Omega-3s: The Secret to Cellular Hydration

Cells soak up krill oil's omega-3s like a sponge

krillAs much as we may have come to accept the inevitably of aging, no one really likes noticing new signs that their body is, essentially, deteriorating. You’re probably all too familiar with what I’m talking about if you’ve experienced any of the following: dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles, vision and hearing loss, brittle hair and nails, stiff, aching joints or memory problems and fatigue.

Most people regard these common symptoms as “natural” parts of getting older. BUT, what most people — doctors included — don’t realize is these seemingly innocuous symptoms stem from a simple hidden cause, which is also a MAJOR factor in many of the serious health problems that often come along with aging.

The mainstream medical establishment has a bevy of so-called “solutions” for the complaints that come with getting older. But before you resort to taking a pharmaceutical drug (or several), you should know that the solution to your problems could be as simple, safe and affordable as adding one key thing to your diet.

The Simple Hidden Cause of Many Health Problems

Ladies and gentlemen, I have news for you: You are almost certainly chronically dehydrated. An estimated 80-95% of Americans are.[1] However, the problem is not just a lack of water, it’s a lack of cellular water. If the water you drink is unable to get into your cells, you can drink water all day long and still be dehydrated. Yes, that’s right — you can be dehydrated even if you drink the recommended 8-10 glasses of water daily.

If your cells are not absorbing and utilizing that water the way they’re supposed to, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles
  • Dry, red or irritated eyes
  • Declining vision and hearing
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Stiff, aching joints
  • Weak, brittle bones
  • Hardening of the arteries
  • Constipation
  • Headaches and fatigue
  • Cloudy thinking

What Happens When Cells Become Dehydrated

As we age, our cells lose the ability to hold water and literally begin to shrink and stiffen.[1] Their ability to expand and contract is reduced as the cell membrane starts to coat itself with cholesterol, which is a hard, waxy material designed to help the cell hold onto precious water when it’s in a dehydrated state. Over time, the cholesterol coating thickens and begins to interfere with the transfer of oxygen and nutrients into the cell and waste products out of the cell. Toxins begin to accumulate within the tissues, leading to inflammation and a whole host of associated health problems.

Unless you take action to support your body’s cellular hydration system, your health and youthful appearance will rapidly deteriorate. And as contrary to what you’ve been told as it may be, maintaining optimal hydration requires more than just drinking enough water.

So how can you improve your cells’ ability to absorb and retain water? Well, cell membranes are made up primarily of fatty acids, and breakthrough research is showing that consuming the right amount and types of fatty acids is critical to maintaining healthy, hydrated cells as you age.[2] Omega-3 fatty acids in particular play a key role in maintaining cellular hydration and keeping inflammation at bay.[3] Yet sadly, according to many experts, nearly all Americans are severely deficient in omega-3s — even many of those who take supplements and eat a healthy diet.[4]

You can get omega-3s by taking a fish oil supplement or eating fish and certain plant foods, such as flax seeds and walnuts. However, research is showing that these omega-3s are not always the easiest for cells to absorb. The fact is, the type of omega-3 supplement you take can have a huge impact on your body’s ability to keep hydrated.

Experts Are Calling This an Omega-3 “Miracle”

You may have heard about a new omega-3 supplement called krill oil that some experts claim provides health benefits light years ahead of fish oil. Krill oil, which comes from tiny shrimp-like creatures that are abundant in the pristine waters surrounding Antarctica, was thrust into the supplement spotlight when it was featured on an episode of The Dr. Oz Show called “The #1 Supplement You’ve Never Heard of That You Should Be Taking.”

I was skeptical at first, being a long-time user and advocate of fish oil. But after reading through the research on krill oil, it quickly became obvious to me that krill is vastly superior to fish as a source of omega-3s in some very striking ways. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that what these little pink crustaceans have to offer your health is nothing short of miraculous.

Cells Soak Up Krill’s Omega-3s Like a Sponge

Unlike the omega-3s found in fish oil (and some low-quality krill oil products), krill oil’s omega-3s are in the form of phospholipids. Think of these as neat little molecular packages that deliver fatty acids directly to your cells where they are needed most. Emerging research is showing that phospholipids are the most effective carriers of omega-3s into cells, due to the fact that they contain omega-3s bound to a phosphate molecule.[5] Krill’s phospholipids penetrate the cell membrane easily, helping to hydrate and nourish your skin, brain, eyes, heart, joints and entire body.

