A loved one of yours might have recommended you Krill Oil to stay healthy, or you might have come across it in a book or an ad. Either way, you might be wondering whether Krill Oil is safe for you and, if yes, why exactly should you start taking it.
Don’t worry! We have got you covered. In this article, we will let you know everything you need to know about Krill Oil benefits and effects.
What is Krill Oil?
Krill is a very small marine animal that looks pretty identical to a shrimp. These tiny crustaceans belong to the order Euphausiacea. The word “krill” has a Norwegian origin, meaning whale food. This is because these marine animals are primarily the favorite foods of Baleen whales, whale sharks, and mantas.
The oil that is extracted from these fish is known as Krill Oil. Most brands prepare Krill Oil from a certain species of Antarctic krill, the scientific name of which is Euphausia superba. Krill Oil is often used for medicinal purposes, and processed Krill Oil is used as a dietary supplement.
Is Krill Oil good for you?
As you might know already, many types of fish oil provide many different benefits. Regular intake of it can release serotonin by reducing brain inflammation and thus uplift your mood.
Your heart health will be in top condition due to the prevention of plaque, decreased triglycerides, and lowering blood pressure. And the list goes on.
In the same way, there are many Krill Oil benefits and effects too. The biggest benefit of Krill Oil is that it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This is similar to those that are present in fish oil.
Our body does not produce many Omega-3 fatty acids on its own, so we have to seek supplements of it from foods and medicines.
The oil also contains phospholipid-derived fatty acids (PLFA), mainly phosphatidylcholine or marine lecithin. All these have the potential to cause positive impacts on our bodies and help in the treatment of different health issues.
Why is Krill Oil better than fish oil?
You might be wondering what makes fish oil and Krill Oil different, or why you should switch to Krill Oil when finding regular fish oil is much easier. You have most likely heard that the omega 3 acids present in Krill Oil are better than the ones than the ones present in fish oil There is some decent scientific logic to back this claim.
For one, when you consider the marine food chain, Krill Oil is a more natural source of Omega 3. Algae is the prime food of krills. These algae found at the bottom of the water body are the main beholder of Omega-3. Algaes hold these acids in the form of EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid.
When krills eat algae, they digest the EPA and then synthesize it further to create a new form of Omega-3, called DHA or docosahexaenoic acid.
So Krill Oil is the main source of DHA and the secondary source of EPA. Again, the thousands of marine animals from which fish oil is extracted have krills as their main food source.
So when they eat krills, the EPA and DHA are transferred to their body. But they become a secondary or tertiary source of that, thus reducing the effect of Omega-3 to an extent.
There is also research-based data to back the statement of Krill Oil being superior to fish oil.
In the February 2007 issue of “Nutrition Reviews,” researchers conducted an in-depth analysis of the nutritional value of Krill Oil when compared to fish oil. They found out that the main difference in the omega 3s of the two oils is the forms they stay in.
When it comes to Krill Oil, Omega-3s are in the form of phospholipids, whereas in fish oil, they are triglycerides. The body finds it easier to use the type phospholipid.
These phospholipids act like a building block of nearly every single cell present in the human body. So the Omega-3 fatty acids in krill have better bioavailability to ensure better health.
Astaxanthin is a keto-carotenoid. It belongs to a class of chemical terpenes.
Moreover, astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant, is naturally present in Krill Oil. All of these reasons make Krill Oil a better alternative to fish oil, and why Krill Oil benefits and effects are more positive.
What are the benefits of Krill Oil?
Extensive research has not yet been carried out related to the positive impacts of Krill Oil on human health. But the Omega-3 fatty acids present in it can have many health benefits. Though our body does not produce many Omega-3 fatty acids, they are actually the key structure of every cell wall we have.
They further act as an energy source, which will keep your immune system, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and such parts of the body functional. Some Krill Oil benefits and effects can include
Relief from pain, swelling, and inflammation
Fish oil, which is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, has been proven to be an excellent alternative to clinical painkillers, posing few side effects compared to those medicines as well. By reducing the inflammatory response, these acids relieve pain.
So there is reason to believe that the high amount of Omega-3 in Krill Oil is good for reducing pain as well as swelling in different parts of the body.
In fact, researchers believe that Krill Oil maybe even more effective at fighting inflammation than other marine omega-3 sources. This is because the body seemingly finds it easier to use it compared to other sources like fish oil.
According to some early research, this is the reason why Krill Oil might be good for people suffering from osteoarthritis. Taking 300 gm of a specific Krill Oil product may help reduce swelling and stiffness in different body parts of these patients. The same goes for those who have Rheumatoid arthritis. But the research done on this is very small, so there is insufficient material.
