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What is Calamari Oil?

Calamari Oil is one of the latest sources of omega 3 fatty acids along with other popular sources such as fish oil, krill oil and green lipped mussel oil.

Where Does Calamari Oil Come From?

Calamari Oil is derived from the humble calamari, which is the Italian word for the common squid. Squid are easily found across the world and are common fishing stock for the Mediterranean as well as seas around Asia and South America.

Calamari Oil Benefits

Calamari oil provides similar benefits to some other oils as a source of essential omega 3 fatty acids; which are polyunsaturated acids that we cannot make; hence we must consume them through food. The most important types of omega 3 fatty acids include the short chain alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and the longer docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Well known and well researched health benefits of omega 3 consumption or supplementation include benefitting heart health, brain health and cognitive function, inflammatory processes and joint health just to name a few. Calamari oil has an advantage over fish oil in that it is a very concentrated source of DHA with it constituting around 20-25% of the total fatty acids in calamari oil. The other advantage being that calamari is extremely sustainable as a seafood source and more environmentally friendly as its fishing does minimal damage to surrounding parts of the ocean. Their short life span of 450 days also means less accumulation of toxins and other toxic substances such as mercury, commonly found in fish further up in the food chain

Calamari Oil Benefits for Bodybuilding

Omega 3 fatty acids can assist with joint health but also recovery from exercise and anecdotally has been linked to reduced muscle soreness. As previously mentioned, Calamari Oil are high source of DHA, which are usually found in smaller levels compared to EPA in fish oils. Higher DHA to EPA ratios have been studied to assist with lowered inflammatory cytokines including interleukin 6 and interleukin-1 beta, which in higher chronic levels may be associated with muscle atrophy/loss and inflammatory pain hypersensitivity. In other words, increasing DHA over EPA levels may assist you further with the reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) moreso than regular fish oils. Increases in intake of the long chain omega 3 fatty acids (EPA + DHA) have been shown in at least one study to increase muscle protein synthesis in healthy young and older adults, and this is on top of infusion of amino acids and insulin – which are both known to assist with increased muscle protein synthesis.

Side Effects, Safety & Negatives of Calamari Oil

While there have not been any major toxicity studies, as previously mentioned, calamari have a short lifespan so usually tends not to absorb many toxins at all, making it one of the safer oils around. It is also prudent to observe any negative side effects. High doses of Omega 3, DHA & EPA, although mostly well tolerated can result in reduced blood clotting. This can mean a longer time to stop bleeding from open wounds and even increased susceptibility to nose bleeds; although this is a rare occurrence. The real negative of calamari oil is its lack of research, however, it is still a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and more research can only increase the number of benefits associated with its use.

Calamari Oil Recommended Doses and Ingredient Timing

No conclusive recommendations exist for Calamari Oil and differing health organisations offer different recommendations for daily and weekly EPA and DHA intake. Most recommendations are in terms of coronary heart health which suggests at least 1g a day of combined EPA and DHA. However, 4-6g per day have been used for muscle hypertrophy studies.

Calamari Oil Supplements

Calamari Oil is most commonly sold as an individual supplement similar to that of fish oil and krill oil, but will most likely be making a show in comprehensive multivitamin and mineral complexes as well as other bodybuilding and muscle building supplements in the long term.

Stacking Calamari Oil Supplements

Calamari Oil can be stacked with a variety of supplements. It works well synergistically with Vitamin E and Milk Thistle as well as fenugreek and green tea extracts. However, it can be easily stacked with any other supplement such as protein and pre-workouts, but avoid stacking Calamari Oil with fat blockers and also avoid taking high omega 6 supplements as well as it can interact.

1. Ryckebosch, E., Bruneel, C., Muylaert, K. and Foubert, I. (2012), Microalgae as an alternative source of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Lipid Technology, 24: 128–130.
2. Vedin I et al. (1 June 2008). "Effects of docosahexaenoic acid–rich n–3 fatty acid supplementation on cytokine release". Am J Clin Nutr 87 (6): 1616–1622.
3. Smith GI, et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augment the muscle protein anabolic response to hyperinsulinaemia-hyperaminoacidaemia in healthy young and middle-aged men and women. Clin Sci (Lond). (2011)
4. Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ; AHA Nutrition Committee. American Heart Association. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: new recommendations from the American Heart Association. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. (2003)
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