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Omega-3 EPA+DHA fatty acids, iodine and selenium: the magnificent trio for mental health

Omega-3 EPA+DHA fatty acids, iodine and selenium: the magnificent trio for mental health

The human brain is an interconnected, dynamic and highly adaptable system elaborated and functioning from substances present in the diet(1,2).  Foods rich in brain selective nutrients are necessary to sustain the structure and the cognitive functions of the brain and to maintain mental health(3,4). Among the brain selective nutrients, the trio composed of omega-3 EPA+DHA fatty acids, iodine and selenium is essential for the development and the normal functional of the brain(5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12). In brief, specifically, DHA is necessary for the formation of brain structures; EPA participates significantly in cerebral functions; iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormone and contributes actively to cerebral functions; furthermore, iodine protects the omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids against their deterioration by excessive oxidation; selenium is required for the optimal activity of iodine metabolism.

Whole krill occupies a primordial place among the best combined sources of omega-3 EPA+DHA fatty acids, iodine and selenium. Hence, whole krill is not oil only. On the contrary, it provides to the brain the components that it needs every day to function optimally. The following table demonstrates that the product Krilex, which is lyophilized Canadian whole krill presented in capsules, constitutes the best source of iodine and selenium compared to other food groups used commonly.

Millions of people today show sub-optimal cerebral function simply because they have a diet inadequate in iodine, selenium and omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids (13,14,15).  Studies focussing on omega-3 EPA+DHA fatty acids indicate that a deficiency in the latter can favour the appearance of mental disorders while the consumption of omega-3 EPA+DHA fatty acids and/or a supplementation of EPA mainly can be associated with an improvement in mental and behavioural disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and mood(15,16,17,18,19,20,21). Equally, a better performance in cognition following the consumption of omega-3 EPA+DHA fatty acids has been observed in normal adults (22) as well as in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (23). Similarly, studies demonstrate, on the one hand, the benefits of the use of iodine (under the form on thyroid hormone) in affective disorders (24,25,26)  and, on the other hand, that selenium status affects cognition and neuropsychological functions (27,28,29). Unfortunately, the studies have never been carried out with the combination of the trio made of omega-3 EPA+DHA fatty acids, iodine and selenium. It is plausible to anticipate obtaining better results when these three nutrients are used combined.

In terms of prevention against the loss of cognitive functions, studies have shown that the consumption of whole foods is more advantageous than isolated extracts (30,31,32,33).  Nourishing ourselves with foods rich in omega-3 EPA+DHA fatty acids, iodine and selenium is very important to our mental health.





Table 1. Iodine and selenium contents of Krilex versus diverse food groups1




Food groups




Concentration(microgram per gram) Amount needed2(gram per day) Concentration(microgram per gram) Amount needed 3(gram per day)
Krilex 19 8 2 50
Fish 0.5-1.1 200 0.1-0.3 660
Eggs 0.53 280 0.11 900
Seafood 0.10-0.28 1020 0.3-0.4 300
Milk 0.15 10 005 0.1-1.0 5,500
Nuts 0.05-0.1 2 250 0.01-0.07 5,500
Meat 0.05-0.1 2 250 0.01-0.14 5,000
Cereals 0.06 2 505 0.03-0.09 2,200
Vegetables 0.01-0.03 6 300 0.01-0.03 6,700
Pulses 0.02 7 500 0.02-0.10 3,000
Fruit 0.01-0.05 9 000 0.01-0.05 6,000


1 Modified from reference 3, p. 127 and 141 except for Krilex.

2 Average amount of Krilex or the food group needed to satisfy the daily iodine requirement,

which has been averaged to a single, commonly accepted value of 150 micrograms per day

for adult, non-pregnant humans.

3 Average amount of Krilex or the food group needed to satisfy the daily selenium requirement,

which has been averaged to a single value of 100 micrograms per day.



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by Michel E. Bégin, PhD


  • Jaylin
    3 July 2016 at 19 h 16 min

    I feel saifstied after reading that one.

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