What is Krill?

[caption id="attachment_32692" align="aligncenter" width="856"]There are many health benefits to taking krill oil supplements These tiny crustaceans are powerful sources of Omega-3s[/caption]

Krill (Euphausia superba) is a small crustacean with a similar appearance to shrimp. They are found in the colder waters of the ocean off of Antarctica, Vancouver, Russia, Ukraine and Japan. Krill primarily serve as a food source for other animals in the ocean, including whales, seals, penguins, squid and fish. Krill has a pink or red appearance due to the plankton that they consume as a food source. It is more sustainable because it’s extracted at the bottom of the food chain and is located in one of the cleanest oceans.

The whales that feed on krill eat a lot of it; most consume about 4 percent of their body weight daily in krill and plankton during a four to six month summer feeding frenzy before they travel and breed. A single blue whale, for example, eats up to a staggering 8,000 pounds of krill every day for a four-month period.

Krill contains oil that is similar to the oils found in fish oils, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA .In contrast to fish oil, EPA and DHA from krill oil come attached to phospholipids, mostly phosphatidylcholine. That structural difference leads to better absorption and delivery of DHA to the brain. In addition, krill oil contains a potent antioxidant, astaxanthin, which may prevent EPA and DHA oxidation.

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-3s from other sources, but at a much lower dose. Krill oil has also been found to raise good HDL cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides as well.