Krills may be small creatures found in world ocean but play important role in the ecosystem. They are near bottom of food pyramid, feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton. Remember Will and Bill from movie Happy Feet Two, wanting to move up the food chain!
Antarctic krill are keystone species found in Antarctic ocean. Today commercial fishing of krill is done in Southern ocean. Most krills caught are used as fish feed in aquaculture or as bait in fishing. They are used by pharma industry. Krills or okiami are eaten in Japan and parts of Russia. Krill tastes similar to shrimp, though more salty and stronger. Their exoskeleton has concentrated form of fluoride which is removed before human consumption.
Krills are also found in northern hemisphere in Arctic Ocean and Mediterranean sea, known as northern krill. Antarctic krill benefits are more known and Antarctic pure krill oil is considered to popular.
Krill oil, a super source of omega-3 fatty acids is obtained from krill (Euphausia superba), which is a crustacean similar to shrimp. It offers the same health benefits that you get from fish oil. However, the main advantage of krill oil is that the omega-3 fatty acids in it are easier to be absorbed by your body. This is because the omega-3 fats are in the form of triglycerides in fish oil, while it is form in a double-chain phospholipid form in krill oil.
Krill oil nutrition facts
Just like fish oil, krill oil is also rich in the two omega-3 fatty acids – docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), both of them in a double chain phospholipid form. This structure makes krill oil easily absorbable by the human body. In addition to these essential fatty acids, this oil also contains astaxanthin, which is a powerful antioxidant. Krill oil is also a good source of, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D and canthaxanthin, which is also a potent anti-oxidant like astaxanthin. It has been found that the antioxidant property of krill oil is 48 times more when compared to fish oil.
Health Benefits of Krill oil
The two simple ways to have a healthy body are to increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids and also to increase the levels of antioxidants in your body. Krill oil is an excellent source of both these components and hence is found to show immense health benefits to human beings.
Krill oil has powerful anti-inflammatory effects
Inflammation is considered to be a defense mechanism of your body against microbes, diseases and injury. However, persistent inflammation can be painful and debilitating. Omega-3 fatty acids are a well-known for their natural anti-inflammatory power. Krill oil is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Studies reveal that krill oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties that help in inhibiting inflammatory symptoms in people suffering from chronic inflammation. It has been found that krill oil produces protectins and resolvins, which are compounds that help in suppressing inflammation before your tissues are damaged. The anti-inflammatory effects of krill oil make it very effective in treating inflammation related disorders like arthritis.
Krill oil reduces cholesterol
According to studies, krill oil helps in managing the lipid levels in people having hyperlipidemia, a condition characterized by increased levels of triglycerides or both. Krill oil was found to reduce the levels of triglycerides, bad cholesterol or LDL and total cholesterol, to a considerable amount. At the same time it helped in increasing the good cholesterol or HDL levels.
Krill oil and cardiovascular health
It has been found that omega-3 fats have a protective effect on your heart. One of the main contributors of heart diseases is high cholesterol. The omega-3 fats in krill oil helps in reducing cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. In addition to controlling cholesterol levels, omega-3 fats also helps in preventing heart diseases by preventing cardiac arrhythmia, preventing deposition of fat in your arteries, preventing blood clots and reducing inflammation.
Krill oil lowers blood pressure
According to The American Heart Association, omega-3 fatty acids are effective in reducing high blood pressure. Since krill oil is rich in omega-3s, consuming it regularly is helpful in preventing hypertension. A study on rats published in the “Journal of Food Science” May 2009, suggested that when a peptide extracted from krill oil was given to rats, it produced considerable drop in the blood pressure of the animal. However, before using krill oil as a remedy for high blood pressure, it is important to seek the advice of your doctor.
Krill oil and diabetes
Krill has been found to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels and in improving insulin resistance. According to a study issued in Diabetes Research, the regular intake of omega-3 supplements helped in improving insulin sensitivity in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Krill oil helps in improving liver health in diabetic people, which in turn ensures the proper breaking down of fats, sugars, and proteins so that they do not cause blockage in your bloodstream.
Krill oil as a relief for Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
It is common for most women to experience many kinds of emotional and physical discomforts during menstruation. In some women these problems are so serious that it has a negative impact on their quality of life. Dysmenorrhea or severe uterine pain is one of the many symptoms of PMS that can affect the daily activities and needs medication. Studies reveal that krill oil is effective in relieving dysmenorea and in reducing the other symptoms of Premenstrual syndrome.