Prevent blood clotting
Fatty acids can help make your blood platelets less sticky. When the platelets are less sticky, the likelihood of forming clots reduces significantly. So Krill Oil can prevent blood from clotting easily.
Research is still going on about Krill Oil benefits and effects for cholesterol levels. According to current research, a specific Krill Oil product named Neptune Krill Oil from Neptune Technologies & Bioresources, Inc, when taken in the specific dosage of 1 to 1.5 grams, can have positive benefits on body cholesterol.
Basically, Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is considered bad cholesterol while High-Density Lipoprotein is considered good cholesterol. Krill Oil can help reduce bad cholesterol and increase high cholesterol levels.
If the dosage is increased to 2 to 3 grams daily, Krill Oil has the potential to reduce levels of triglyceride, which is another type of blood fat. Because of lowering triglycerides levels, the risk of heart attacks decreases significantly. A normal heart rhythm can be maintained.
Long-term Omega 3 deficiency in the body can lead to Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). When scientists noticed that the rates of depression are lower in countries where people consume a large amount of fish, they wondered whether fish oils can act as some kind of preventive measure against mood disorders.
After research, it was seen that indeed fish oil has the potential to benefit people suffering from mood disorders. So some Krill Oil benefits and effects may be good for people with depression.
PMS or Premenstrual symptoms may be reduced by taking the Neptune Krill Oil.
The oil can greatly reduce dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods due to uterine contractions) and all the various emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndromes, like mood swings. In fact, this particular Krill Oil might be significantly more effective for dealing with premenstrual symptoms compared to the omega-3 from fish oil.
High blood pressure
Does Krill Oil lower blood pressure?
There have been many studies published about how omega 3 acids may affect blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, 1,000 milligrams of omega-3s can help control high blood pressure and other types of risk factors related to heart diseases.
There was a lot of discourse regarding the perfect dosage that will be the best for a patient with high blood pressure.
Finally, in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, physicians reviewed the most rigorously controlled studies and came to the consensus that a daily dose of 500 milligrams combined EPA and DHA may be effective for prevention of high blood pressure.
Having a single mini-stroke is your brain telling you that something much worse and potentially fatal is coming up ahead if you don’t prevent it as soon as you can.
Many people don’t even bounce back from their first stroke, let alone hope to survive the second. But regardless, if you still haven’t had a stroke or if you have bounced back from a mini-stroke, there are things you can do to make sure a serious stroke never visits you.
Recent studies have shown that the Omega-3 fatty acids present in Krill Oil is good for the prevention of stroke.
Health factors like obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, binge drinking, smoking, and different cardiovascular diseases usually end up leading to a stroke.
As mentioned earlier, Krill Oil can have positive effects for those with depression, high cholesterol, and heart problems. So adding Krill Oil to your daily diet can also simultaneously reduce the chances of you having a stroke.
Some preliminary studies have found that Krill Oil may hold the potential to inhibit the migration of human colorectal cancer cells or CRC. Currently, all the available treatment options for colorectal cancer come with adverse side effects, so scientists are hoping to find a better alternative to those, and Krill Oil might just be the answer.
CRC is the second most common cancer in women and the third most common one in men. With more than 1.8 million cases every year, the number of deaths globally usually exceeds 800,000.
So ensuring proper treatment of it is extremely important. When it comes to CRC, EPA is a long chain of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that can help in the inhibition of cell proliferation, metastasis, and growth.
Since Krill Oil is a rich source of EPA, and the EPA in Krill Oil are bound to phospholipids, they may prove to be more effective compared to regular fish oil.
Moreover, some studies have discovered that the free fatty acid extract (FFAE) of Krill Oil inhibits the proliferation of both CRC and osteosarcoma cells. It further induces the apoptosis of CRC cells.
Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that is present in Krill Oil. There are some great benefits to the intake of astaxanthin.
For one, it can protect your cells from damage, as well as improve the way your immune system functions. That’s why it is often taken by people with Alzheimer’s disease, aging skin, muscle soreness from exercise or athletic performance. So taking Krill Oil regularly can also provide you with these health benefits.
Krill Oil is also potentially effective for dry eye syndrome. If you take Krill Oil by mouth for about three months, the dry eye symptoms such as redness and high tear osmolarity might improve. The few studies conducted on this topic have observed fewer symptoms of dry eye in people who take Krill Oil supplements.
This happens probably because the omega 3 fatty acids present in Krill Oil can improve the oil film of eyes that are produced by the meibomian glands.
However, there are also some studies that prove that omega-3 supplements are not entirely reliable for clinical treatment of dry eyes and are no better than placebo.
