Krill Oil Dramatically Lowers C-Reactive Protein

Wednesday, January 02, 2008 by: Teri Lee Gruss
Tags: Neptune krill oil, krill, C-Reactive Protein

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(NaturalNews) Canadian researchers published the findings of a randomized, double blind study designed to assess the effects of Neptune Krill Oil (NKO) on levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients with chronic inflammation. The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Ninety subjects participated in the study and were chosen based on confirmed diagnosis of severely elevated CRP (>1.0 mg/dL or 10mg/L) with cardiovascular disease and/or rheumatoid arthritis and/or osteoarthritis.

Half of the subjects received 300mg of NKO daily and half were given a placebo.

* After 7 days, CRP decreased 19.3% in those treated with NKO and increased 15.7% in the placebo group.

* After 14 days, CRP decreased 29.7% in the NKO group and increased 32.1% in the placebo group.

* After 30 days, CRP decreased 30.9% in the NKO group and dropped to a 25.1% increase in the placebo group.

* Arthritis symptoms were assessed using the WOMAC arthritis score assessment. Researchers found that "NKO reduced pain scores by 28.9%, reduced stiffness by 20.3% and reduced functional impairment by 22.8%".

Researchers concluded that "results of the present study clearly indicate that NKO at a daily dose of 300 mg significantly inhibits inflammation and reduces arthritic symptoms within a short treatment period of 7 and 14 days".

Previous studies have found that Krill oil can significantly lower LDL cholesterol while raising HDL, a fete that no pharmaceutical drug as yet managed to achieve.

The journal Alternative Medicine Review reported that "krill oil is effective for the management of hyperlipidemia by significantly reducing total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, and increasing HDL levels. At lower and equal doses, krill oil was significantly more effective than fish oil for the reduction of glucose, triglycerides, and LDL levels."

The findings of these studies provide good news, both for people seeking safe and effective ways to reduce their risks for cardiovascular disease and to treat the debilitating symptoms of osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.

Have you had a C-reactive protein test?

C-reactive protein is a glycoprotein produced by the liver. It is found in trace amounts in healthy people but rises during acute, systemic (widespread) inflammation.

A more sensitive CRP test has been developed and is available at labs nationwide. It is called a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) assay and is a better test for determining risk for heart disease than the older, non-sensitive, CRP assay. Elevated hs-CRP is considered a positive risk factor for heart disease. If your doctor recommends a CRP test, or if you request one, make sure it is the newer hs-CRP assay.

The American Heart Association protocol for CRP: CVD risk

* You are at low risk of developing cardiovascular disease if your hs-CRP level is lower than 1.0mg/L.

* You are at average risk of developing cardiovascular disease if your levels are between 1.0 and 3.0 mg/L.

* You are at high risk for cardiovascular disease if your hs-CRP level is higher than 3.0 mg/L.

According to information at "In middle-aged Americans, the average hs-CRP level is between 1.0 and 2.0 mg/L. About one quarter of Americans have a hs-CRP level above 3mg/L, placing them in the higher risk group".

What is Krill Oil and where does it come from?

Krill are tiny marine crustaceans that feed on phytoplankton. They are at the bottom of the oceanic food chain and are a major food source for migratory sea life, including whales and seals. Because they are so low on the food chain, mercury, PCBs and heavy metals contamination are not considered safety issues like they are in sourcing fish oils.

Krill oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), vitamins A and E, and the antioxidant astaxanthin.

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid pigment responsible for the pinkish color of the crustacean shell and is a powerful "quencher" of the free radical singlet oxygen and scavenger of peroxyl radicals that damage cell structure and function.

Compared to omega-3 rich fish oils, krill oil has a slightly different biomolecular profile and is thought to be absorbed more readily through the intestinal wall, increasing the "bioavailability" of omega three fatty acids. Smaller doses provide many of the same benefits correlated with fish oil intake and the additional antioxidant content of Krill oil make it an important alternative, preventive, and therapeutic treatment for CVD and other inflammatory related diseases.

References and additional reading:

Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2007 Feb;26(1):39-48
Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms., Deutsch, L (

Altern Med Rev 2004;9(4):420-428
Evaluation of the effects of Neptune krill oil on the clinical course of hyperlipidemia, Ruxandra Bunea (

Am Heart J. 2005;150(5):1064.e1-1064.e5. (



About the author

Teri Lee Gruss, MS Human Nutrition

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