What is Krill Oil?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
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  • Last Modified Date: 11 May 2020
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Krill oil is oil that comes from the tiny crustaceans known as krill, an ocean creature that is less than 2.25 inches (6 centimeters) long. The krill is the main source of sustenance for baleen whales and are high in omega 3 fatty acids. As a good source of these fatty acids, krill oil is often used in supplements, or may be marketed as its own standalone product.

The reason krill oil is so sought after is because of the benefits offered by omega 3 fatty acids. These acids are known to have positive benefits, especially for the heart, which the body cannot produce on its own. While some sorts of oily fish are good sources for these acids, krill oil also has them in abundance. Omega 3 fatty acids are known to help reduce blood pressure and help lower bad cholesterol.

Although no complete studies have been done, krill oil and fish oil are very similar in their design and composition. Those taking fish oil supplements often take 1,600 mg per day. This may also be acceptable for those who wish to take a krill oil supplement.

The advantages of krill oil are hard to understate, according to recent studies. One showed that those taking a krill oil supplement reduced their bad cholesterol readings by 37 percent over those who took a placebo. Further, krill oil is also thought to be able to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and diabetes.

However, while the omega 3 fatty acids found in krill oil is a big benefit, it is one among many the product offers. Krill oil also contains an antioxidant known as astaxanthin. This antioxidant is thought to protect the body from free radicals, substances that are thought to harm the body in a number of ways. This antioxidant also gives krill and other crustaceans the reddish color.

Still, as with any sort of dietary supplement, some negative side effects may surface for those taking certain medications. Any supplemental use of krill oil should only be done after consultation with a physician. These cases include people taking a drug to thin the blood. Due to the fact that omega 3 fatty acids also work to thin the blood, there may be undesirable effects when the two combine with each other. Those who have allergies to fish or shellfish should also avoid krill oil. Still, despite these concerns, krill oil is generally considered a very safe supplement for the general population.

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Post 3

I think krill oil might be less available and more expensive in the future. I saw a documentary on TV and learned that krill populations, which is mainly in the Arctic, are decreasing both because of commercial fishing and also because of melting ice in the Arctic. Several commissions that work to preserve marine life are lobbying against commercial fisherman because the seals and whales are not able to find enough krill to feed themselves anymore.

I guess some of the krill is also fished for krill oil production, but I doubt that this is having much of an impact. Krill is apparently used to feed fish in fish farms which is a bigger problem. Krill oil is already more expensive than fish oil. If it becomes more expensive because of the decrease in krill populations, it might not be a supplement option anymore.

Post 2

I have been taking krill oil capsules regularly for years and so has my mom. I'm taking them because it helps regulate my periods and it also completes my diet needs. I don't eat seafood at all and I heard that an omega-3 deficiency leads to sugar cravings which I have a problem with. If you crave sugar after meals and don't have much seafood like me, you might need more omega-3 in your diet as well.

My mom takes them mainly for menopause. She also thinks that krill oil supplements support memory. When she doesn't take it for a couple of weeks, she says that she keeps forgetting things, and losing things around the house.

We just feel healthier overall when we take krill oil. I don't know much about any scientific studies that have been done on it. From my personal experience, I have benefited a lot.

Post 1

I recently read an article about krill oil. They were comparing krill oil to fish oil to see which is a better source of omega 3. The article said that even though both krill oil and fish oil have similar amounts of omega 3, the omega 3 in krill oil is absorbed better by our body because it also contains something called phospholipids. So even though we are probably taking in the same amount of omega 3, our body is able to use more of it when it comes from krill oil.

I'm surprised that despite the greater benefits from krill oil, it is still not as widely used as fish oil. Has anyone seen krill oil supplements available at pharmacies or natural food stores? I haven't and I think that's a shame. I think with rising heart disease, diabetes and cholesterol levels, Americans need to take more advantage of this supplement.

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