Before taking an in depth look into what krill oil is all about, let’s start with the main reason why krill oil is taken in the first place – Omega-3.
Also known as the “good fat” or the kind of fat you’d never want to pass on, omega-3 comes to mind when the topic of supplements that effectively lower the risk of heart attacks, stroke, depression and even certain types of cancers comes up. Because the uses, effects and the benefits are all backed up by years of study and research, Omega-3 supplements have slowly become one of the most in-demand in the market.
Forms of Omega-3
We can get our omega-3 from both plants and animals but only two out of the three forms can be converted and utilized by our body. The three forms are:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Alpha-linoleic acid (ALA)
EPA and DHA, derived from animal sources, are promoted for their protective effects on the cardiovascular system. The third type, ALA, can be found in flaxseed, chia, hemp as well as other foods, but research has shown that it only converts to about 1% of the effective levels of DHA and EPA when consumed, making it less popular than the first two forms of omega-3.
The New Omega-3 Source
Among the different supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids, at the top of the ranks would have to be fish oil since it contains EPA and DHA which are the best-absorbed forms of omega-3. In recent years, however, research shown that another marine source, also containing EPA and DHA but with a few added benefits, has been discovered. This marine source is known as krill. The oil that’s extracted from the krill is what contains the omega-3.
Overview on Krill and Krill Oil
Krill is a marine animal that closely resembles a shrimp. It lives in the waters of the Antarctic and feeds on plankton. Despite it being only two inches in length, it represents a major link Mother Nature’s food chain. No krill would, perhaps, mean the extinction of most animals in the Antarctic – that’s how important these little guys are.
The oil, derived from this sea creature, is known to be rich in EPA and DHA just like fish oil. Krill oil, however, is showing more promising results when it comes to enhancing cardiovascular health and aiding with inflammation. This might be due to the EPA and DHA in krill oil being attached to phospholipids. This results to better absorption of the omega-3 forms. Krill oil also contains a powerful antioxidant known as astaxanthin which prevents the oxidation of the omega-3 forms and helps fight free radicals that may be causing diseases in our body.
Benefits and Uses
Krill oil doesn’t only help with inflammation and cardiovascular health. Research has shown that it has numerous benefits and uses. Commonly, this includes:
- Helps improve blood circulation
- Helps regulate blood pressure
- Reduces inflammation
- Can help with weight loss by improving your body’s metabolism
- Encourages healthy liver function
- Enhances brain health and function
- Reduces PMS symptoms
The benefits and uses of krill oil aren’t only limited to the ones listed here. Different factors can bring about different beneficial effects on our body. For example, because the astaxanthin found in krill oil is a potent antioxidant, it may lead to the improvement of a user’s complexion. Again, the effects differ because our bodies are different, but whatever the case, krill oil can bring about benefits to the overall health of your body one way or the other.
Krill Oil – VS – Fish Oil
So we did mention that fish oil and krill oil both contain DHA and EPA. Though they are similar in this regard, they differ from each other in many different ways. Here’s a table to show exactly how different these two supplements are:
Whale or Seal blubber
- Contains vitamins A, E, D as well as the antioxidant known as astaxanthin.
- Around 30% of DHA and EPA but with low levels of antioxidant and is prone to oxidation which may release harmful free radicals in your body.
- 12% of krill is harvested for human consumption. Only 1% of this is used for making krill oil.
- Krill also has one of the largest biomasses on the planet which makes it almost impossible to over-harvest it.
90% of large fish species are being fished out for consumption and extraction of fish oil.
- Krill can also be found in places like Japan and Russia, and not just the Antarctic.
- It is, however, the Antarctic krill that’s believed to be the cleanest and the safest which is why most companies derive their oil from Anatarctic krill.
Fish species that fish oil is derived from swim in waters where commercial fishing is common.
- This could mean that the fishes are contaminated with harmful substances like mercury, strontium (radioactive) and toxic metals.
Krill oil’s dosage differs depending on a person’s age and health status but it’s important to note that research has shown two things:
- Fish oil dosage would depend on a person’s health status, age and so on. It’s best to consult a physician for the ideal recommended dose.
Choosing a Krill Oil Supplement
After learning the fundamentals comes the question of how to choose a good krill oil supplement among the hundreds listed in the market. Here are a few easy yes or no questions that you can base your choice on:
Check the label
- Does it say that it’s been sourced from Antarctic krill (Euphausia Superba)?
- Is it mercury, gluten, solvent and GMO free?
Check the dosage and supplement facts.
- Does it have the common 1000mg per serving?
- Does it have Astaxanthin, DHA, EPA?
- Does it claim to have similar effects as what was mentioned earlier in this article?
- Is the company confident enough to back their supplement up with a Money Back Guarantee?
If you answer yes to most of these questions, then you have yourself a keeper. A good recommendation is our 100% Pure Antarctic Krill Oil which passes the yes or no questions with flying colors.