Krill Oil

What Are Krill?

Krill are small, shrimp like crustaceans about 2 inches (5cm) long. They are found in the cold oceans of the world.

Krill can form super swarms turning the oceans red,attracting marine creatures which use krill as a main food source for their diet. Super swarms of Antarctic krill (Euphaus superba) can extend for tens of kilometers.

As a food source, krill are often viewed as the fuel which supports the marine ecosystems of the Earth. They are considered to be at the bottom of the food chain unlike the marine creatures which consume them.

Such creatures include whales, squid, fish, seals and sea birds. Great baleen whales have baleen plates designed to filter huge volumes of krill from the ocean.

Krill Oil Benefits

Tiny krill taken in large volume, can sustain huge marine creatures such as great baleen whales. If a tiny shrimp like creature can help sustain large marine creatures such as these, there may be nutritional qualities which can also benefit people.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Krill Oil?

Whilst more research is needed, krill oil is thought to bring a number of health benefits.

Krill Oil Is Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Krill oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and so shares the same benefits of omega-3. As krill oil is animal based , the omega-3 fatty acids in the oil are EPA and DHA; unlike plant based sources of omega-3 which are rich in ALA fatty acid.

Recognized health benefits of omega-3

  • prevents cardiovascular disease, promotes a healthy heart
  • increases cognition including memory and concentration
  • helps to keep joints supple
  • promotes a healthy liver
  • improves the condition of the skin help keeping it unblemished
  • helps stabilize mood
  • in women, krill oil can help with the symptoms of PMS
  • krill oil omega-3 may help reduce cholesterol [1]

Please note: apart from preventing cardiovascular disease, many benefits of omega-3 are not currently supported by the FDA; more research is required. See also, 'Omega-3 benefits'.

Krill Oil Is An Antioxidant

Krill oil supplements are often marketed as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals.

Known as oxidative stress, the damaging effects of free radicals formed as a negative by product of metabolism can cause unstable oxidized molecules to damage cells. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body.

Krill oil contains an important antioxidant called astaxanthin; unlike fish oil which is another rich source of omega-3 (see also krill vs fish oil).

EPA & DHA Rich Krill Oil Vs ALA Rich Sources Of Omega-3

Krill oil has further benefits compared to sources rich in ALA omega-3 fatty acids.

Krill Oil Is Less perishable Than ALA Omega-3 Sources – compared to ALA based sources of omega-3, krill oil is less perishable and has a longer shelf life.

ALA rich sources of omega-3 such as flax seed can become rancid much faster; it is important to buy quality, free pressed flax seeds oil to get the most benefits of omega-3.

Krill Oil May Be A Preferred Source Of Omega-3 – there is discrepancy over which is the better source of omega-3; animal based EPA and DHA or plant based ALA omega 3 fatty acids.

For many, animal based EPA and DHA fatty acids from sources such as krill oil are preferred over plant based ALA sources.

This is due to greater bioavailability; more omega-3 is absorbed by the body reaching body tissues where it can bring benefit.