Getting your Omega hit with a super Salmon meal

Getting your Omega hit with a super Salmon meal

We decided to sit down with our Good Health naturopath Lynley to find out what it is about Krill that has given it a ‘must have’ status. It’s hard to think of a word within the world of supplements that has become such a hot topic recently as ‘krill’. As is the case with a lot of health supplement buzz words it can be a little hard to understand the lingo sometimes. Lynley gives us some insight into the benefits of Krill.

So, let’s start with the basics. What actually is Krill?

Krill, (or if you want to get technical: Euphausia superba) are small crustaceans that resemble shrimp. They’re found in all oceans, but are most abundant in the Antarctic. Krill is found in swarms so large that they can actually be seen from satellites in outer space!

And what is it that makes Krill so good for us?

Krill are very rich in omega-3 oil which is crucial for all vital processes in the body. Omega oils are often referred to as Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and even though EFAs are really important, we can’t actually produce them ourselves. Therefore, they have to come from our diet or supplementation.

And Omega 3 oil can actually help with a whole raft of health conditions, right?

Yes! Omega-3 has been shown to help with conditions including; balancing blood pressure and arrhythmias, helping lower cholesterol levels, soothing inflammation, helping with joint pain and stiffness, improving brain function, concentration and memory, ADD and ADHD and PMS. So it’s definitely not a one trick pony.

If you aren’t being affected by any of those conditions, is Omega 3 still just as important?

Definitely! When it comes to EFAs there are many different types: Two that we’re concerned about are omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3s are found mainly in seafood and omega-6s from plants. Unfortunately in today’s western diet we consume too much processed food. This results in a much higher intake of omega-6 than omega-3 and as a result the correct ratio is totally thrown out of balance. The worst-case scenario for this can be chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and obesity.  So yes, in short, even if you don’t seem to suffer from any of those conditions it’s now more important than ever to increase our daily intake of omega-3s.

Fish Oil is another one that’s good for omega-3. What are some of the differences between the two?

Krill is 9 times stronger than fish oil for joint health and mobility!  Studies have shown that Krill oil is extremely well absorbed by humans. Every cell in your body requires phospholipids as key building blocks to make up your cell membranes. The membrane controls what goes in and out of each cell, kind of like a gate keeper. Krill oil ensures that the gate function will be smoother, allowing more effective delivery of nutrients to the cell. When you’ve got poor cell membranes it’s a bit of a knock on effect. Your cells don’t function as well and you’re at greater risk of disease.

Additionally, one of the things a lot of people complain about with fish oil is reflux. This is because of the way it breaks down in your body. Fish oil is insoluble in water and requires bile to break it down. Therefore, anyone with a weaker digestive system or liver or gallbladder problems may have problems utilizing fish oil and reflux is common. Krill oil is soluble in water and doesn’t require bile to break it down. Because the oil mixes easily with stomach contents it’s so much more easily absorbed and therefore doesn’t leave a foul taste in your mouth.

And how is it that you don’t need the same amount of Krill oil to achieve the same as what you would if you were taking fish oil for your Omega-3 fix?

Well Krill oil’s omega-3 is delivered to the body in a phospholipid form, whereas fish oil is in a triglyceride form. Because of this different form, fatty acids from krill oil are absorbed by the brain, heart and liver more efficiently than fatty acids from triglycerides. Because of this you need lot less krill oil than fish oil to achieve the same results.

And as anything that is taken from the ocean, there is always going to be the chatter around sustainability. How does Krill fit into this equation?

Remarkably well, actually. For starters, Krill is the largest biomass in the world at 500 million tons, which is approximately twice the weight of the human population on earth. Krill is considered to be one of the most sustainable marine resources. It is tightly regulated and monitored by the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. This international organisation has been set up to prevent depletion of krill and any impact on krill predators. So far, the current catch levels of krill are around 4% per annum of the total allowable catch quota – making it the most under commercially exploited fishing to date! Only 1/20th of 1% of the krill population is actually harvested and of that, only 2% of this is used for supplements – the majority is used for aquaculture feed & fish bait (88%) & human consumption (12%).

And to wrap up, are there any other little knowledge nuggets about Krill you can share?

Yes definitely another little bonus. Antarctic krill live in a naturally clean environment free of pollution, so there is significantly less risk of heavy metal contamination making it the cleanest and safest form of omega-3.

So, that’s that! If you didn’t know Krill before hopefully you’re feeling a little more acquainted now. Anything else you’d like to know about Krill? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!

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