Krill Oil Confidential

pile of eleven red krill oil soft gels

Krill Oil Soft Gels


Do you take fish oils for the health benefits from the omega 3 fatty acids?

If so, you may be interested in the remarkable properties of krill oil, an extract made from tiny shrimp-like crustaceans.

The oil contains a unique combination of healthy fatty acids, cell-nourishing phospholipids with the addition of a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radical cell damage.

Research indicates that krill oil may be superior to fish oil for providing cardiovascular support, enhanced neurological and nerve function, reduced pain and inflammation, and last but not least, healthier and youthful-looking skin.

Please read on to learn more about the health benefits of krill oil.


What Exactly is Krill Oil?

close-up of group of red antarctic krill shrimp

Antarctic Krill Shrimp


Krill oils are extracted from the bodies of krill; small shrimp-like creatures that number in the hundreds of millions.

These tiny crustaceans are fed on by fish, squid and even the Blue Whale.

The Japanese and some other European cultures have used the tiny shrimp for seafood dishes, but it’s usually farmed for fish feed.

The krill are caught in large nets and processed to make krill meal. The meal meal then goes through a special manufacturing process that produces the oil.

Due to the shrimp being at the bottom of the food chain, they usually don’t eat larger fish which may contain higher levels of mercury.

Therefore, these types of oils may have a lower risk of exposure to mercury, PCB’s and other contaminants when compared to oil extracts from larger marine species.


What’s the Difference Between Krill Oil and Fish Oil?

While both fish and krill oils provide the omega 3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), there’s a difference in how they’re packaged in their own respective oils.

Krill oil’s omega 3 fatty acids are chemically-bounded to Phospholipids and it contains choline (a water-soluble, vitamin-like nutrient) and astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant – fish oils don’t contain any of these ingredients.


1. Are Krill Oils More Efficiently Absorbed by Your Body?

In fish oil, the EPA and DHA are either chemically attached to a triglyceride or ethyl-ester molecule.

In krill oils, the healthy fats are attached to a phospholipid molecule. Phospholipids are found in every cell membrane in your body and are required for healthy bodily function and support. They help your cells communicate with each other and transport essential nutrients across the cell membranes.

Studies show that phospholipid-based fatty acids provide many health benefits without noticeable side effects.

Many krill oil manufacturers claim that they’re more readily absorbed than fish oils. In theory, this means that the higher the phospholipid content, the more easier the krill oil’s fatty acids can be absorbed.

However, there is much debate about this topic – A study published in the Sept. 2015 issue of Lipids in Health and Disease showed there was no difference in EPA and DHA blood levels when study participants consumed the same dosage of EPA and DHA in fish vs krill oil for a 4 week period.

An in-depth analysis on omega-3 bioavailability reports that krill oil’s advantage may be due more to the fatty acids bound in ‘free-form’, rather than the phospholipids.


2. Source of Brain Nourishing Fats:

Krill oils provide docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in the phospholipid-form. Our brains and retinas are primarily made up of DHA. Studies show that ingesting DHA-rich phospholipids can improve learning ability, visual function and reverse neurological impairments.


3. Why Choline is Important:

Choline is a component of lecithin, which is found in many animals and plants. Studies indicate that taking choline during pregnancy has long term benefits on a child’s memory.

Note: Krill oil contains high amounts of the phospholipid, Phosphatidylcholine, which is the combination of Choline and the phospholipids.


4. Benefits of Phospholipid-Bound EPA and DHA:

The phospholipid-bound EPA and DHA have been shown to dissolve more easily in water, which can make krill oil gentler on your stomach, more efficiently absorbed and can lower your risk for fishy after-taste and ‘fish burps’.


5. Contains a Powerful Antioxidant called Astaxanthin:

Krill shrimp are a natural source of Astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant stronger than Vitamin E and beta carotene. Ingesting astaxanthin in the phospholipid-base is reported to be more easily absorbed by cell membranes where it can provide more protection than other antioxidants.