Krill oil and weight loss
A study published in Nutrition & Metabolism, revealed that the consumption of krill oil supplements had a major impact on appetite and the accumulation of fat. The study was conduction on rats and the results showed that krill oil has the power to ease metabolic problems that are associated with obesity. Omega-3 fats are found to be beneficial in helping you lose weight. Krill oil, being a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids can therefore aid in weight loss.
Krill oil for brain health
The deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids is considered to be a main factor that leads to many psychological and neurological problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative disorders. Studies show that the intake of essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA helps in improving memory, cognitive skills and rate of learning to a great extent. When it comes to omega-3 fats, krill oil is considered to be the best option available. Krill oil is also considered good over depression and anxiety. It eases symptoms of depression.
Krill oil for ADHD
Krill oil is considered promising over relieving Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Fatty acid profile of krill oil is different from that of fish oil and considered better for ADHD over fish oil. Omega 3 composition of krill oil is beneficial for ADHD. Scientific research on krill oil and ADHD is still not conclusive.
Krill oil for stronger bones
Studies show that the increased intake of omega-3 fats, especially DHA is helpful in increasing bone mass and in strengthening bones. Krill oil, which is a good source of DHA and EPA, can help in preventing osteoporosis, a condition that causes the thinning and weakening of bones, making them prone to fractures. EPA is found to increase the levels of calcium in your body, which in turn helps in making your bones strong and healthy.
Krill oil helps in boosting immune system
Krill oil has been found to help in boosting the immune system because of the presence of high concentrations of DHA and EPA in it. This oil is beneficial in reducing inflammation and in fighting off infections and pathogens that cause various diseases. Moreover, the antioxidants in krill oil, like astaxanthin also contribute to a strong immune system and better disease fighting capability.
Krill oil for atheletes
Krill oil is becoming popular as runners oil. Consumption of krill oil is believed to heal painful feet and knees of runners. It is worth reading some krill oil reviews by well known runners. However scientific evidence is limited in this area. Krill oil benefits for runners can be attributed to vital omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins supplied by krill oil. Antioxidant nature of krill oil helps recover cell damage. Interestingly krills are runners themselves and they sort of run backwards in case of danger.
Krill oil and skin health
Krill oil also offers several benefits to your skin as well. The high levels of the antioxidant Astaxanthin helps in fighting free radicals and in eliminating the oxidative damage caused by these free radicals to your body. Oxidative stress to your cells caused by free radical can lead to premature aging. Antioxidants found in krill oil can help in preventing the signs of early aging such as wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots and leave your skin looking soft, smooth and young. Krill oil also helps reduce and cure acnes.
Krill oil for healthy hair
In addition to offering various kinds of health benefits, krill oil is also helpful in keeping your hair healthy and lustrous. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly essential for maintaining healthy growth of hair. The omega-3 fats in krill oil are found to be effective in making your hair follicles strong and in moisturizing your scalp, thus preventing dry scalp. Since these essential fatty acids contribute to the re-growth of cells, they are very useful in preventing damage of hair and hair loss.
Side effects, risks and interactions of krill oil
Krill oil has been associated with only a few side effects. People who are allergic to shell fish may develop allergic reactions while consuming krill oil. Some of these reactions include shortness of breath, bloating, difficulty swallowing, and skin rash. Acid reflux, heartburn, Gas, diarrhea or bloating may also be experienced by some people.
People having bleeding disorders should talk to their doctor before using krill oil. It is recommended to stop the usage of krill oil two weeks prior to surgery, as it can cause slow clotting of blood. Pregnant or nursing women should also consult their doctor before krill oil dangers.
Those who are on regular medications should talk to their doctors before taking krill oil supplements. Krill oil increases the risks of bleeding and may interact with anti-coagulant and anti-platelet medications. So if you are on blood thinning or anti-coagulant medications make sure to be very cautious when you are taking krill oil supplements.
Krill oil vs fish oil
It is popular question, what is better krill or fish oil? They both offer omega 3 fatty acids which are helpful in body, however availability of krill oil is limited which makes them costly. Omega-3s are mainly three components ALA, EPA and DHA. While omega 3 fatty acids composition of krill oil may be different, benefits of krill oil is not as researched as fish oil. Like fish oil, it is available in form of krill oil supplements – krill oil capsules, liquid krill oil or krill oil omega 3 supplements.
Krill oil is becoming widely popular these days because of the nutrition and health benefits it provides. It is a well known fact that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your body. The intake of krull oil can help you meet this demand since it is rich in these essential oils in a readily and easily absorbable form. Moreover, you only need to take less amounts of this oil to obtain its numerous health benefits.Image Credits: Wikimedia - Øystein Paulsen