What is Krill Oil?
by Abraham Pearson
Canada. The fisherman catch these animals to use them in aquaculture and aquarium
feeds, for sport fishing, or for food. If krill is used for food in Japan it is called okiami.
The oil that is naturally found in these creatures is extracted and sold as a nutritional
supplement. The reason for this is due to the fact that it is very high in omega 3 fatty
acids. It also contains an antioxidant which is called astaxanthin. The algae which is
eaten by krill produces the bright red pigment, astaxanthin which makes krill, shrimp,
lobster and other crustaceans their pinkish color.
These antioxidants help to protect the cells in our body from something called 'free
radicals'. Free radicals are unstable substances which many believe contributes to
several different chronic diseases. Astaxanthin crosses the blood to brain barrier,
which makes most researchers believe that it can protect the eyes, brain, and central
nervous system from the damage caused by free radicals. Other antioxidants do not
cross this barrier.
People ingest krill oil for the same uses that they would ingest flax oils, fish oils, or
other omega 3 fatty acids. Fish oil can sometimes cause a fishy burp or aftertaste,
which is a known after effect if fish oil. Krill oil also has a larger amount of astaxanthin
than fish oils do. Its used for several different health reasons which include:
- Lowering Cholesterol- In a study done on the effects of krill oil on high
cholesterol, 120 people were given either krill oil, fish oil, or a placebo. The ones
who ingested krill oil showed a reduction of 34% in LDL or 'bad' cholesterol, and
an increase of 43.5% in HDL or 'good' cholesterol in comparison to those who
took a placebo. Those who took krill oil also had a lowered triglyceride count.
The ones who took the fish oil showed a reduction of LDL cholesterol by 4.6%
compared to the placebo, and and increase in HDL by 4.2%.
- Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS- Research shows that krill oil may help wit the
symptoms of PMS, by further research is still being conducted.
- Arthritis-According to research posted in the 'Journal of the American College of
Nutrition' when people took 300 mg a day of krill oil compared to a placebo,
those who took krill oil showed effective results in relieving arthritis pain,
inflammation, and other symptoms.
As far as side effects are concerned, there are actually very few. Of course, those
with allergies to seafood should not ingest these oil. People who have bleeding
disorder are advised to speak with a doctor and be supervised by a qualified health
professional before using krill oil. It is not recommended to use it with blood thinners
such as aspirin, warfarin, heparin, clopidogrel, or NSAIDS such as ibuprofen, or
naproxen should not use krill oil without checking with their doctors. The same goes
for gingko bilobo and garlic. Side effects may include looser stools and indigestion.
About The Author
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Krill are small crustaceans, much like
shrimp, which grow to be from one
to six centimeters long. They live
along the oceans floor, and feed
mostly on phytoplankton. Eaten by a
large variety of animals such as
whales, seals, penguins, squid, and
fish or all types, these creatures are
pretty much on the bottom of the
Most commercial type krill fishing is
done in the southern portions of the
Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean, as
well as the northern part of Pacific
Ocean, on the coasts of Japan and
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