Research shows Astaxanthin enhances muscle endurance and fat burning during exercise. Researchers in Sweden discovered that 6 mg a day of Astaxanthin increases cellular oxygen uptake which can dramatically boost your aerobic power.

And not only that, Japanese researchers found that 4 mg a day of Astaxanthin caused a 45% reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Astaxanthin also gives the oil that distinct red color. It helps keep the oil fresh and it can also protect the healthy fatty acids from oxidizing, which reduces the need for additives.


6. Virtually Free of Contaminants and Side Effects:

Krill feed exclusively on phyto-plankton and algae which greatly reduces your exposure to mercury and other contaminants, compared to eating fish. Phospholipid-based oils may also be easier to digest than some fish oils which may lower your risk for fishy burps and gas.


7. Smaller-Sized Soft Gels

Most of the best krill oil products are packaged in smaller, easier-to-swallow soft gels ranging in size from 350 to 500 mg sizes. You will usually get less EPA and DHA than a traditional fish oil, but the phospholipid-bound fatty acids may improve absorption better than the triglyceride-bound fish oils.


tape measure comparing size of fish oil soft gel and krill oil soft gel

Krill Oil vs Fish Oil softgel


What About Side Effects from Krill Oils?

While this healthy oil is made from natural sources, there’s still the possibility of experiencing side effects:

  • If you have an allergy to shell fish or seafood you should avoid using this supplement until advised by your Physician.
  • EPA and DHA fatty acids may make your blood less likely to clot which can increase your risk for bleeding or bruising.
  • Consult with your Physician if you’re taking any blood thinning medications, such as Coumadin, Heparin or Warfarin.


Studies Prove Krill Oils can Improve Cholesterol, Fight Pain and Inflammation

1. Improves Cholesterol Levels: Researchers in Montreal, Canada compared omega 3 oils to krill for lowering high cholesterol. They found that patients that took 3 grams a day of fish oils lowered their LDL cholesterol by 4% but the group taking 500 mg to 3 grams of krill oil lowered their LDL cholesterol by 38%!


2. Reduces PMS Symptoms: Do you suffer from PMS? Another study compared the effects of krill oil for reducing premenstrual symptoms.  Scientists discovered that women taking krill oils took less pain medication and had less painful cramping and emotional symptoms compared to the group taking other omega 3 oils.


3. Fight Inflammation and Pain: Studies show this oil can reduce the burn of inflammation in seven days. A study conducted at the University of McMaster found it reduced pain and stiffness by over 20% and reduced the chemical marker for inflammation by almost 30%.


4. Protection from Skin Cancer: Do you love getting a nice deep tan but worry about UVB radiation and skin cancer? Sun exposure is a natural source of Vitamin D. However, one of the disadvantages of UVB exposure is the increased risk for skin cancer. Recent animal studies indicate that krill oils may reduce the incidence of skin cancer by almost 50%. Scientists believe there may be the added benefit of anti-oxidant protection not normally available from taking other oils.


Guide to Different Krill-based Products

Review of 3 Best-Selling Krill Oils: – While you’ll find many products to choose from, only a select few become popular with consumers.  Read my review of the Top 3 Most Popular krill products currently selling with the largest on-line retailer.

A Closer Look at Neptune Krill Ingredients – Is Neptune Krill better than regular krill supplements? Find out right here!

Buyer’s Guide to the Best Neptune Krill Oils – Learn how to choose genuine Neptune Krill supplements based on specific ingredients, dosage information and prices.


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Author Details
Kevin is a full-time blogger with a passion for functional, whole food nutrition. A former Registered Respiratory Therapist with over 25 years experience in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, he also has additional training as a Certified Natural Products Advisor. He enjoys a vibrant lifestyle that includes healthy foods, workouts focusing on core strength with flexibility and longboarding to stay fit and agile.