Krill Oil

Krill Oil

Krill oil is an extract prepared from a species of Antarctic KrillEuphausia superba. Despite the relative novelty of krill oil, there is a lot of evidence for its health benefits, mainly due to it being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which we will explore in this article.

Krill Oil Vs Fish Oil

Krill oil, derived from tiny crustaceans called krill, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Most people have heard plenty about the need to include omega-3 fatty acids in their diet for both heart and brain health, and the recommendation is usually to take them in the form of fish oil. What many people have not heard, though, is that there’s a relatively new kid on the block that works even better. It’s called krill oil.

Much like fish oil is made by separating out the fatty acids from the tissues of oily fish, krill oil is made using krill, which is a group of extremely small crustaceans. Krill have a similar fatty acid content to fish, with about the same levels of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and slightly more EPA (eicosapentanoic acid). Where krill gets its advantage, though, is in the specific form of the fatty acids.

Fish oil holds its fatty acids primarily in the form of triglycerides. The fatty acids in krill oil, on the other hand, are bound mostly as phospholipids. What does this mean on a practical level? It means that the fatty acids in krill oil have a much higher bioavailability than the ones in fish oil. Simply put, your body can use a whole lot more of what’s in krill oil.

In addition to the fatty acids, krill oil contains various other compounds. The primary ones are Vitamin E, which is beneficial to blood flow and metabolism, and Astaxanthin, which is a Carotenoid that helps with eye health and inflammation. It is still unknown whether krill oil contains these compounds in high enough percentages to make an impact, but research will surely continue.

Krill Oil Health Benefits

These essential fatty acids from Krill Oil offer various health benefits, which we will explore below:

Krill Oil for Cardiovascular and Heart Health

Heart Health: Omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil may help reduce levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, thus lowering the risk of heart disease. They also support healthy blood vessel function and help regulate blood pressure.

The biggest benefit is on blood cholesterol, where multiple studies have shown that it raises HDL (the ‘good’ cholesterol) significantly while lowering LDL (the bad cholesterol) for a slight reduction in total cholesterol. It also appears to lower blood triglycerides, for an overall beneficial impact on heart disease.

Anti-inflammatory Effects of Krill Oil

Krill oil’s omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit individuals with inflammatory conditions like asthma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis.

Krill Oil for Arthritis and Joint Health

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce joint pain and stiffness associated with conditions like arthritis. Krill oil’s phospholipid structure allows for better absorption compared to fish oil, potentially enhancing its effectiveness in supporting joint health.

Krill oil appears to provide a notable reduction in C-reactive proteins in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, which helps with overall pain and inflammation. Studies done so far show a 30% reduction in CRP within 30 days of beginning to take krill oil. One additional study shows that there is also a substantial reduction in overall symptoms of arthritis, but that study has not been repeated yet.

Krill Oil for PMS Symptoms

In addition to well-supported effects on cardiovascular health and arthritis, krill oil also seems to have some benefits for PMS symptoms, particularly in reducing irritability and easing overall blood flow. PMS Some studies suggest that krill oil supplementation may help alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood swings, bloating, and breast tenderness, possibly due to its omega-3 content.

Krill Oil for Brain Function

EPA and DHA are crucial for brain health, supporting cognitive function, memory, and mood regulation. Krill oil may help reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline and support overall brain function.

Krill Oil for Eye Health

DHA, a major component of retinal tissue, is essential for maintaining healthy vision. Krill oil may help protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye disorders by supporting retinal health.

Krill Oil for Skin Health

Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to skin hydration, elasticity, and barrier function, helping maintain healthy skin. Krill oil’s antioxidant properties may also protect against oxidative damage caused by UV radiation and environmental pollutants.

How to Use Krill Oil

Since krill oil is still a relatively new product, there are a lot of differing views on the effective dose. Studies have used doses ranging from 300 milligrams per day to treat arthritis to 1 gram per day for cholesterol and all the way up to 2 grams per day to treat PMS (although the jury is still out on how effective it is for PMS). A good daily dose is generally considered to be around 1-1.5 grams per day in a soft gel form.

Always take care when taking herbs and Read Our Disclaimer.

Krill Oil Herb Notes / Side Effects

Krill oil is a very safe supplement, but it should be avoided by people with seafood allergies, since it can trigger a reaction. In addition, there is some evidence that krill oil has a mild blood thinning effect, so you should speak to your doctor before using it along with blood thinning medications such as heparin, since using them together will increase your chances of bruising or bleeding from minor injuries. The blood thinning effect also means that you should discontinue use before undergoing any surgeries.

Since krill oil is composed entirely of fat, you should also be careful when using it with fat-blocking weight loss drugs. Since those will inhibit the absorption of your krill oil, take them at least two hours apart to give the oil a chance to work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *