Thursday, February 21, 2013

Krill Oil or Fish Oil for Omega 3's



Krill is a general term used to describe about 85 species of free-swimming, open-ocean crustaceans known as euphausiids.

With their large black eyes, krill are mostly transparent, although their shells have a bright red tinge from small pigment spots. Their digestive system is usually visible and this is often a vivid green from the pigment of microscopic plants they have eaten. Adult Antarctic krill are approximately 2 inches in length and weigh over a gram. According to Wikipedia, Antarctic krill are one of the most abundant and successful animal species on Earth. Scientists estimate there are about 500 million tonnes of Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean. The biomass of this one species may be the largest of any multi-cellular animal species on the planet.

Krill are found in all of the world's oceans. They are a "keystone" component of the ocean ecosystem. Krill are directly linked to the survival of many apex marine species, seabirds, whales, and fish all rely on krill as a big part of their diets. Worldwide, ocean wildlife is estimated to consume between 150 and 300 million metric tons of krill each year.
 
The blue whale, the largest animal on the planet, feeds exclusively on tiny krill. Wild salmon eat krill. It's what makes their meat healthy and pink. Emperor penguins march hundreds of miles every year to eat krill. So what does that have to do with us humans? Well, krill oil is a good source of omega-3 fats, docosahexanoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA). If you don't at least know that omega-3 fats are good for you by now. I have to ask, what rock do you live under?
Omega-3 fats come in various forms. For instance in fish oil, it's omega-3 fatty acids are in the triglyceride form, extracted in a synthetic process involving chemicals and high heat. In krill oil, there is a double chain phospholipid structure. The omega-3 fats in your body are in phospholipid form also. The EPA leg of a krill phospholipid is also attached to a molecule of Astaxanthin, (as-ta-zan-thin) a very powerful antioxidant. Because of their phospholipid structure, EPA and DHA in krill oil are more easily absorbed than fish oil. EPA and DHA can easily pass through the mitochondria and the cellular nucleus. I know that may have seemed like a lot to wrap your head around, but read it again it will make more sense the second time.  Some of the other bio-active components of krill oil are, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and Canthaxanthin, another potent antioxidant. Based on ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorptance Capacity) values, that makes the antioxidant potency of krill oil about 48 times higher than fish oil. As an extra benefit the Astaxanthin in krill oil also fights the harmful effects of ultraviolet light on skin.

Krill oil is also an effective treatment for pain and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis and just pain in general. It has been proven, that krill oil helps in alleviating symptoms in PMS and dysmenorrhea. Krill oil is also considered as an effective treatment for adult ADHD. This is based on clinical trials that compared krill oil with fish oil rather than a placebo. Because krill oil is rapidly absorbed by the body and has a high antioxidant content. BTW, fishy burping and aftertaste are never a problem. However, people with shrimp or shellfish allergy should not take krill oil.

Krill oil is only slightly more expensive than fish oil. The health benefits you will get from krill oil are worth the price difference. Krill oil a has higher antioxidant content, and the shelf life is MUCH longer when compared to fish oil. The only disadvantage of krill oil is its low level of vitamin D, but you can compensate for this by getting some sun exposure, or in cloudy climates, supplementing with vitamin D3.
Those who believe that food supplements are no better than natural foods in providing essential nutrients, wake up it's 2013 ok. The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1. However, on average, most Americans omega-6 consumption is 20 times more than their omega 3 intake, and in extreme cases, is 50 times more than their omega 3 consumption. When you have this type of nutritional imbalance, it poses serious health risks. Such severe deficiency warrants the use of omega-3-rich food supplements like krill oil. Krill Oil not only nourishes the body with omega-3 fats, but also provides it with a plenty of antioxidants as well. Fish oil is low in antioxidants, so it increases your exposure to free radicals. Fish oil is highly perishable, and its oxidation produces cell-damaging free radicals. So if you take fish oil, you need more antioxidants to prevent the oxidation and formation of free radicals caused by the supplement.

Your body mainly relies on antioxidants to fight cell-damaging metabolic byproducts called free radicals. If you read my tip's regularly you know antioxidants play a critical role in improving heart functions, memory, and the immune system. Antioxidants have also anti-aging effects. Antioxidants are widely available in many foods, but most people still lack them, because of their unhealthy diet. Antioxidants in an average diet are often outnumbered by free radicals in the body.
So krill oil, has a 48 times higher antioxidant potency than fish oil, but here's how it stacks up to other antioxidants, here's the findings based on ORAC evaluations of the antioxidant property of krill oils:
  • 300 times more powerful than vitamins A and E
  • 47 times more powerful than lutein
  • 34 times more powerful than coenzyme Q-10

Krill oil also contains Astaxanthin. ( As-Ta-Zan-Thin) This marine flavonoid bonds with EPA and DHA. This structure allows direct metabolism of antioxidants, thereby increasing their bio-availability. Now, plain old seafood is a good source of omega-3 fats, true. However, eating fish nowadays will increase your exposure to toxic substances, like mercury. With the high concentration of toxic, industrial pollutants in our oceans, eating seafood is likely to increase amounts  PCBs, heavy metals, and radioactive poisons in your body. Even the useless Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have warned children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers to avoid certain seafood, for these reasons.

Krill oil may not be as heavily exposed to marine pollutants as other aquatic organisms, making them a safe substitute for seafood. Toxins are unlikely to accumulate in krill population because they are small and their lifespan is short.
So some of the major positive health benefits we can atribute to the taking of krill oil are: 
    • Improved memory, learning and ability to concentrate
    • Regulation of blood sugar
    • Relief of joint-related discomforts
    • Anti-aging effects
    • Protection for cellular membranes
    • Regulation of cholesterol and other blood lipids
    • Liver health
    • Treatment of PMS symptoms
    • Stronger immune system
    • Elevated mood
    • Healthy skin

    Also, I see several studies that attest to the effectiveness of krill oil in managing chronic inflammation and arthritis. Notable among these studies is a paper published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, which investigated the therapeutic effects of Krill Oil on the above diseases. A seven-day long krill oil treatment alleviated inflammation among subjects by more than 19%, whereas the placebo group experienced a 16% increase in the levels of inflammatory C-reactive proteins. Reduction in pain, stiffness, and functional impairment was also seen among the krill oil users. On the third week of treatment, krill oil users reported reduction in inflammation by almost 30%, whereas inflammation among the placebo group worsened by more than 32%. The researchers therefore concluded that taking 300 mg of krill oil a day could dramatically alleviate inflammation and arthritic symptoms in as little as a week or two. Alternative Medicine Review reported that several double-blind, randomized, controlled trials proved the therapeutic effects of krill oil's DHA and EPA on a number of brain and mental disorders, including:
    • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
    • Dyslexia
    • Autism
    • Dementia and other cognition problems
    • Aggressive behavior
    • Huntington disease, a neurological disease marked by abnormal body movements
    Now what to look for when you buy. For a 1000mg. dose, The Phospholids profile should be in the 400mg. range, DHA should be in the 70-90mg. range, EPA should be in the 120-150 range, and Astaxanthin should be in the 1.5-2.5mg. range. Do your homework read the labels and choose a reputable company, see if a Krill supplement doesn't make a change in your health. After all could thousands of whales be wrong. Good Luck...

    The whales were unavailable to comment for this article, because they are whales, live in the ocean, and can't talk.










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