When it comes to health, few bodily systems have a stronger link to maintaining homeostasis and balance in the body than the relationship between the cardiovascular system and the respiratory system. The cardiovascular system is entirely dependent on the respiratory system for oxygen, and the cardiovascular system is actually an extension of the respiratory system by way of the pulmonary arteries and veins. As a result, the use of Krill Oil can benefit the respiratory system if you understand how omega-3s affect cellular health.
Alveoli are the grape-shaped clusters of lung tissue that are responsible for increasing the surface volume of the lungs. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that wrap around the alveoli, and oxygen diffuses from the alveoli through the capillaries to red blood cells. This is the beginning stage of respiration. Although these capillaries release waste products and facilitate the transfer of oxygen to red blood cells, they also bring nutrient-rich plasma to the alveoli. As a result, omega-3s in the blood stream actually make their way to the lung tissue as well.
Cell membranes are made up of a phospholipid bilayer. Phospholipids is a term that means the cell membrane contains many types of lipids, and the construction may vary slightly from cell to cell. However, some fats, such as saturated fats, may actually result in a weaker cell membrane. This is where omega-3s come into play. Omega-3s are classified as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which means they do not have a hydrogen atom bonded to every possible place in the acid’s chain.
As a result, the chain is slightly polarized, explains Science 2.0. When these acids align appropriately in a cell membrane, the cell membrane becomes more resistant to rupturing and additional problems. Essentially, PUFAs may help to prevent the transmission of inappropriate materials from outside to inside a cell. In alveoli, the increased durability of cell membranes may actually help prevent the rupture of these grape-like pockets, which further increases the efficiency of the respiratory and cardiovascular system.
In a 2014 study, Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy and Respiratory Systems in Children, omega-3s were shown to help improve the development of the respiratory system while in utero. In the study, 1,094 women were divided into a placebo group and a DHA supplement. Those who received the supplement seemed to produce less phlegm and experience respiratory distress while pregnant. Furthermore, the children who were in utero during the study experienced fewer symptoms of respiratory distress of poor development after birth. This study helps to reinforce the link between DHA, a type of omega-3 in Krill Oil, and a healthy developed respiratory system.
Two types of omega-3s that are commonly found in Krill Oil, DHA and EPA, seem to pose the greatest significance for improving respiratory function. From helping alveoli maintain their cell membranes in the respiratory system to improving the development of the respiratory system in utero, omega-3s hold many more benefits than just improving heart health.