What is Krill Oil and How Can It Benefit Me?

Krill oil comes from krill, which is a kind of small invertebrate largely eaten by whales and penguins.

This type of oil has become a supplement for fish oil and is being widely used around the world.

Why is krill oil so popular? Researchers say that it has more to do with the DHA and EPA found in krill oil. These are omega-3 oils and fats that come solely from marine animals. It is these fatty acids that are beneficial and are attributed to many of health merits.

Many dieticians are of the opinion that you must take in about half a pound (0.23 Kg) of seafood every week. If you’re not getting the recommended amount, then krill oil can be a great substitute for the necessary fats.

Want to know more about krill oil and the linked health benefits? Read on to find out seven of the many merits and benefits of using krill oil. Don’t worry, they’re backed by science.

#1. One of Your Best Sources of Necessary Fat Oils:

It is a known fact that both fish and krill oil are rich in DHA and EPA (omega-3 oils).

But not all oils are made the same. In fact, some researchers are of the belief that krill oil might provide more useful fats than any other fish oil. There is even sufficient evidence to back this up. This is because a majority of the omega-3 oil obtained from fish oil as triglycerides.

Compared to that, most of the fats obtained from krill oil are found as phospholipids. Some scientists say that these phospholipids are easier to assimilate and digest.

In fact, research showed krill oil is actually more efficient at increasing omega-3 oil levels than regular fish oil. These studies theorized that the different forms of storage might be the reason for the difference.

However, there are a lot of gaps that need to be filled. We still don’t know if krill oil can be more beneficial for the human body in contrast to fish and other oils.

In a nutshell:

No doubt, krill oil makes for a great source of omega-3 oils. These are easier to digest and absorb compared to fish oil. More research is yet to be done.

#2. Good for the Heart:

Omega-3 oils like EPA and DHA are generally better for the heart. Some studies suggest that both fish and krill oil can boost lipid levels in the blood. Other researchers have found that krill oil is best for reducing triglycerides and other harmful fats.

A specific research study done saw the effects that krill oil had on cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and compared it to that of pure omega-3 oils.

According to the findings, krill oil was the only one that raised good cholesterol (HDL) levels. The oil also soothed inflammation even at lower dosages. As compared to that, the pure fats were effective at reducing triglyceride levels. This shows that krill oil has a special factor that makes it twice as effective.

A chain of six to seven studies showed that bad triglycerides and cholesterol can be heavily lowered by the using krill oil. A second study showed krill oil actually fares better than olive oil at increasing insulin resistance.

In a nutshell:

Research shows krill oil may be beneficial for improving lipid levels in the blood. It helps reduce risks of heart disease and cardiovascular problems.

#3. Beneficial for Arthritis and Body Aches:

Consumption of krill oil is one of the best ways to battle inflammation. Because of that, many doctors recommend using it to ease joint and muscle pain.

With regards to the authenticity behind the statement, a few studies have been conducted. The first found that krill oil not only helped with inflammation but also helped with physiotherapy and reduced stiffness of the bones. This was especially noted among patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Another study was conducted on 50 adult participants who complained of knee pain. The researchers administered krill oil to the patients for about a month. They found that the patients’ pain was reduced by a marker. It even helped increase the range of rotation and motion.

Even mice have been tested. Mice that had arthritis were tested and found that even they benefited from krill oil.

Still, more research needs to be conducted.

In a nutshell:

Supplements of krill oil are much better for arthritis along with joint pain, according to studies conducted on both humans and animals.

#4. Reverses Aging:

A number of researchers have found that krill oil capsules, along with a handful of other ingredients, can reduce the appearance of aging.

The capsules used contained buckthorn oil, hyaluronic acid, vitamin D, zinc, and significant amounts of krill oil. The subjects took pills in doses of 780 milligrams three times a day for 12 weeks. After taking the pills, they applied 0.1% concentrated tazarotene cream.

Their wrinkles were greatly reduced and skin became more moisturized. It is unclear if these benefits actually came from just the krill oil.

In a nutshell:

Capsules of krill oil and other ingredients showed a significant decrease in skin aging and wrinkles. It is unclear if this was caused by just the krill oil.

#5. Easy to Manage, Easy to Maintain:

The best part about using krill oil isn’t the health benefits, but the availability. It can be easily found in online stores and pharmacies, and can even be bought at local drug stores. They are found in tiny capsules usually smaller than fish oil.

Krill oil supplements are thought of as a much more manageable choice compared to fish oil. Krill fish are more abundant, and the oil even has some levels of astaxanthin.

But of course, the price tag is significantly higher.

Many health-oriented organizations recommend taking a dosage of about 250-500 milligrams per day of krill-based oil. A few studies may be able to confirm these dosages, but for now, we recommend talking with your family physician.

Most organizations don’t recommend exceeding a 5,000 milligram limit on DHA and EPA combined.

As a final thought, remember that certain patients should not use the oil without a doctor’s consultation. People at risk include anyone getting ready for surgery, breastfeeding or pregnant women, and those who take blood thinners.

And this should go without saying, but avoid krill if you are allergic to seafood.

In a nutshell:

It’s available in capsules which are generally tinier than other fish oil supplements. Remember to always follow the recommended dosage given on the bottle. Consult a physician if you have special conditions.

#6. Removes Inflammation:

As stated before, DHA, EPA, and other Omega-3 acids can have a significant effect on inflammation.

Some researches show that krill oil may actually be a better anti-inflammatory than any other omega-3-rich product. This is because it seems to be easier to assimilate.

A pink-orange pigment called astaxanthin was found in samples of krill oil. Many research papers suggest that this drug may have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

A few other studies have been conducted. One found that, when harmful bacteria was released on human intestinal cells, krill oil reduced inflammatory molecules drastically.

Another study on 25 adults was conducted. All had high-fat levels in the blood. The study showed that just taking about 1,000 milligrams of krill supplements daily reduced inflammation. In fact, it seemed to be much more effective than a 2,000-milligram dosage of pure omega-3 oils.

Another study of around 90 people who had chronic inflammation was conducted. It showed that just a 300-milligram daily dosage of krill oil reduced pain up to 30% within just a month.

In a nutshell:

Anti-inflammatory drugs, like omega-3 oils, and anti-oxidants, like astaxanthin, were found in great quantities in samples of krill oil.

#7. Natural Pain Killer for PMS:

A number of studies showed that pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) can be greatly diminished and managed with the use of krill and other fish oils. In fact, many researchers suggest using it as a pain killer supplement, though not all.

A study on women with PMS found that those who used krill oil took fewer painkillers than those who used fish oil.

So to conclude from the study, krill oil is significantly better than fish oil at reducing period cramps and other effects of PMS. However, more research needs to be conducted.

In a nutshell:

A number of researchers found that omega-3 oils were good for women with PMS and for those with period pain. Only one study has been conducted on the subject, but we have our hopes up.

Final Thoughts:

Krill oil supplements are definitely gaining a better reputation, and are being considered as a better alternative to fish oil.

Benefits include having to administer a smaller dosage, getting the benefits of an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, easier funding and availability, and even fewer side effects.

Could krill oil actually have more superior benefits than fish oil? Many studies and researches are inclining towards the affirmative, but there’s still a long way to go.

More studies need to be conducted on the matter. But we have high hopes for krill oil in the future, and see it as becoming more popular in the next few years.


Photo via Unsplash.

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