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Fish Oil is good. Is Krill Oil better?

Fish Oil is good. Is Krill Oil better?

Article by Arnie Gitomer


We Love Our Fish Oil.  Is Krill Oil Better?
By Len Goldstein

As many of you know, Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have demonstrated many health benefits, including improved mood, reduced inflammation associated with arthritis, and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Krill oil is said to offer the following advantages over standard Omega 3 fish oils:

  • Better absorption
  • Less likely to be contaminated with mercury, PCBs, and other toxins
  • Increased natural antioxidant protection

As many of you know, Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have demonstrated many health benefits, including improved mood, reduced inflammation associated with arthritis, and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  There have been many studies which have demonstrated the effectiveness of the DHA and EPA Omega 3 fats in improving your health.

Omega 3 oils are now being extracted from krill.  Krill are tiny shrimplike creatures that live in the colder areas of our oceans. Whales eat them by the ton, and they also make up a part of the diet of humans, mainly the Japanese and Russians.  The only edible part is its tail - known for its rich omega 3 fatty acids.

Absorption Advantages
In his on-line blog, Dr. Michael R Eades, M.D. states that the phospholipid structure of the EPA and DHA in krill oil makes them much more absorbable and allows for a much easier entrance into the mitochondria and the cellular nucleus. 
In his blog, Jonny Bowden PHD, CNS mentions studies that do seem to suggest some advantages of krill oil. For example, a team from Norway's Akershus University college put 113 people with normal or slightly elevated blood triglycerides and cholesterol on a seven week trial in which they consumed either krill oil daily (543 mg EPA plus DHA), fish oil (864 mg EPA plus DHA) or no supplements at all.
Although the total amount of EPA and DHA in the krill oil group was 37% lower than the amount of EPA and DHA in the fish oil group, the results were equal.  The krill oil folks even did better in one important measure: ratio of HDL cholesterol to triglycerides, long considered a far better predictor of heart disease than cholesterol alone.

Contamination Issues
In a perfect world, you would be able to get all the omega-3s you need by eating fish. Unfortunately, studies show that eating fish can potentially expose you to a high degree of contamination with industrial pollutants and toxins like mercury, PCBs, heavy metals and radioactive poisons.  Unlike fish, krill are on the lowest end of the marine food chain and because they subsist entirely on phytoplankton, (very small marine based plant organisms that use photosynthesis to convert sunlight into energy) no contamination of krill occurs.

You should be aware that quality manufacturers of fish oil supplements always take care to remove harmful constituents from their products.

Antioxidant Protection
A biochemical property of krill oil is that at the molecular level a phosphate molecule is attached. The presence of phosphate molecules makes krill oil omega-3's a phospholipid.

Attached to the phospholipid is a molecule of astaxanthin, an extremely potent anti-oxidant.  It is a naturally occurring red pigment found in healthy wild salmon and in most crustaceans including lobster, shrimp, and the shrimp-like krill.  In fact, the astaxanthin found in Krill oil has already been metabolized by the krill, making it highly absorbable.

According to Source Naturals Company website information, the astaxanthin found in krill oil is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it may play a significant role in supporting brain health1. For example, empirical data show remarkable results with children and adults that have learning disorders such as dyslexia and attention deficit; and clinical studies are planned. In addition, astaxanthin supplements may play a role in skin care. Astaxanthin is also a hormone regulator, helping the body to make the right hormones at the right time and in the right place as shown in clinical study results of women with normal physical and mental symptoms of PMS. As a hormone regulator it also has implications for breast and prostate health.

It should be stated however, that supplementing the diet with omega-3 is generally a good thing regardless of whether it is from a krill or fish oil based source. Many benefits of omega-3 may be experienced through taking either type of oil.