Why You Should Take Krill Oil

Why You Should Take Krill Oil


By now most of you are well aware that omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish, flax, and krill oils, have proven to have powerful anti-inflammatory functions in the body. However, “krill oil may be even more effective at fighting inflammation than other marine omega-3 sources because it appears to be easier for the body to use”.


Krill Oil is Better Than Fish Oil


Both fish and krill oils contain the primary omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. But there is more and more evidence that the form these fats take may make a big difference in how well the body can utilize them. Most of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are stored in the form of triglycerides, whereas in krill oil these fatty acids are found in the phospholipid form, which is easier to absorb into the bloodstream and into the cells.  


“A few studies found that krill oil was more effective than fish oil at raising omega-3 levels, and hypothesized that their differing forms of omega-3 fats might be why.  (Source)


Phospholipids have a particular affinity for the fatty organs and the eyes, which means that krill oil has a definite advantage over regular fish oils when taken to support the brain, eyes, heart and liver. The brain especially benefits from phospholipids.


Phospholipids are the main component of the transporter of omega-3s across the blood brain barrier. DHA is especially important for brain function, structure and maintenance throughout all stages of life, and accounts for about 40% of all the poly-unsaturated fatty acids in the brain. Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated that omega 3s (specifically DHA) delivered with phospholipids can lead to higher levels of omega-3 incorporation in the brain. Exciting research is ongoing in this area to investigate how this can impact on brain function and maintaining a healthy brain.”  (Source)


One other advantage krill oil has over fish oils (except salmon) is that it contains astaxanthin, a natural antioxidant that gives krill oil its red coloring. Astaxanthin also serves to protect the oil from oxidation, eliminating the need to add preservatives. As well, this antioxidant effect adds to the benefits krill oil provides to our bodies, along with having anti-inflammatory properties.


Anti-inflammatory and Heart Protective Effects


While the bulk of studies on the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3’s have focused on fish oils, a number of studies have found krill oil to not only have this effect, but in some cases it has proven superior to fish oils.


For example, this study found that it took a dose of fish oil four times higher than krill oil to obtain the same results in lowering triglycerides in overweight subjects: “Krill oil has lipid-lowering effects comparable with those obtained through a 4-fold higher dose of purified omega 3 ethyl ester PUFAs in mildly overweight hypertriglyceridemic subjects, while more efficaciously reducing high-sensitivity C-reactive protein” (a clinical benchmark of high inflammation occurring in the body).   (Source)


Other studies have confirmed krill oil’s ability to also lower LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol: “A recent review of seven studies concluded that krill oil is effective at lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and may increase “good” HDL cholesterol, too.”   (Source)


Another krill oil study further supported the benefits of krill oil for heart health, along with finding benefits for blood glucose control. This study compared krill oil to olive oil among patients with type 2 diabetes, “and found that krill oil significantly improved insulin resistance scores, as well as the function of the lining of the blood vessels”.   (Source)


Arthritic Conditions


Further to the subject of inflammation let’s see how krill oil fares on its own, when used to treat arthritic conditions. As with heart disease, high levels of the inflammatory benchmark C-reactive protein are also present in arthritic conditions. So this study examined CRP levels and pain levels in 90 patients with chronic inflammation due to “confirmed diagnosis of cardiovascular disease and/or rheumatoid arthritis and/or osteoarthritis and with increased levels of CRP”.


This study was done to the highest research standards, being randomized, double blind, and placebo-controlled. After 7 days of treatment, CRP levels dropped by 19% in those receiving krill oil versus an increase of 16% among those on the placebo. After 30 days of treatment with krill oil, CRP levels dropped 30% while the placebo group showed an increase of 25%. 


Not only that, but even after only 7 days, the krill oil “reduced pain scores by 28.9%, reduced stiffness by 20.3% and reduced functional impairment by 22.8%”.  (Source)


This suggests that those of you using JointStart Supreme for arthritic conditions may wish to also add our NutriKrill to your regimen.


Let’s look at one more arthritic pain study: Also a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, this one enrolled 50 Japanese adults (38 – 85 years old) with mild knee pain. Subjects received either 2 grams of krill oil (4 caps), or an identical placebo, daily for 30 days.


And the conclusion was: “Krill oil significantly mitigated knee pain in sleeping, standing and the range of motion of both right and left knees compared to placebo.”   (Source)


Gut Inflammation


I’m adding this study because of the implications it has for those suffering from IBS and Irritable Bowel Diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s and colitis. This particular study was in vitro (cells in a petri dish) rather than in vivo (animals or humans), but nonetheless is considered to be scientifically valid.


“Krill oil improves intestinal barrier integrity and epithelial restitution during inflammation and controls bacterial adhesion and invasion to epithelial cells. Thus, krill oil may represent an innovative tool to reduce intestinal inflammation.”   (Source)


Anyone with IBS or IBD may wish to check out the following link to another study that combined krill oil, vitamin D, and the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri, and concluded that:


KLD has significant effects on the intestinal mucosa, strongly decreasing inflammation, increasing epithelial restitution and reducing pathogenicity of harmful commensal bacteria.”   (Source)


Note that this information on gut inflammation would also be of benefit for those with leaky gut or celiac disease.


Healthy Aging


This krill oil study used both in vitro (human cells) and in vivo (C. elegans, a type of worm often used for longevity experiments) to “investigate whether krill oil promotes healthy aging”.


In a C. elegans model of Parkinson’s disease, we show that krill oil protects dopaminergic neurons from aging-related degeneration…and improves dopamine-dependent behavior and cognition.”


Thus, not only would krill oil help prevent and possibly treat PD, but would also be of benefit for depressive and addictive conditions (as both require healthy dopamine levels).


With regards to aspects of aging other than neurological (i.e. dopamine), the results of these tests are very impressive.


“Krill oil rewires distinct gene expression programs that contribute to attenuating several aging hallmarks, including oxidative stress, proteotoxic stress, senescence, genomic instability, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Collectively, krill oil rewires global gene expression programs and promotes healthy aging via abrogating multiple aging hallmarks, suggesting directions for further pre-clinical and clinical explorations.” (Source)




I will end our review of the benefits of krill oil with one final study comparing krill oil and fish oil.  This study compared the effects of krill oil and fish oil in women diagnosed with PMS, over a ten day period (no pun intended). While both supplements resulted in significant improvements in symptoms, the women taking krill oil took far less pain medication than those women taking fish oil.    (Source)




Obviously we all need omega-3 fatty acids, and as we have seen above, krill oil may be our best choice to cover this base. The one exception may be those allergic to crustaceans (crabs, lobster, shrimp, etc), as krill are a form of shrimp.


Those of you who follow the embedded links may find that some of the studies quoted used a different brand of krill oil (Neptune, who sponsored the studies) than NutriStart uses (Superba). The effects of any clean krill oil will be the same, therefore I am comfortable referring to these studies with the assumption that they will hold true for our krill oil as well. 


Aside from clinical effectiveness, what does distinguish one krill oil from another is environmental sustainabilty and solvents used for oil extraction. This is where the NutriKrill product proves superior to other krill oils. Aker-Biomarine, the Norwegian producer of Superba, has an excellent approach to sustainable harvesting and unlike other companies (including Neptune) does not use chemical solvents to extract its oil.   More on the subject can be found by reading this blog of mine: NutriKrill vs Other Krill Oils


(Author: All newsletters and blogs are written by Ken Peters who has worked as a nutritional consultant for the last 30 years, and as product designer for NutriStart for the last 25 years.  He has also authored two books – Health Secrets Vol. 1&2.  He may be reached at: kenpetersconsulting@gmail.com)

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