The omega-3s found in fish oil are in the less-absorbable form of free triglycerides. Research has actually shown that krill’s omega-3s are up five times more absorbable than those found in fish.[6] This means you can take approximately one-fifth the dose — think two small krill oil softgels can provide more benefits than the equivalent of 10 large fish oil pills!

When It Comes to Heart Health, Krill Does It Better

As you probably know, for a healthy cardiovascular system you need strong, pliable blood vessels and balanced levels of LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol. Healthy, hydrated cells are vital to keeping your blood vessels and heart in good shape and your cholesterol balanced — for life.

It turns out that there is perhaps no substance on earth more effective than krill oil at balancing LDL and HDL cholesterol ratios. In fact, one clinical study showed that just one-third of the amount of krill oil is up to 10 times more effective than fish oil at balancing cholesterol. That’s right — krill oil was shown to be up to 30 times more effective. Those taking krill oil had their LDL cholesterol reduced by as much as 32% vs. 5% for fish oil, and their HDL cholesterol levels improved by up to 43% vs. 4% for fish oil. In another head-to-head test, krill oil was shown to balance triglycerides by up to 28%, compared to just 3% with fish oil.[7]

An Added Bonus: The World’s Most Powerful Antioxidant

In addition to its miraculous omega-3 benefits, krill oil is also incredibly rich in the antioxidant astaxanthin, the natural carotenoid pigment that gives krill, as well as salmon and flamingos, their rosy hues. Astaxanthin is thought to be one of the most powerful antioxidants ever discovered, with free radical scavenging abilities up to 800 times more powerful than CoQ10 and vitamin E. Astaxanthin has been proven to minimize wrinkles, blemishes and dryness, and even reverse years of skin damage.[8]

Astaxanthin is unique in that, unlike many antioxidants, it can cross the blood-brain barrier to protect your brain and nervous system and the blood-retinal barrier to protect your eyes.[9,10] Astaxanthin has also been shown to enhance immunity and strength and endurance, making it easier to recover from exercise.[11,12]

As an added bonus, the astaxanthin in krill oil acts as natural preservative, preventing oxidation and rancidity, giving it a longer shelf life and eliminating any possible “fishy” aftertaste that you might experience with fish oil.

Don’t Get Duped by Shady Supplement Slingers

A word of caution: Due to krill oil’s sudden popularity, everyone is trying to cash in on the trend and krill oil quality, purity and potency varies WILDLY, so to avoid getting swindled by shady supplement slingers, you’ve got to know what to look for.

Here are my three tips to making sure you get the best krill oil supplement:

#1: Make sure it provides at least 500 mg of omega-3s in the phospholipid form. Remember, krill’s omega-3s are up to 5x more absorbable than those found in fish, but you still need a clinically effective dose.

#2: Choose a supplement that has additional astaxanthin added, on top of what is already in krill oil. This enhances krill’s antioxidant benefits and also ensures that the oil stays fresh and potent.

#3: To avoid the potential for contamination, only take krill oil that is produced in the U.S. by a company you can trust to purify and test the final product for impurities.

If you are looking for a high-quality krill oil supplement, click here.


Sources

1. Batmanghelidj F, MD. Your Body’s Many Cries for Water. (Global Health Solutions, 1997.)
2. Nature. 2006 Apr 6; 440: 813-817.
3. Clin Chem. 2006; 52:12; 2265-2272.
4. PLoS Med. 2009 Apr 28; 6(4):e1000058.
5. Nutr Rev. 2007 Feb;65(2):63-77.
6. Lipids. 2010; 46(1):25-36.
7. Altern Med Rev. 2004; 9(4):420-428.
8. Caroten Sci. 2006; 10:91-95.
9. Br J Nutr. 2011; 105:11, 1563-71.
10. Eur J Ophthalmol. 2011; 17:0. doi: 10.5301/ejo.5000069.
11. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010; 5;7:18.
12. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2003; 5(1):139-44.

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