- antioxidants (specifically astaxanthin)
- omega-3 essential fatty acids (DHA and EPA)
Ongoing research into krill oil is affirming impressive statistics regarding its impact on maintaining optimal health.
Those who consume krill oil are more likely to experience lower cholesterol, a healthier heart, pain-free, more flexible joints, enhanced mood stability and a plethora of other advantages over those who just take fish oil.
In addition, krill oil supplements have been clinically tested and found to be superior in all ways to regular fish oil. It is also readily available in health stores or online, in easy-to-swallow capsule form
So, what is Krill actually?
Translucent pink in color krill, the Antarctic krill, is only one of the 85 species of krill populating the planet’s oceans.
It is estimated that there are over five billion tons of krill in the oceans surrounding Antarctica, with these krill accumulating in groups so dense at times that swarms of krill can be detected from outer space.
National Geographic has summed up the importance of krill by describing the crustacean as “essentially the fuel that runs the engine of the Earth’s marine ecosystems”.
Frequently referred to by the name “light-shrimp” due to its inner bioluminescent structure, krill exists at the bottom of the food chain. However, krill sustain virtually all larger oceanic creatures such as squid, whales, seals and bigger fish.
In fact, the word “krill” translated from the Norwegian actually means “whale food”, and without krill, the marine ecosystem would collapse. Such a collapse would cause worldwide extinctions of many animals and serious food shortages throughout human society.
While krill is consumed as food by both humans and marine life, as well as used as fishing bait, Antarctic krill oilis yet another benefit we receive from this crustacean.
Pure krill oil is produced by crushing krill and processing the oil to extract the nutritional components used in supplements.
These supplements are steadily growing in popularity/. This is because krill oil benefits are statistically viable, and contain proven benefits that have been shown to enhance all aspects of life – energy, social, emotional, mental and physical function.
Omega 3 Benefits
As one of the three healthful elements in krill omega 3 fatty acids contribute to the proper functioning of the central nervous system, circulatory system, and vision (particularly the retina).
Omega 3 fatty acids are also known to be precursors of GLA and EPA, effectively reducing inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.
This helps alleviate symptoms of:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- inflammatory bowel disease
- disorders promoted by a weakened immune system
Doctors recommend that individuals who suffer from coronary heart disease or high triglycerides (cholesterol) should take one to four grams of omega 3 daily.
While omega three supplements are available separately from krill oil supplements, other krill oil benefits are so advantageous to overall health that taking krill oil capsules will only contribute to the optimum functioning of your mind and body.
Possible Side Effects
Possible Omega 3 side effectsexperienced from taking krill oil include:
- fishy odor to breath
- thinning of blood
These side effects may be the result of an inferior grade of krill oil supplements or from simply starting out taking a dosage that is too high.
Minimizing the initial dosage amount generally eliminates these problems, with a gradual increase in dosage being implemented until reaching the level that achieves your desired health goals.
The blood-thinning issue is directed towards those who are already taking anticoagulant medication, or are on a program of low-dose aspirin for heart problems.
Discuss taking krill oil with your doctor if this applies to you, as additional blood thinning can cause bleeding gums or severe headaches.
In addition, anyone with allergies to fish or shellfish may be allergic to krill supplements, since krill is a type of shellfish.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, trouble breathing, swelling of any region from the neck upwards and lightheadedness.
If you take krill and begin to experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Krill oil benefits include Astaxanthin, which is an antioxidant containing properties known to enhance immune system functioning.
Without a healthy and energetic immune system, we would be continuously sick from all the bacteria and viruses existing in the air and on every surface around us.
Research has found that Astaxanthin is significantly more powerful than beta-carotene or Vitamin E in providing the immune system with exactly the nutrients it requires to stay strong and dynamic.
The benefits of astaxanthin contained in krill oil supplements include:
- prevents fat decomposition (which helps preserve cell membranes) caused by free radical activity
- capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier so that the all components of the central nervous system can benefit from its anti-free radical properties
- assists in muscle recovery and reducing soreness following an exercise session
- alleviates hypertension
- possibly helps with male infertility
- anti-cancer agent
- exhibits more powerful antioxidant properties than lutein, lycopene and alpha-tocopherol
Astaxanthin is not directly produced by krill but is found in the microscopic algae that the krill consume voraciously; it is also responsible for its pink color.
Because Astaxanthin is a natural agent, the body easily absorbs and utilizes it more rapidly than synthetic compounds.
Without phospholipids, the cells in our bodies would not exist as self-contained organisms. Cells provide oxygen and nutrients to all parts of our bodies; without cells fully operational, our health would rapidly decay and result in the death of our bodies.
Krill oil benefits emerging from the presence of phospholipids include:
- facilitating chemical signaling in all areas of the body, especially in the brain where sufficient myelination of axons is required for good cognition
- effectively storing energy for future use energy as with triglycerides
- contributing to the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitters necessary for proper motor function
- enhancing memory, concentration and alertness
Scientists are currently researching the effects of phospholipids on age-related cognitive difficulties such as senility, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
While some significant results have been tentatively reported, the possibility definitely exists that krill oil benefits will include a reduction of the cognitive issues commonly found in the elderly or those suffering premature dementia.
