Krill – a better form of Omega 3?

The health benefits of Omega 3 are well known for helping with cardiovascular and cholesterol support as well as anti-inflammatory properties which may help arthritis and joint pain and is linked to improvements in memory and brain function.

If you already are a convert then you certainly have a huge variety of supplements to choose from and here is a new one from Silvertown Health and their source is pure Antarctic Krill.

The Krill population of the world has been estimated as outweighing the human population of the world which certainly came as a surprise to me, as the only thing I really know about krill is that it is a favourite food of whales. This particular variety of small crustaceans is found in the Antarctic peninsula and apparently, their Omega-3 oils are in a phospholipid form which is suggested as far more beneficial and potent than the triglyceride structure found in normal fish oil supplements.

Krill oil, unlike fish oil, also contains Astaxanthin, one of the most powerful antioxidants known to man (or indeed woman) and said to be 300 times more powerful than the antioxidant vitamins A & E and 34 times more powerful than Co Q10.
Antioxidants are vital in supporting the immune system and reducing DNA damaging free radicals.

It seems that Silvertown Health Krill Oil is harvested ethically by a leading European krill oil harvester (though I would have thought that the whales had first claim on that as it is one of their most essential forms of food) and has Novel Food Approved status-whatever that may be. I would have thought anything that was essential to health was hardly novel, but perhaps the krill are great readers.  However, as they are monitored by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Marine Stewardship Council to ensure strict environmental standards that probably balances itself out.

If you want to try Krill oil you should be able to find it in most good health stores and you only need one 500mg capsule a day to feel the effects. If you want to go the ethical route as well – buy it online from Silvertown here: Krill Oil

Ginseng is a natural anti-inflammatory


Ginseng has long been used for stamina and supporting the immune system, but new research shows that it can also be an affective anti-inflammatory. Chinese medicine has used ginseng for treating many conditions and it is a powerful adaptogen – a substance that has a normalizing effect on the body and helps to support the body to deal with stress and illness. Ginseng is able to stimulate functions that regulate the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the endocrine glands.It was researchers from the University of Hong Kong who identified seven ginseng constituents that showed immune-suppressive effects. Their study involved treating human immune cells with different extracts of ginseng and was the first to identify ginseng as a potential anti-inflammatory.

Ginseng has already been extensively studied, and among it’s many benefits are it’s ability to reduce the effects of both physical and emotional stress, improve stamina and cope with fatigue without stimulants like caffeine. All of this has made it a popular supplement for various armies around the world, particularly in the Soviet Union.

For non-military types, it is also heart protective as it’s anti-clotting effects reduce the risk of arterial blood clots and it will help reduce cholesterol levels.
Diabetics also often favour it as a supplement as it reduces sugar levels, which in turn helps them control their diabetes. Those who need to be on a permanent drug regime find it valuable for it’s ability to protect the liver from the effects not just of drugs, but also alcohol and environmental toxins.

Think Z’s for winter protection

I am not talking about catching up on your sleep, though winter is the time for slowing down and even hibernating if you are a bear! Z is for zinc and although perhaps it’s best known, and most popular effect is on the sex drive, it is also essential for supporting the immune system.

Many people get shots for flu or pneumonia with the onset of winter, but their effectiveness is reduced if you don’t have a strong immune system to help support their benefits. It’s a bit like swallowing vitamins to help your health,but not eating regularly or well – they will not do the job on their own. The truth is that once you get over the age of 55, you are likely to have a zinc deficiency and this leads to a greater susceptibility to infections, and increased oxidative stress. The good news is that this is easily reversed by taking a zinc supplement for just one year. The suggested dose is 45mg daily and a US study that showed that just that amount reduced the incidence of infections and inflammation. Speaking specifically about pneumonia, there is a new study from the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in the US that looked at residents in Nursing homes in Boston. Half the residents were given a placebo, and half given daily supplements of vitamins, including zinc. The trial lasted a year and at the end of it everyone was given a blood test to check their zinc levels. Interestingly the trial only gave people half the recommended dietary allowance, and yet those who received the supplements and had nearly normal zinc levels had less incidence and duration of pneumonia, together with less use of antibiotics. Of those who were given antibiotics, the patients with low blood levels of zinc needed greater amounts than those with reasonable zinc levels.

The researchers were very clear that taking zinc supplements could help the over 55′s to reduce the frequency and serious effects of attacks of pneumonia – which can be fatal in vulnerable patients.

Although the US study suggested 45mg a day for supplementation, the RDA (recommended daily allowance) is just 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women. Many nutritionists consider the RDA to be far too low but you might want to start with that and gradually increase the amount – or talk it over with your doctor if you are concerned.

Need more reasons to up your zinc levels? As well as helping protect your immune system zinc is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, protects your eyes from age-related macular degeneration and it inhibits the abnormal blood clotting that contributes to heart disease. Don’t like supplements? Make a point of adding zinc-rich foods to your daily diet such as red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products. Two of the best sources are oysters and cabbage, though not at the same time if you have any respect for your taste buds!