The health benefits of krill oil have received quite a bit of attention as of late; looking at the research, its easy to see why. After years of promoting the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and plant-based sources like chia and flax seeds, research is now demonstrating the raw, natural oil from the tiny krill is proving to be among the most powerful, essential supplements in existence today. New research is demonstrating that krill oil has a significant effect on a number of serious health issues, including obesity and weight gain, brain and neurological function, diabetes and blood glucose levels, and cardiovascular and heart health.
Krill are tiny creatures that look like little shrimp; these tiny crustaceans are found in abundance in the ice cold ocean and are often the main source food for whales, certain sharks and many other ocean creatures. In fact, the work “krill” is actually a Norwegian word that means “whale food”. Krill oil has been found to contain DHA and EPA, the same important omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and fish oil supplements. The difference with krill oil is that it contains higher concentrations of DHA and EPA in forms that are more efficiently absorbed by the body.
Adding to the benefits of krill oil is the fact that is contains structures known asphospholipids, making it easier for DHA and EPA to be delivered to the brain, providing significant brain health benefits. Krill oil also contains a powerful antioxidant calledastaxathin. Traditional fish oil is rather unstable, often spoiling or going rancid rather quickly; krill oil is more stable, providing health benefits for a significant longer period than traditional omega-3 sources. Astaxathin also protects the body from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Krill oil provides added protection against heart disease, including heart attack, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and high cholesterol and increased levels of triglycerides. Several studies have demonstrated krill oil to be a superior alternative to fish oil, especially in lowering triglycerides, improving healthy cholesterol levels and balancing blood glucose levels. Krill oil has also demonstrated to lower fat levels in the heart and liver much more efficiently than fish oil.
Low levels of EPA and DHA have been consistently associated with decreased cognitive and neurological function in both adults and children. Appropriate DHA levels in the brain are essential, decreased levels have been associated with poor short and long term memory, decreased reaction time, and may contribute to the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Supplementing with krill oil has demonstrated a significant improvement in cognitive function, especially increased attention, concentration and memory after three months. Research from the University of California, Berkley also demonstrates increased concentrations of DHA also contribute improve mood, lessen mood swings, and decrease depression and anxiety.
A recent study evaluating krill oil’s effects on developing metabolic syndrome and diabetes, demonstrated promising results. When compared to participants taking placebo and fish oil, people supplementing with high and low doses of krill oil demonstrated significant reductions (over 30% reduction) in triglycerides and a reduction in blood glucose levels; both predictors and precursors of diabetes.
Among the most significant benefits of krill oil is the tremendous effect it has on minimizing inflammation and pain in joints, most often associated with various types of arthritis. Findings published in the American Journal of Nutrition demonstrated that consistent supplementation with krill oil resulted in roughly a 25% reduction in pain, inflammation and functional impairment associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. The study also demonstrated that krill oil substantially reduces inflammation and symptoms of arthritis in as little as one to two weeks.
Krill oil has shown few, if any side effects, and is recommended to be consumed on a daily basis. The most efficient and effective method of supplementation is a high-quality, all-natural supplements containing a high ratio of DHA to EPA (at least 4:1) and harvested from Marine Stewardship Certified sustainable sources.
 “KRILL OIL: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings – WebMD.” 2010. 31 Jul. 2013 <http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1172-KRILL%20OIL.aspx?activeIngredientId=1172&activeIngredientName=KRILL%20OIL>