What is krill oil?
Krill oil is manufactured from krill, tiny shrimp-like crustacean found in all the world’s oceans. Especially abundant in the Antarctic waters of the Southern Ocean, krill are the main food source for whales, seals, squid, and penguins. Turns out, a whale’s favorite food has many health benefits for humans. Widely consumed in Southeast Asia in the form of shrimp paste, krill have recently become a hot commodity in the health industry due to its many powerful properties. Krill oil capsules contain the omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are said to improve overall heart health, reduce the risk of cardiovascular health issues and help maintain cholesterol levels within a healthy range.
What is the difference between krill oil and fish oil?
While fish oil remains the standard bearer for omega-3s, krill oil is making a splash onto the scene. Both contain heart-healthy omega-3s, however there is one big difference. Krill oil stores omegas in a phospholipid form rather than in triglycerides form, making it more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. It also contains higher amounts of astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant naturally found in salmon and other seafood. Many studies have shown that the natural red compound of astaxanthin contains the highest antioxidant activity that protects cells, organs, and body tissues from free radicals.
Another difference? The taste. Many claim fish oil supplements have an unpleasant fishy after taste, while krill oil does not. Krill oil can be a great alternative for those who need the omega-3 benefits but don’t like the taste of fish.
What are the benefits of taking krill oil?
It’s no secret that omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart, brain and body. While many rely on diet alone, others choose a supplement rich in omega-3 to get their recommended dosage. Thinking of making the switch from fish oil to krill oil? Read on to find out its many benefits!
A diet rich in omega-3s (EPA and DHA) has shown numerous benefits for cardiovascular health. It can lower elevated triglyceride and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, while raising HDL (good cholesterol). Omega-3 fats also lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve blood vessel function, and may ease inflammation, which plays a role in the development of clogged arteries.*
Since omega-3s are shown to reduce inflammation, taking a krill oil supplement may help relieve joint health issues caused by inflammation.* The types of omega-3s found in krill oil, fish oil and seafood have been shown to relieve the symptoms of joint health issues while also decreasing the need for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.*
According to the National Institute of Health, omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in the development and function of the central nervous system. Some early research shows omega-3s (EPA and DHA) as a potential agent in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Additionally, studies show that people with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood experience better cognitive function, improved memory and less brain shrinkage over time, which is a natural part of aging.*
According to a pilot study conducted over four months with 29 women, taking a krill oil supplement reduced period pain and the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).* Some researchers attribute this improvement to the anti-inflammatory properties of krill oil’s fatty acids.
If you’re currently taking a fish oil supplement, now may be the time to consider the switch to krill oil. With its better bioavailability, higher amounts of astaxanthin and a not-so fishy taste, krill oil is the omega-3 superstar that can improve the health of our brain, heart, and body. So take a krill pill!
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