KRILL, TINY CRUSTACEANS FOUND IN ALL OF the world’s oceans, are an excellent source of omega-3s, and have advantages over fsh oil and algae sources.
Te three major types of omega-3s are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Of the three, the two long-chain acids—EPA and DHA—both found in krill— are the ones most easily utilized by the body, making them the most bioavailable. ALA, which comes from plant-based sources, is converted to the more usable EPA and DHA; while this is benefcial, the catch is that only a small percentage is converted, and some is converted to omega-6, a fatty acid that actually triggers infammation.
One of the main reasons my patients prefer krill oil is that they don’t get the unpleasant burps throughout the day that some people experience taking fsh oils. Beyond that, there are several reasons I recommend krill to my patients:
It’s bioavailable— Due to krill oil’s natural phospholipid composition, the body absorbs a higher percentage of omega-3s than it does with other sources with a triglyceride counterpart, more common in fsh and algae oils. Te EPA and DHA in krill oil are incorporated into phospholipid molecules that are both fat-soluble and water-soluble. In fsh oil, the DHA and EPA are bonded to triglycerides, which is fat-soluble only. Tis diference drastically afects absorption. It also makes krill oil more potent than other sources, so you can take a lower dose and still beneft.
It’s palatable— My patients appreciate the fact that krill oil is easy to swallow because the gelcaps are smaller than most fsh oils. Typically, the gelcaps are a little larger than a pea.
It’s stable— Krill oil contains astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant that gives it a red color and prevents oxidation, so the krill oil doesn’t go rancid nearly as quickly as fsh oils. Tis helps to eliminate any fshy aftertaste. Tis stability means greater shelf life. Astaxanthin also boosts immunity and overall cell health by helping fght free radicals in the body.
It’s sustainable— Krill oil is derived from the largest biomass on the planet. At around 500 million tons, krill weigh more than all the people on earth! Krill oil harvesting began in the late 1990s, and is under the watchful eyes of the CCAMLR, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Tis international organization strictly monitors the krill biomass, as well as harvesting volume and practices. Less than 1 percent of total krill biomass is harvested per year.
It’s safe— Because krill are so low on the food chain and are harvested in pristine waters, there is much less risk of any contamination from mercury and other toxins commonly associated with various types of fsh. Before I recommend any product to my patients, I need to see well-done studies showing benefts. Here are a few:
Krill oil shows beneft for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels as well as supporting healthy hormone balance for women, according to research published in Alternative Medicine Review.
Researchers writing in Journal of the American College of Nutrition concluded krill oil reduced infammation and lessened the pain and stifness associated with osteoarthritis.