Krill Oil and Premenstrual Syndrome, Dysmenorrhea and NKO
NKO, or Neptune Krill Oil supplements, have been tested in a controlled, double-blind clinical study with 70 women experiencing three menstrual cycles and shown to be more effective in controlling joint pain, breast tenderness and the emotional instability resulting from premenstrual syndrome than regular fish oil supplements.
In addition, those women suffering from dysmenorrhea and taking krill oil supplements required a much lower dosage of pain relievers than those who supplemented their diet with fish oil.
In addition, NKO oil produced no gastrointestinal side effects as fish oil capsules frequently do.
Krill Oil Benefits and ADHD
Because of the ability to enhance memory, attention and focus, krill oil has been used in researching its effects on ADHD symptoms and the results have been promising.
When used in conjunction with the supplements phosphatidyl serine and lecithin (both cognition boosters), individuals diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder experience significant improvements in their ability to concentrate.
Although fish oil has been known to be somewhat effective in combating the attention problems suffered by those with ADHD, krill fish oil works better. This is because it contains DHA, which is chemically attached to phosphatidylcholine, an important component in facilitating cell signaling.
How Krill Oil Benefits Children
Krill oil not only mediates concentration and attention problems in children with ADHD, it also benefits children (and adults) with the addition of choline to their diet.
Choline is a phospholipid found in krill oil that helps in creating acetycholine, or ACh.
ACh is a neurotransmitter vital for the normal operation of brain functions we rely on for independent living, such as memory, muscle control, and attention.
Because children can be notoriously picky eaters, they often do not receive enough ACh and may experience lower-end symptoms of ADHD. This can inhibit their ability to finish homework, concentrate or sit without fidgeting for extended periods of time.
Parents are often astonished at the results they see when their child is given krill oil supplements.
After several weeks of taking krill oil, most children are performing better at school and do not seem as hyperactive as they did prior to adding krill oil to their diet.
In addition, krill oil benefits concentration ability in children, which becomes much more focused after several weeks of experiencing the benefits of krill oil.
This enhanced attention span also makes it easier for the child to start and follow through on school projects.
This improvement that has been noted by satisfied parents, as well as researchers conducting studies on children and krill oil.
Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is another nutrient benefiting children’s health.
Chemically structured as a chain of omega 3 fatty acids, DHA comprises almost 50% of the eyes and brain, making it a significant factor in the normal functioning of the central nervous system and processing of visual images in the brain.
Because human breast milk is rich in DHA and other nutrients, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their infants.
Several longitudinal studies have indicated that babies who were fed a diet of breast milk for the first year of life scored significantly higher on intellectual and visual tests than babies who were given formula.
Krill oil benefits also involve stimulation of neuronal connections during the most critical years of intellectual development–from one to four years old.
The more synapses a neuron forms with other neurons, the better a child has been found to learn and retain information.
Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil
While the benefits of fish oil supplements are obvious, krill oil benefits are more potent and more diverse than are those associated with fish oil.
One reason why krill oil is preferred over fish oil is that fish oil is extracted from a variety of fish, such as tuna, sardines and herring, which are subject to contamination by mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl, a toxic chemical used in coolant fluids).
Krill, on the other hand, are harvested from the cleaner waters of the Antarctic Ocean where pollution content is low compared to the rest of the world’s oceans. In addition, krill spend much of their time floating near the bottom of the ocean where predators are less likely to roam. The ocean floor contains the cleanest waters on Earth. During the action of forming swarms, they will float into the upper areas of the ocean where Baleen whales and other marine life consume them for nourishment.
Associated with further evidence of krill oil benefits and the fact that some fish oil may be contaminated, a lawsuit filed in March of 2010 with the California Superior Court stated that eight manufacturers of fish oil supplements were selling fish oil capsules containing toxic levels of PCBs.
In addition, fish oil used in supplements is usually extracted from fish, which have been raised on “fish farms”. These farms do not feed these fish the nutritional substances they have access to in the oceans and as a result, are not nearly as healthy and pure as krill harvested from the Antarctic Ocean.
Other benefits of krill oil include:
- no fishy aftertaste or “fishy” tasting burps
- readily absorbed into the body because cells attract omega 3 fatty acids and phospholipids
- extremely more potent as an antioxidant than fish oil
- contains astaxanthin, which fish oil does not
- krill oil is considered a “nature made fish oil” since it originates in virtually chemical-free waters
- exhibits better results than fish oil in numerous clinical trials concerning the central nervous system and circulatory system
- relieves inflammation more readily than fish oil
- the ability to possibly influence genes regulating liver function which could lower the liver’s manufacturing of fat, glucose and cholesterol
Another advantage of krill oil over fish oil is that krill oil contains vitamins A and D, whereas fish oil does not.
- Vitamin D contributes to bone, health and immune system functioning as well as provides anti-inflammatory responses to infections.
