In a study published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that the complexins found in fruits and vegetables are an effective treatment for heart disease.
The study also showed that consuming complexins like krill oil can protect against cardiovascular disease.
The complexins, found in some fruits and nuts and in some fish, have been linked to improved blood flow in the arteries, which are important for blood clotting.
They also protect against the development of heart disease by promoting the production of HDL, a type of cholesterol.
The heart disease-fighting benefits of complexins have not been studied in humans, however, the researchers say they found that consuming the compound can lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels in patients with cardiovascular disease and at risk for heart attacks.
The study found that patients who took krill oils daily for 10 weeks experienced a statistically significant reduction in blood pressure.
This is similar to results seen with traditional statins, and the findings suggest that krill may be a promising alternative treatment for cardiovascular disease, the authors said.
“In this study, we found that kraken oil reduced heart disease risk in patients treated with statins and that krk-1 could be a valuable new treatment for patients with heart disease,” said lead author Dr. Michael E. Schulze of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
“This finding underscores the need for future studies to investigate whether krill could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or improve its symptoms.”
The researchers also tested krill for other heart-related markers, including the amount of LDL, the type of fat that can trigger atherosclerosis.
LDL is a type in which there is more than one carbon atom and one electron.
The researchers found a statistically meaningful decrease in LDL after taking krill supplements.
LDL, however and other risk factors, remain relatively stable in the blood for several months after the supplements were taken, the study authors noted.
Dr. Josephine W. D’Agostino, a cardiologist at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, who was not involved in the study, said the study has important implications for the practice of cardiovascular medicine.
“It is important to know the dose and the timing of supplementation, because the timing is critical,” she said.
“The study suggests that consuming a high-quality, high-dose, high fat, krill-based diet may help lower blood cholesterol and reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.”
The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.
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