D and omega-3s.
Omega-3s; Fat Burning; Exercise
(Episode 773) 2:34:26 – 2g of EPA and 1g of DHA increased fat burning during exercise by 27% and at resting by ~14%. It has been shown that these fat compounds increased the activity of UCP1, forming new mitochondria in the fat and, as mentioned above, led to fat loss.
Omega-3s; ALA in Plants
(Episode 773) 2:35:00 – Omega-3 plant based source; alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). There are important things to consider. Studies have shown that people who take only ALA need to take about 33.5 times more than they would if they took EPA and DHA, because our bodies are not very good at converting ALA into EPA and DHA, which are essential for the brain. [very important thing to know].