Recent studies suggest krill oil may boost heart function as well as reduce inflammation and arthritis pain. Moreover, the oil from one of the most successful species on earth as almost 50 times more potent than fish oil.
Krill are considered an important trophic level connection -- near the bottom of the food chain because they feed on phytoplankton, converting it into a form suitable for many larger animals for whom krill makes up the largest part of their diet.
Krill are shrimp-like marine crustaceans which are found in all oceans of the world. The common name krill comes from the Norwegian word krill, meaning "young fry of fish."
Dspite their small size of one to five centimeters in length--krill make up the largest animal biomass on the planet. According to Neptune Technologies, the Canadian company that holds the patent for krill oil extraction, there are approximately 500 million tons of krill roaming around in these northern seas, 110,000 tons of which are harvested annually.
The oil extracted from these crustaceans contains important omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA
, found in fish oils
. Krill oil also has a high amount of a potent antioxidant called astaxanthin along with small amounts of vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E, and small amounts of other beneficial compounds.
In fish oil, these omega-3 fatty acids are found in the triglyceride form, whereas in krill oil they are hooked up in a double chain phospholipid structure. The fats in our own cell walls are in the phospholipid form.
The phospholipid structure of the EPA and DHA in krill oil makes them much more absorbable and allows for a much easier entrance into the mitochondria and the cellular nucleus. In addition to EPA and DHA, krill oil contains a complex phospholipid profile including phosphatidylcholine, a potent source of reductive-stress-reducing choline, which also acts as a natural emulsifier.
The anti-oxidant potency of krill oil is such that when compared to fish oil in terms of ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) values, it was found to be 48 times more potent than fish oil.
The astaxanthin found in krill oil provides excellent protection against ultraviolet light and UV-induced skin damage. It is a natural carotenoid-type of antioxidant found in krill that is believed to be 300 times more powerful than vitamins A and E, 47 times more powerful than lutein, and 34 times more powerful than CoQ10.
The predominant phospholipid in pure krill oil is phosphatidyl choline, which is partially composed of choline, an essential nutrient important for brain development, learning, and memory. Choline is the precursor for acetylcholine, which sends nerve signals to the brain, and for trimethylglycine, which helps protect your liver.
Supplements containing krill oil may also boost heart function. Lab rats consuming 010912_Krill-Oil-is-Almost-50-Times-More-Potent-Than-Fish-Oilkrill oil were found to not have enlargement in their heart muscles or increase in the weight of the heart as non-supplemented animals, indicating that the krill oil may boost heart function, according to results published in BMC Lipids in Health and Disease .
"The health benefits of krill oil have been previously revealed through numerous studies and clinical trials," said Kjetil Berge, R&D director of Aker BioMarine Antarctic and co-author of the study.
"Previous studies have shown that krill oil increases the level of EPA and DHA in heart tissue, but this is the first study to indicate beneficial effects on a hard end-point like myocardial infarction."
A number of studies have shown that krill oil is tremendously effective in reducing LDL-cholesterol, raising HDL-cholesterol (up to 44% in some cases), and lowering blood sugar. It has been shown to be effective in treating the pain and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis and aches and pains in general. One large study showed that krill oil has tremendous benefits in terms of symptom reduction in PMS and dysmenorrhea. And it has been shown to be effective in the treatment of adult ADHD. In all these studies krill oil was tested against fish oil and not simply a placebo.
A study in Altern Med Rev demonstrated that daily doses of 1-3g of krill oil were significantly more effective than 3g EPA/DHA fish oil in the management of high lipid levels. Furthermore, a maintenance dose of 500mg krill oil is significantly effective for long-term regulation of blood lipids.
Krill harvesting is one of the most ecologically-friendly on the planet. Antarctic krill has been harvested for 47 years, starting in 1961, with a historical peak harvest of just under 529,000 tons for the 1981/82 season. The mean annual catch rate from 2002 to 2007 was less than 120,000 tons a year.
However, there have been a number of unfounded scare tactics stating that krill is an endangered species, and whales are being threatened by krill harvesting. These have come from sites that sell other sources of omega-3s from mussels and other fish oils.
Krill Oil suppliers are now available worldwide and since quality may vary, it is always imperative to research the company you are purchasing from, their
harvesting practices and manufacturing processes to ensure you are receiving a quality product.