- Vitamin A is required by the retina in order to nourish the light absorbing retinal, which humans need to see in color and in low illumination. People who suffer from “night-blindness” may be deficient in vitamin A.
Recently, research performed at McGill University in Canada discovered that consuming one to three grams of krill oil each day decreased the amount of LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol, by 35% in individuals with higher than average cholesterol.
In addition, taking krill oil supplements also increased the levels of HDL, or the “good” cholesterol by almost 44% when compared to a placebo.
When this same research was conducted using fish oil instead of krill oil, HDL only increased around 4%, while LDL decreased 4.5%.
LDL or low-density lipoprotein is a contributory factor in cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.
Particles of this fat-based protein help cholesterol to reach artery walls where they can begin forming plaques, which directly correlate with atherosclerosis. Krill oil benefits those who take it by inhibiting formation of these plaques while also breaking plaques apart that are in the process of forming.
In addition, keeping LDL particles small has been found to decrease the level of cholesterol found in your blood. This is because it appears that the size of LDL fragments dictates the severity of atherosclerosis rather than the concentration of LDL.
Another study reported in the February 2007 edition of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, further affirms krill oil benefits. This study discovered that 90 patients consuming a 300-milligram supplement capsule of krill oil experienced a reduction in the inflammation and pain of arthritis within one to two weeks, without the assistance of any other pain relievers.
Due to the high amount of phospholipids in krill oil, membranes and joints are efficiently safeguarded from free radicals and the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis
Recommended Dosage of Krill Oil Supplements
Before beginning a regimen of krill oil capsules, always make an appointment with your doctor to make sure you can safely take it.
Diabetics and those with blood coagulation issues should always ask for a physician’s advice before taking krill oil.
Since everyone possesses their own, unique body chemistry, most people have to experiment with the amount of krill they take daily before an optimum level is found.
Some individuals have to take more than do others to experience krill oil benefits, while some may not need the maximum of three grams daily.
Generally, the suggested dosage guidelines regarding krill supplements are:
- Petite or smaller sized individuals – begin with one gram of krill oil daily for 14 days. Then, depending on how you feel, adjust the dose accordingly
- Medium or average sized individuals – begin with 1.5 grams each day for 14 days
- Larger individuals – begin with 1.5 grams of krill oil but continue taking this amount for one month instead of 14 days and evaluate your overall feeling of health at the end of that time.
Since the benefits of krill oilare not usually noticeable until around two weeks following the initial dose, individuals taking krill oil supplements should wait at least a month before deciding what dosage works best for them.
Adjustments can easily be made and there have been no long-term side effects recorded from taking krill oil for a lengthy period of time.
What is the Best Krill Oil?
A company called Neptune Technologies and Bioresources, Inc. located in Quebec, Canada is considered the best producer of quality krill oil, utilizing a special patented system to extract pure krill oil from Antarctic krill.
In addition, NKO technology has resulted in producing an extremely stable form of krill oil, which is not susceptible to lipid damage and oxidation, and contains no trans-fat.
- has been shown in numerous clinical trials to contain proven health benefits
- is the only marine phospholipids to have been clinically validated for safety
- has significantly assisted those suffering from hyperlipidemia in lowering their LDL and increasing their HDL levels
- Research into the cost of fish oil supplements has shown that NKO krill oil is the least expensive method used in preventing heart disease
- holds worldwide patents
Everest Nutrition Krill Oil
Everest Nutrition markets “100% pure cold pressed Antarctic krill oil” which contains 165 milligrams of EPA, 95 milligrams of DHA and 300 milligrams of Omega-3.
It is free of toxins such as mercury and PCBs, and is manufactured in “caplique” form instead of capsules or softgels.
Capliques are supposed to retain freshness longer and to reduce or eliminate the fishy breath caused by fish oil supplements.
Krill oil sold by Everest Nutrition is regulated by an ocean conservation organization called the CCAMLR, or the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which allows only licensed agencies to participate in krill harvesting.
Summary of Krill Oil Benefits
Taking krill oil supplements will help in preventing or reducing the effects of:
- heart disease
- premenstrual syndrome
- cognitive decline
- high blood sugar
- ADHD-related symptoms (attention, concentration, focus)
- depression and other mood disorders
- rheumatoid arthritis
- certain carcinomas
- weakened immune system
- the age process as an overall entity
Fish oil supplements do not perform nearly as well as krill oil supplements and may produce an unpleasant fishy taste in the mouth.
Some people using fish oil will experience gastrointestinal irritation, such as gas and diarrhea.
Fish oil is also prone to contamination by PCBs and other toxic minerals due to the diversity of marine life used in the production of fish oil.
Krill, on the other hand, is taken from shellfish living in the clean, cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean where contaminants do not exist.
Krill oil has been called the “miracle” nutrient, and clearly appears to be on its way to affirming this reputation by growing scientific evidence.
Individual testimonials and clinically researched studies performed in reputable universities and laboratories are continuing to testify to the benefits of krill oil.
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