What is Krill Oil?

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Yesterday I caught one of Dr. Oz’s segments about a source of omega 3′s that was even better than fish oil. I was immediately intrigued because as I’ve said before, omega 3′s are an essential part of every person’s diet!

They are “essential” because you must eat omega-3′s, your body does not produce them. Omega-3′s have crucial functions in the body, particularly helping to balance out the omega-6 inflammatory properties. Omega-3′s work as an anti-inflammatory, thus decreasing your risk for things like heart attack, stroke, and even certain cancers. Symptoms like depression, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, brittle hair and nails, dry skin, joint pain, and type II diabetes could be signaling that you need more omega-3′s in your diet.

Before getting to Dr. Oz’s segment, let me first explain that there are three types of omega-3 fatty acids; ALA, DHA, and EPA. EPA and DHA, found in marine life such as salmon, sardines, and halibut, are the most absorb-able forms. ALA is the plant based form of omega-3′s found in foods like walnuts, flax-seeds, soybeans, algae, and chia seeds. These are all excellent sources of omega-3′s for my vegetarian and vegans, they’re just not as well absorbed as the EPA and DHA forms.

Now to Dr. Oz…

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Dr. Oz is saying that krill oil is an even better source of omega-3′s than fish oil. Dr. Oz states that the DHA and EPA from krill oil is cleaner and even more absorb-able than fish oil. Sounds great, but are you wondering what krill is?

Krill are tiny crustaceans, which look like mini shrimp, and are the main food source for marine life in the Antarctic Ocean. Whales, seals, penguins, squid, and fish eat krill and this is how they become good sources of omega-3′s. Krill are typically used as aquarium feed but in Japan they are eaten and called okiami. The oil from krill is also being extracted and used as a supplement for its omega-3 and antioxidant properties. Krill eat algae that produce an antioxidant called astaxanthin, which crosses the blood-brain barrier, potentially protecting the brain, central nervous system, and eyes from free radical damage.

Krill oil is also a more sustainable source of omega-3′s because it is extracted at the bottom of the food chain and is “located in one of the cleanest oceans due to low occurrence of commercial fishing. These two factors make for an omega-3 source that is virtually free of toxins, metals and PCBs.” (source)

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“A 2007 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that 300mg daily supplementation of krill oil resulted in significant decreases in inflammation and arthritic symptoms in cardiac and arthritis patients. Other studies have found that krill oil works as effectively as omega-3′s from other sources, yet at a much lower dose. Furthermore, krill oil has been found to raise our good HDL cholesterol and lower our triglycerides…” (source)

Obviously, people with seafood allergies should steer clear of krill oil and those with bleeding disorders should consult their physician before taking. Side effects include diarrhea, loose stools, or indigestion.

“People taking blood thinners (anticoagulant or anti-platelet medication), such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, clopidogrel (Plavix), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve) should only use krill oil under a physician’s supervision. Krill oil should also be used with caution by people taking herbs and supplements that are thought to increase the risk of bleeding, such as ginkgo biloba and garlic.” (source)

While I would highly recommend a krill oil supplement, it is wise to consult your physician or registered dietitian before you begin taking. I would also recommend no more than 1-3 grams per day and searching for Neptune Krill oil, which is what has been used in studies. (source)

Check out this site for a Krill oil supplement that I recently started taking!

Thanks for the heads up Dr. Oz!

QUESTION: How do you get your omega-3′s!?


 

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17 comments to What is Krill Oil?

  • Graig Coslett

    Compared to fish, krill provides superior ends in improving cardio health, boosting cognitive function, improving premenstrual signs and symptoms, relieving swelling from osteoarthritis, easing back as well as joint pains and giving the skin that balanced youthful gleam. Krill can effectively lower bad cholesterol by simply about 34% and boost high quality ones by concerning 45% when compared with fish oil only cutting down bad cholesterols by 6% and boosting good ones by only 2% making krill oil significantly superior to fish oil. When you consume most of these supplements it is important that additionally you understand the unwanted side effects. If you have a new constitution that may be allergic to sea food, then this oil is not available for you. You may react with swelling, ab pain, cities, diarrhea and so on. since it is an ocean food source, and it also causes foul breath and has some sort of fishy preference too. ”

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  • [...] What is krill oil? – Krill is a biological name for shrimp-like aquatic crustaceans.  Most of the krill that are used for what is known as aquaculture are harvested from the cold waters of the Antarctic seas although they can also be found in large numbers in the waters around Japan. In Japan krill are used for food – a dish called okiami – but the rest of the world consumes it oil, usually in a more convenient capsule form. [...]

  • [...] minerals are the important things for our bodies. Research has found that krill oil is can be absorbed more by the bodies in order to gain the supplies of the minerals mentioned [...]

  • transman

    I’m a krill oil supporter. I think you should take krill oil instead of fish oil Lauren. Fish oil is contaminated. There are lots of study telling that fish is contaminated with mercury. I hope you better shift to a much safer supplement now. read it here – http://krilloil.mercola.com/krill-oil.html

  • I try to get my omega’s thru fish 2-3x a week but this is very interesting. Thanks for sharing! Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

  • good point gina and one that I will have to investigate a little further! Thanks for bringing that up!!

  • such a good post. I am an omega 3 fan. I don’t supplement right now but do try to get them via diet every day. Is there a krill brand you suggest?

  • Great post! I’ve heard mixed reports on krill as far as it’s sustainability. I attended a talk on omega 3′s at FNCE and learned that when salmon are used for oil, it comes from the fish heads etc, so not using up any fish that could be eaten. I just finished doing the z90 day Coromega challenge and will be posting about it as soon as I get my results back. My EPA and DHA levels were above average but below optimal at the start, so I’m really curious to see if they are in the optimal range now!

  • Gen

    Wow! I had never heard of krill oil…..very interesting!

  • Great post, but I get so confused when doctors or RDs tell their patients to buy “1-2 grams” of fish oil…shouldn’t we be talking in grams of EPA and DHA? Check out the Mega Red website;

    http://www.schiffvitamins.com/product_detail.asp?id=196#

    Click on supplement facts at the top and notice there is barely 100 mg of epa and dha. To me, that’s a waste! I like to get at least 500 mg. Unless you are saying that even that <100mg epa and dha is absorbed better. Any thoughts?

  • Meg

    How interesting! I sometimes question the advice on these doctor shows because I wonder how much of it is simply product endorsement. Thanks for certifying it as legit! xoxo

  • Ryan went fishing over the summer..and brought back almost 50 pounds of salmon! So that has been our go-to way as of late. But this looks like an interesting option. Thanks for sharing! I hope you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving with family/friends. Hugs and love.

  • That makes total sense! Getting the nutrients from the bottom of the food chain, now why did it take us so darn long to figure this out!

  • Great post! I had heard of krill oil from a coworker but didn’t know all that much about it.
    I wonder what the cost of krill oil is. I would be curious.

  • Interesting! When I first saw today’s post, I immediately thought of Finding Nemo. “Oh look, krill!”

  • This is great info!! Never really considered the source of the omega 3 — just that it’s free of toxins/metals!
    Love that Dr. Oz!

  • I take fish oil pills, flax seeds and eat fish at least twice a week! Cool post :)

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