Everyone knows that fish oil has a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acid. But do you know that there is Omega-3 fatty acid in krill oil? Krill oil is the oil that is extracted from krill, which is a tiny shrimp-like creature that lives in the cold ocean of Antarctic, North and South Pacific.

Unlike the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, which is in the form of triglyceride, the Omega-3 fatty acid in krill oil is in the form of phospholipids. Phospholipids are fats that form the major component of the cell membrane.

Neptune Technologies, a Canadian company, holds the patent for the extraction of krill oil from krill. Neptune Krill Oil™ is the only source of krill oil in the market currently.

What are the benefits of krill oil versus fish oil?

1) Easier absorption

As phospholipids are water-soluble, the Omega-3 in krill oil is easily digested in the small intestine. Compared to the Omega-3 in the form of triglyceride in fish oil, is oil base and requires bile salt for the digestion. Because of this efficiency in absorption, less dosage is needed.

2) Less Fishy

Because of the water-soluble nature, digesting krill oil will give less burping and fishy after-taste.

3) Pass through the brain cells faster

The Omega-3 in phospholipids can enter through the brain cell membrane easily because of the similar structure to the cell membrane.

4) Antioxidants

Krill oil contains Astaxanthin, phosphotidylcholine, vitamin E, vitamin A, and C. All these are powerful antioxidants that can help prevent  Omega-3 from oxidation and turning rancid. Therefore, it does not require additional additives to stabilize it and has longer shelf life.

In fact, the antioxidant potency is 48 times more than fish oil. Astaxanthin can cross the blood-brain barrier which helps to prevent free radical damage in the eye, brain and central nervous system.

5) Greater reduction in  Cholesterol

Krill oil can help to reduce cholesterol better than fish oil. This is seen from a study by Bunea R, El Farrah and Deutsch reported in the 2004 Alternative Medicine Review of 120 people, comparing krill oil against fish oil and placebo. The study measured total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglyceride of group with krill oil versus fish oil versus placebo.

The group with krill oil had a 13% reduction in total cholesterol, 32-35% reduction in LDL, 42-43% increase in HDL and 11% reduction in triglyceride. The group with fish oil had a reduction of 5.9% in total cholesterol, 4.6% reduction in LDL, 4.2% increase in HDL and 3.2% reduction in triglyceride. The placebo group has a general increase in all the cholesterol.

Therefore, krill oil is more effective in reducing cholesterol than fish oil

Are there any side effects?

If you are on blood thinners medication such as aspirin, warfarin ( Coumarin, Heparin, Plavix) or NSAIDs ( non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ) such as ibuprofen ( Motrin, Advil), naproxen ( Naprosyn, Aleve), it is better to seek your doctor’s supervision.

As krill oil is from shrimp, people who are allergic to shrimp will have to be very careful to test for allergy when taking it for the first time.

Taking krill oil with some herb supplement such as ginkgo biloba and garlic may increase the risk of bleeding.

Have you tried krill oil? Share your experience taking it in the comment box below.

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