February is Heart Month in which the British Heart Foundation (BHF) urges us to make lifestyle changes that can help us live better and for longer. According to Public Health England Over 84,000 people die from heart attacks or strokes each year in the UK, and one in four of these are happening in people less than 75 years of age.
Menopause and heart disease
More specific to women experiencing the menopause, the BHF explains that before the menopause, women in general have a lower risk of being affected by coronary heart disease. But during and after the menopause, your risk of getting coronary heart disease and other circulatory conditions rises. This is because oestrogen is a hormone produced in a woman’s body which helps to protect different parts of her body, including the heart and blood vessels.
During and after the menopause, a woman’s body will produce less oestrogen than it used to. This increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease, or a circulatory condition such as stroke, because the heart and blood vessels are less protected. The good news is up to 80% of premature heart attacks and strokes are avoidable and this highlights the importance of focusing on preventative interventions such as stopping smoking, getting more physically active, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Eating healthier foods and incorporating certain dietary supplements into your lifestyle are also important and beneficial to helping combat heart issues.
Omega-3 supplementation has long been an established method of supporting one’s heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that may reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes. Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to help decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure slightly, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke and heart failure risk and reduce irregular heartbeats.
As our bodies are not able to produce Omega-3s, these crucial polyunsaturated fatty acids can only be obtained from our diet. Eating at least one to two servings a week of fish, particularly fish that’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is recommended to maintain a healthy heart however it is estimated that 90-95% of the population in the west are deficient in Omega-3s so supplements place an increasingly important role in our health.
Fish oil, which is derived from fatty fish like anchovies, mackerel and salmon, is one of the most popular dietary supplements in the world to support heart health. However in recent times, Krill Oil has emerged as the premium Omega-3 supplement which is rich in EPA and DHA.
So why Krill? Whilst oily fish are a rich source of Omega-3, krill is an altogether more advanced form of Omega-3. Krill oil is rich in EPA and DHA, the two types of omega-3 fatty acids that provide most of its health benefits. However, the fatty acids in krill oil are structurally different than those in fish oil, and this may impact the way the body uses them. The Omega-3 in krill oil is delivered into the body in the desirable phospholipid form meaning they are better absorbed compared to their triglyceride counterparts found in fish oils. Krill oil also contains the antioxidant Astaxanthin which helps protect the body from oxidative stress. Research has demonstrated that Astaxanthin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties provide some heart health benefits including lowering triglycerides and increasing “good” HDL cholesterol levels. There have been other studies which found that krill oil was more effective than fish oil at lowering several risk factors for heart disease.
All in all Red Krill Oil is a great source of Omega-3, rich in DHA and EPA and has demonstrated that it can also improve heart health, possibly to a greater extent than fish oil. What’s more, a good source of Omega-3 also has added benefits such as helping with dry skin, lifeless hair, cracked nails and fatigue to name just a few.