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Krill Oil
Overview

Krill oil, the oil that's found naturally in krill, is extracted and sold as a nutritional supplement. Krill are shrimp-like crustaceans that are approximately 1 to 6 centimeters long. They live in the ocean feeding mainly on phytoplankton. They're near the bottom of the food chain and are eaten by whales, seals, penguins, squid and fish. Commercial fishing of krill occurs primarily in the Southern Ocean and the northern Pacific Ocean along the coasts of Canada and Japan. Krill that are caught are used for aquaculture and aquarium feeds, sport fishing bait or they are eaten as food. In Japan, krill that's caught for food is called okiami. The algae that krill eat produces bright red pigment astaxanthin that gives krill and other crustaceans such as lobster and shrimp their reddish-pink color.
Krill oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is the main reason it's becoming popular as a nutritional supplement. Another reason krill oil is becoming popular is because it contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin. Antioxidants protect our body cells from damage from free radicals, unstable substances that are thought to contribute to certain chronic diseases. Unlike many other antioxidants, astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it could theoretically protect the eye, brain and central nervous system from free radical damage.

What is Krill Oil?
Krill oil, the oil that's found naturally in krill, is extracted and sold as a nutritional supplement. It's sold in some health food stores and online in capsule form. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is the main reason it's becoming popular as a nutritional supplement.

Where is it Found?
Krill oil comes from krill, which are similar to shrimp and live in the ocean. Their oil is extracted and made into a supplement.

 
 See Krill Oil related videos:
video icon Neptune Krill Oil - OPA3 Presentation  (video module - 4.57 minutes)
Product related PDF file
Krill Oil - The Most Sustainable Form Of Omega3 Fats
KrillOil - The New Marine Lipid
The Effects Of Krill Oil

Benefits / Uses


arw Better concentration and memory


arw Controlling blood sugar levels


arw Aids in keeping joints healthy


arw Decreases the signs of aging


arw Promotes brain and nervous system health, function, and development


arw Increased cell membrane protection


arw Promotes liver health


arw Gives relief for premenstrual symptoms


arw Boosts the immune system


arw Aids mood disorders


arw Encourages healthy skin and reduces skin damage


arw Krill oil helps lower cholesterol. It also has been shown to reduce inflammation and arthritis pain as well as help with some premenstrual symptoms.
 

What is astaxanthin?
Krill oil contains astaxanthin - a powerful antioxidant that keeps one healthy and young. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid - same family as carotene, which is what makes carrots orange. It is also orange in color, and is what gives salmon its characteristic color. It also makes krill oil itself bright orange in color orange. Astaxanthin is an amazing antioxidant - its antioxidant activity is much more powerful than that of vitamin E. Astaxanthin is extremely efficient at mopping up free radicals, which speed up aging and make cancer more likely. Specifically, it is a potent quencher of singlet oxygen.
Krill oil has several health benefits. Ingesting EPA and DHA in phospholipids instead of triglycerides allows the body to absorb them more efficiently and easily. Supplementing one’s diet with krill oil results in better uptake of DHA and EPA. Krill oil also reduces the risk of heart attacks: it keeps cholesterol at healthy levels, reduces bad cholesterol, and has anti-inflammatory properties that are very beneficial for your cardiovascular system.
Another benefit of krill oil is that it is extremely rich in antioxidants - chemicals that mop up free radicals. (Free radicals damage DNA and other biological molecules in cells. They cause ageing, cancer and other problems.) Specifically, the EPA part of the phospholipids in krill oil has an antioxidant known as astaxanthin attached to it. All in all, the antioxidant properties of krill oil are over 40 times as powerful as those of fish oil. Astaxanthin protects your skin against the harmful effects of UV rays, among other things.

Krill oil is useful in treating cognitive disorders
Krill oil helps with depression, OCD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, PMS and delaying Alzheimer's. Krill oil contains more EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) than regular fish oil, and a wealth of scientific research into the effects of EPA and krill oil on cognitive disorders has shown that it can help with the following disorders:
- major depression (major depressive disorder)
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- bipolar disorder
- attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Scientists concluded that omega-3 supplements can play a major role in treating depression.

Krill oil helps to burn fat and lose weight
The omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids in krill oil favor a phenomenon known as fuel partitioning.
Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids stimulate the storage of glucose as glycogen in muscle, while simultaneously diverting fatty acids away from fat synthesis and into oxidative pathways. In other words, omega-3 fatty acids stimulate the use of fatty acids as fuel instead of in fat deposition. Krill oil makes you live longer and age more slowly. It also makes you smarter and improves your mood.
Krill oil supplement health benefits for women
Taking krill oil supplements can have particularly beneficial effects on the health and well-being of women. In particular, krill oil can ameliorate the symptoms of premenstrual tension (PMS) and dysmenorrhoea. PMS symptoms reach their peak during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and include significant affective lability, loss of interest in activities such as hobbies and friends, lack of energy, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, oversleeping, difficulty in concentrating, breast tenderness and a host of other unpleasant symptoms. A krill oil study conducted by Sampalis et al. (2003) showed that Krill oil supplements have significant beneficial benefits on the emotional and cognitive difficulties associated with premenstrual syndrome, as well as breast tenderness and joint pain, and that it is more effective than fish oil in alleviating the symptoms.


Krill oil, skin aging and wrinkles
Krill oil has an extraordinary oxygen radical absorbance capacity. It slows down the aging of skin and the formation of wrinkles. A scientific study by Kim et al. (2006) showed that EPA - one of the omega-3-unsaturated fatty acids in krill oil - reduces the aging effect of UV rays and inhibits the reduction of collagen. UV rays damage skin and speed up the formation of wrinkles.

