Krill oil is made from krill, small shrimp-like crustaceans that inhabit cold oceans, such as the Antarctic and northern Pacific oceans. It is a dietary supplement, primarily used for the omega 3 fatty acids it contains. Krill oil appears to be superior in comparison to standard fish oil in terms of antioxidant potency. Michael Eades M.D., reports that krill oil has an oxygen radical absorptance capacity, abbreviate as ORAC, 48 times higher than fish oil.
Krill oil is rich in all the fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin D, A and E. It is also rich in healthy fats. It contains omega 3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentanoic acid and docosahexanoic acid, abbreviated as EPA and DHA respectively. These fatty acids are attached to double phospholipid chains, which makes them easily absorbable by the cells. In addition, it contains canthaxanthin and astaxanthin, which are potent antioxidants.
Krill oil is a reliable source of vitamin D. The exact amount of this vitamin you can receive every day depends on the supplement you choose. The recommended doses for vitamin D are 600 International units per day for people between 1 to 70 years old and 800 International units per day for people above 71 years old. Infants between 0 to 12 months need 400 International units per day. Deficiency of this vitamin can cause serious problems, such as rickets. The amount of vitamin D provided by standard krill oil tablets covers the optimal daily dose. However, more factors must be considered before consuming krill oil tablets, such as sun exposure, age and your geographical location; people in northern areas don't get as much sun exposure.
Health Benefits of krill Oil
Omega 3 fatty acids, especially those coming from marine sources, are a new tool in the prevention and therapy of cardiovascular disease. A study published in the journal "Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine" reports that EPA and DHA can protect the heart and arteries in many different ways. Also, the brain cells are in great need of high quality fatty acids and phospholipids, all of which are provided by krill oil in sufficient quantities. The antioxidants astaxanthin and canaxanthin fight off oxygen radicals, which interfere with cellular metabolism and DNA functions.
If you are allergic to shellfish, you should consult your doctor before using krill oil. Many people allergic to shellfish can actually consume krill oil, but in smaller quantities. Also, if you have bleeding disorders, krill oil supplements should avoided, since high doses of the fatty acids in this oil can increase the chance of bleeding. Krill oil can cause gastrointestinal upsets in some people and symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and indigestion may be present.