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Omega 3 Oils – Krill Oil

By on Oct 5, 2011

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Omega 3 oils - Krill oilKrill oil has gained a lot of popularity over the past couple of years. It is currently the fastest growing omega 3 supplement on the market.  This is partly due to the claims that krill oil is a superior source of essential fatty acids and that is free from pollution that can affect fish oil supplements. Krill oil is also promoted as being free from the fishy aftertaste that usually accompanies fish oil supplements.

Krill oil is extracted from tiny shrimp-like creatures that live at the bottom of the colder areas of world’s oceans. They are usually eaten by larger fish such as whales. Krill is also part of the diet for the Japanese and Russians.

Both krill and fish oil are a good source of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  Whilst they are both important for health, DHA is more important for concentration as this essential nutrient is predominantly found in the brain. Manufacturers of krill oil claim that the levels of EPA and DHA are better absorbed than in ordinary fish oil supplements.

One of the reasons why krill oil may be better absorbed is that most of the omega 3 in krill oil is in the form of phospholipids. These are fat like molecules that transport fatty acids directly to the body’s cells. The manufacturers of krill oil also claim that due to its greater absorption, less is required than fish oils.

Krill oil is also naturally rich in vitamin A and E, and the antioxidant astaxanthin. These antioxidants provide the krill oil with natural protection against oxidation (which produces free radicals).

Krill oil is currently much more expensive than high quality fish oil supplements. As yet there have not been many independent studies to back up the effectiveness of krill oil against high quality fish oil.