Anti-inflammatory properties of krill oil
Another remarkable health benefit of krill oil is that it shows significant anti-inflammatory activity because it helps reduce chronic inflammation. Reducing or eliminating chronic inflammation is extremely important to one’s health, because it has been shown that chronic inflammation, apart from being a serious disease in its own right, increases the risk of developing heart disease. Hence krill oil helps to reduce or prevent arthritis, which is an inflammatory disease, and by extension, it also helps to reduce the risk of heart disease (of course, as described above, it also reduces the risk of heart disease by reducing the deposition of fat in the coronary arteries and generally keeping them clean and in good condition). Its precise work in reducing inflammation is not really understood. Scientists suspect that krill oil acts as an anti-inflammatory agent by inhibiting inflammatory mediators like thromboxane, prostacyclin and leukotrienes produced by cells in response to inflammation.

Krill_Oil
 


arw Krill oil supplies omega-3-unsaturated fatty acids that are much more bioavailable than those in fish oil. This means that krill oil has much bigger benefits on depression, OCD and other brain disorders.


arw Krill oil contains the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin. Fish oil does not.


arw Fish oil easily goes rancid. Krill oil does not.


arw Krill oil contains proportionately more EPA (eicosapentaeneoic acid) than fish oil - this is why it has a stronger effect on depression and other mood disorders.


arw Krill oil is a little more expensive that fish oil, but unquestionably worth it.
 

Dosage
Small People: Petite people should start with a loading dosage of 2 krill oil gel caps, (1 gram) each day for the first couple of weeks. After the loading dose, you will adjust to a maintenance dosage of 1 gel cap (1 gram) per day.
Average Size People: You should begin with a load dose of 1.5 grams of krill oil per day. That is 3 gel caps per day for the first 14 - 30 days. You should then lower to a maintenance dose of 2 gel caps or 1 gram per day.
Large Person: The dosage for a large person is the same as for an average person. The difference is that an average person can stop the load dosage after two weeks. People with a large body mass should continue the load dosage for thirty days.

Possible Side-Effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions:
Research on krill oil has not adequately evaluated its safety or possible side-effects. However, it is likely that krill oil can cause some side-effects similar to fish oil such as bad breath, heartburn, fishy taste, upset stomach, nausea, and loose stools.

Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of krill oil during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Seafood allergy: Some people who are allergic to seafood might also be allergic to krill oil supplements. There is no reliable information showing how likely people with seafood allergy are to have an allergic reaction to krill oil; however, until more is known, avoid using krill oil or use it cautiously if you have a seafood allergy.

Surgery: Because krill oil can slow blood clotting, there is concern that it might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using krill oil at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Krill oil is contraindicated for people who are prescribed blood thinners (which are antiplatelet or anticoagulant medications), such as warfarin, aspirin, heparin, clopidogrel, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications called NSAIDs, examples of which are ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.

Research Studies / References
A new study presented in the Journal of Nutrition appears to support this point of view. Research conducted in a group of overweight rats found that krill oil provoked a 42% decrease in fat (triglyceride) build-up in the hearts of the test rats. Fish oil only lead to a marginal decline in cardio-lipids of 2%. When the authors of the study examined the livers of these animals, they discovered a 60% reduction in fat in their livers, as opposed to 38% in the livers of rats fed fish oil. The normalization of fat content in the heart and liver indicate potential benefits to overall heart function and an improvement in insulin sensitivity, which can be impaired in cases of fatty liver disease. In addition, the krill oil test subjects exhibited positive changes associated with a reduced “inflammatory response”.

A study from 2008 demonstrated anti-cancer and heart benefits in relation to krill oil (KO) supplementation. In that trial, rats who were fed KO showed weight loss and a drop in LDL “bad” cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The scientists also tested krill oil in an in-vitro model of colon cancer. The scientists concluded that, “Treatment of colon cancer cells with KO also resulted in time-dependent inhibition of cell growth”.
Krill oil has also been evaluated in other health conditions as well. The results of those studies have all been positive and, in a roundabout way, can be applied to what we currently know about heart disease.



arw In 2007, a paper was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 90 participants with heart disease and/or arthritis (osteo or rheumatoid) with elevated CRP (C-reactive protein) levels were provided with KO or a placebo for a 30 day period. CRP is a measure of inflammation in the body. By the 7th day of treatment with KO (300 mg daily), there was a 19% drop in CRP levels. The placebo group exhibited a 16% increase in CRP. By the 30th day of treatment, there was a 31% reduction in CRP in the krill oil group and a 32% rise in CRP in the placebo group. In the arthritic patients, there were significant improvements in pain and stiffness scores, and a trend towards “reduced functional impairment”.


arw A 2003 study on 70 women with PMS and dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) found that those taking KO for a total of 90 days demonstrated reduced discomfort, pain and emotional symptoms relating to PMS. This experiment compared equal dosages of KO vs. fish oil - 2 grams daily for the first 30 days and then 2 grams daily for 8 days prior to menstruation and during the first 2 days of the menstrual cycle.
 
Chronic inflammation is now believed to be a contributing factor in many cancers and cardiovascular disease. The fact that KO appears to reduce inflammatory markers and symptoms may provide a clue to part of its cardioprotective effect. A human trial from 2004 is perhaps the strongest piece of evidence that supports the krill/heart health link. That study produced a profoundly positive shift in cardiovascular risk factors in a group of 120 volunteers. A starting KO dosage of 500 mg daily reduced blood sugar levels, LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides, and raised the beneficial HDL cholesterol in the participants. The men and women who were given fish oil didn’t fare nearly as well.