Have you ever heard of the health benefits of krill? Well, krill has been around forever, and it is an awesome healthy food source.
Krill are thumb-sized shrimp crustaceans floating in huge numbers within the ocean. They are eaten by whales, penguins, seals, and fish.
Krill oil is extracted from these shrimp to provide healthy supplements full of Omega-3’s, Omega-6, antioxidants, and vitamins A, B, D, E and K.
Omegas, antioxidants, and vitamins all in one supplement. What a deal.
Many grains, fruits, vegetables, sea vegetables, and vegetable oils contain significant amounts of essential fatty acids, but krill oil is an especially rich source. Many people who take fish oil have switched to krill oil because it has more bang-for-the-buck.
The Krill Meal Deal
Krill oil is harvested from the shellfish. There are literally millions to billions of krill that swim the Earth, so there seems to be plenty to go around. If you weighed the human race, krill would double its weight. So, I don’t think we will be running out anytime soon.
Once the krill are harvested, they are immediately frozen, which maintains all of their nutrients and antioxidants. After they are frozen, a cold vacuum process is used to protect and remove the Omega-3’s. Once the nutrients are removed to process the oil supplements, the remainder of the krill is made into “krill meal”, which is often used as fish food, and some cultures use it to cook with because of its great health benefits..
When krill oil was first introduced into the supplement world, multiple studies were done, and are still being done, to prove its many health benefits.
Omega-3’s: Krill oil is famous for containing Omega-3’s, which play a huge part in keeping hair, skin, and nails healthy. This also aids in keeping the scalp healthy. So, if your scalp is healthy, new hair follicles can grow, which, in turn, grows new hair.
Heart Health: Omega-3s are vital for heart health, and they boost your immune system if you find yourself getting sick frequently.
Brain Nutrient: Studies have shown that krill oil is linked to improving memory, ADHD, and depression. The DHA found in krill oil is one of the main ingredients that helps boost brain function, and krill helps keep your moods in balance.
Eye Health: Both krill oil and the human eye contain omega 3 phospholipids and Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is the reason why the krill are pink, it’s 500 times more potent of an antioxidant than vitamin E, and 65 times as strong as vitamin C. For this reason, many optometrists recommend krill oil for eye health.
Skin Health: Some studies have proven that krill oil can help with psoriasis, acne, and eczema. It has also been proven to help speed up the wound healing process.
Gout: When uric acid levels in the blood and tissues are high, it can cause gout, a form of arthritis. Krill oil has been shown to reduce the amount of uric acid that leads to painful inflammation, which is the main cause of gout flare-ups. Shellfish is known to be high in purines, which can actually exacerbate swelling, but krill is purified when harvested, so most of the purines are left behind, and are not found in the oil.
IBS: Studies have shown that krill helps with IBS. Through an increase in EPA and DHA, krill lessens inflammation that causes pain from IBS.
Krill Versus Fish Oils
The main difference between krill oil and fish oil is krill oil contains antioxidants and phospholipids, which fish oil does not. Phospholipids in krill are some of the most important molecules in your body. Krill also tends to have a lower fat content than fish oil.
If you really want to step into the fast lane, taking both krill and fish oils at the same time can be more beneficial.
Heads up, though – this is fish we are talking about. It has an odor and “it stinks!” But, I would be concerned if krill oil did NOT smell. The more it smells, the fresher it is.
Some Krill Thrills
EPA: EPA actually stands for eicosapentaenoic acid. It’s an acid that is found in the flesh of cold water fish. Studies and tests have proven it has multiple benefits, such as treating wounds, psoriasis, and reducing the risk of heart attack.
HDL: HDL is the “good” cholesterol. HDL actually flows through your bloodstream and gets rid of the “bad” cholesterol (LDL). Having higher levels of HDL can reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack.
RDA: RDA is the recommended daily allowance of how many nutrients your body takes in per day. To get your daily recommended dosage of EPA and DHA, krill oil is very beneficial.
DHA: DHA is an abbreviation for the big, long word Docosahexaenoic Acid. DHA is derived from the meat of cold water fish, and has been linked to helping with dementia and ADHD.
Watch Da’ Blood Sugar
Taking any fish oil may increase your fasting blood sugar level if you have Type 2 diabetes, so be sure to consult with your doctor before taking this or any fish oil.
Krill oil can help you lose weight by improving your glucose metabolism, and it can regulate your blood sugar under normal circumstances. When your blood sugar is regulated, you are less likely to overeat. Krill also allows you to have harder, more intense workouts by “feeding” your muscles.
When To Use
There is no established standard on how much you can take, or a maximum dosage, but 500 mg typically provides a natural, good balance of Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9. It’s best to take krill supplements with a meal, too.
Krill oil is all natural, so it’s usually safe for anyone to take. However, if you are under 18 years old, have diabetes, or kidney issues, you should do more research, and consult with your doctor.
Shell fish is naturally high in purines which can cause a buildup in uric acid, and this can cause kidney stones in people predisposed to forming stones. However, krill are purified when harvested, so most of the purines are left behind and are not found in the oil.
To be on the safe-side, if you have kidney disease or a history of kidney stones, consult with your doctor before using krill oil.
If you take anticoagulants or have a blood coagulation disorder, I do not recommend using krill oil. If you have diabetes, gout or kidney problems, consult your doctor before taking. If you are on strong medications, pregnant or breastfeeding, you should probably avoid krill.
Under normal circumstances, krill oil is gentle, and is an incredible nutritious supplement. but with any addition to your supplement program, do your research!
For me, I’m making like a whale and enjoy krill oil as a healthy addition to my supplement program. I use the NOW brand: http://www.hullisticmarket.com/supplements/neptune_krill.
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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.