Krill oil is made from krill. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids, a class of compounds reported to aid in lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure when used as a dietary supplement. A clinical study conducted at University of Montreal concluded that Neptune Krill Oil (NKO) can significantly reduce dysmenorrhea and the emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Krill oil contains potent antioxidants that protect the oil causing it to be relatively stable. Since NKO is an unrefined product it has more toxic residues in it than purified fish oils. The fishery for Antarctic Krill is relatively new. Little is known about the effect that the fishery poses to natural krill predators such as the Adelie Penguin and several baleen whales. This oil, like fish oil, contains both of the omega-3 fats eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), but hooked together in a different form. In fish oil these omega-3 fatty acids are found in the triglyceride form whereas in the oil they are hooked up in a double chain phospholipid structure. (The fats in our own cell walls are in the phospholipid form.) Attached to the EPA leg of the phospholipid is a molecule of astaxanthin, an extremely potent anti-oxidant.
Krill are shrimp-like crustaceans that are approximately 1 to 6 centimeters long. Krill live is the ocean, where they feed mainly on phytoplankton. They're near the bottom of the food chain and are eaten by whales, seals, penguins, squid and fish. Commercial fishing of krill occurs primarily in the Southern Ocean and the northern Pacific Ocean along the coasts of Canada and Japan. Krill that are caught are used for aquaculture and aquarium feeds, sport fishing bait or they are eaten as food. In Japan, krill that's caught for food is called okiami. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition examined this type of fish oil (300 mg daily) compared to a placebo and found that krill oil was effective at reducing arthritis symptoms and inflammation. Preliminary research suggests this kind of fish oil may help reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), however, more research is needed. People with allergies to seafood shouldn't use this oil. People with bleeding disorders shouldn't use krill oil unless under the supervision of a qualified health professional.
Krill oil, the oil that's found naturally in krill, is extracted and sold as a nutritional supplement. Krill Oil is sold in some health food stores and online in capsule form. Krill oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is the main reason it's becoming popular as a nutritional supplement. Another reason krill oil is becoming popular is because it contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin. The algae that krill eat produces the bright red pigment astaxanthin that gives krill and other crustaceans such as lobster and shrimp their reddish-pink color. Antioxidants protect our body cells from damage from free radicals, unstable substances that are thought to contribute to certain chronic diseases. Unlike many other antioxidants, astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier, where it could theoretically protect the eye, brain and central nervous system from free radical damage.