If you're serious about staying healthy, odds are you've seen one or more articles about the health benefits of krill oil, particularly as compared with fish oil. The increasing popularity of krill oil is, at least in part, the result of several preliminary studies which indicate it is more effective than fish oil. In one such study (published in the Journal of Nutritional Science), for example, krill oil performed better than either fish oil or a "control oil" in increasing levels of so-called good cholesterol, lowering blood glucose and increasing plasma levels of marine n-3 fatty acids.
What Is Krill Oil?
According to WebMD:
"Krill oil is oil from a tiny, shrimp-like animal. Baleen whales, mantas, and whale sharks eat primarily krill. In Norwegian, the word "krill" means "whale food." People extract the oil from krill, place it in capsules, and use it for medicine."
So, the ingestion of krill helps these marine animals stay healthy and live longer. But what are the benefits of krill, and the oil extracted from it, for you?
What Are the Health Benefits of Krill Oil?
No two individuals are the same, and the relative health benefits of taking krill oil will differ from one person to another. Most people, however, will enjoy some or all the following scientifically-demonstrated health benefits of krill oil:
1. Krill Oil Reduces Inflammation
Several studies indicate that krill oil is more effective than fish oil in increasing levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Among the reasons for its superiority is the fact that krill oil is more easily absorbed in the body as compared with fish oil. Beyond this, krill oil contains the known anti-inflammatory pigment, astaxanthin, which is also an antioxidant.
For example, one important study of 90 people with chronic inflammation found that taking 300 mg of krill oil each day reduced their inflammation by as much as 30%. Although more research needs to be done, this and similar preliminary scientific studies demonstrate that krill oil shows tremendous promise in reducing inflammation.
2. Krill Oil Is Beneficial in Reducing Joint Pain Related to Arthritis
Because krill oil reduces inflammation, it has shown great promise in reducing the pain associated with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, which is the result of inflammation. In one study (Krill Oil Improves Mild Knee Joint Pain: A Randomized Control Trial), 50 people who were given krill oil for a month reported they experienced sharply reduced pain both in sleep and while standing.
3. Krill Oil Promotes Heart Health
Several studies have concluded that krill oil both reduces so-called "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increases "good" HDL cholesterol, both of which improve overall heart health. One of these studies found that krill oil, even when taken in smaller doses, was more effective both in reducing inflammation and in increasing the concentration of HDL cholesterol
4. Krill Oil Reduces the Pain of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Another group of studies concluded that krill oil can be effective in reducing the pain associated with diagnosed PMS for many women. In one such study, several participants reported that taking krill oil enabled them to reduce or entirely eliminate the need for more conventional pain medication. These studies indicate that krill oil is an excellent substitute for other omega-3 fat sources and, as noted, for conventional pain medication.
Krill oil has shown in these and other studies its powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reduction benefits, as well as its ability to increase healthy fats and good cholesterol and promote heart health. Whether krill oil is a good choice for you and the daily dosage you should take (generally 250 to 500 mg) is something you should discuss with your doctor. To learn more about the benefits of krill oil and our own Krill Oil DX, contact us today.