It is important to keep in mind that these are all merely potential benefits of Krill Oil. While many have claimed to find success from it in these sectors, others have claimed otherwise, and research is still undergoing to confirm which claim is true.
So you should never take Krill Oil unprescribed and must always consult your doctor before doing it, especially if it’s for a serious issue.
Are there any negative effects of Krill Oil?
There sure are a lot of benefits to Krill Oil. But as mentioned repeatedly, the research done for many of these benefits is still on a very primary level.
But that’s not the only reason why you should think twice before using Krill Oil. So while there are some great Krill Oil benefits and effects, not all those effects will be positive, especially if it is taken in a higher than necessary dosage.
Moreover, there are certain precautions that must be taken during use. Here are some things you need to watch out for as a user of Krill Oil.
Main side effects
You might experience some common side effects that will make you uncomfortable. These side effects can include
- upset stomach
- decrease of appetite
- heartburn or chest pain
- fishy burps, bad breath
Bruising and bleeding
As mentioned earlier, Krill Oil can prevent blood from clotting easily by making the platelets less sticky. But there are also medications that slow down blood clotting. For example, Anticoagulant or Antiplatelet drugs. You might be a regular user of Krill Oil for some other purpose and take these medicines specifically for blood clotting purposes.
In that case, you should know that these medicines interact with Krill Oil. Since both slow down the prices of blood clotting, taking both of them can increase the risk of bruising and bleeding too much, especially for people with bleeding disorders.
Another negative impact of Krill Oil slowing down blood clotting may come into effect if you are getting some kind of surgery done. You must know that when it comes to surgeries, especially critical ones, the excess loss of blood puts your life in great danger and increases the chance of the surgery failing.
If the blood doesn’t clot easily, the bleeding during and after surgery may increase. So if you are a regular user of Krill Oil, you must stop taking it entirely from at least two weeks before your surgery is scheduled.
Lowering blood sugar levels
If you are a patient of diabetes, you must be under a bunch of medications that contribute to keeping your blood sugar on the low side. But if you simultaneously intake Krill Oil, then the oil can interact with the antidiabetic drugs.
This is because Krill Oil can also lower blood sugar levels.
Taking both together has the potential to make your sugar level drop too low, which will then be followed by many serious effects. So if you are a consumer of both, it is important that you monitor your sugar level very closely and multiple times a day not to let it drop below the ideal range.
Pregnancy is a very sensitive period not only for the parent but also for the child growing in the womb. During this period, the smallest mistakes can lead to the biggest regrets.
When it comes to pregnant people, there still isn’t much reliable information to confirm whether the usage of Krill Oil is hundred percent safe or not.
While Omega-3s are highly recommended during pregnancy as it helps in the development of the fetal brain, whether the Omega-3 should come from Krill Oil cannot be confirmed with certainty.
Since side effects like upset stomach, diarrhea, and such things exist, Krill Oil might end up posing threats for the child.
The same goes for breastfeeding, also a topic lacking research. The quality of mother’s milk will definitely affect the child’s health and growth. Since Krill Oil effects are still widely in the gray area, it is best not to take a risk and stay on the safe side for the betterment of both you and the child.
You may resort to taking fish oil instead, as there is more research available for that. But always remember to consult your gynecologist.
It should go without saying that if you have seafood allergies, you may have an allergic reaction to Krill Oil supplements. In this case, it’s best to avoid Krill Oil or any kind of fish oil for that matter.
Even if you do use it, take it cautiously.
So is Krill Oil safe?
After this long and detailed discussion about Krill Oil benefits and effects, the main question still stands: how safe is Krill Oil?
The answer is Krill Oil is fairly safe for use. Not only safe but in many ways, beneficial too. There are many adults who take 1 to 4 milligrams of Krill Oil on a regular basis and are living healthily without any adverse side effects.
If you want to take Krill Oil as a treatment or for relief of a particular health condition, you should consult your doctor on which dosage will be appropriate for it.
But the safety of it can be put into jeopardy easily if you are not careful about how much of it you take or whether you should take it or not in the first place.
We hope that you now feel informed on the benefits and effects of Krill Oil so that you will know what to expect and ultimately make the right choice for yourself.
What does Krill Oil do to your body?
Krill Oil helps lower blood pressure and is also used
as a preventative for strokes and heart attacks
Is it safe to take Krill Oil everyday?
most adults use about 1 to 4 grams daily for up to around 3 months
Should I take Krill Oil morning or night?
Anytime is just fine, though if you take a little dose in the morning and then at night it can assist in reducing acid reflux
How long until I feel the benefits and effects of Krill Oil?
anywhere from 6 weeks or possibly as long as 6 months to see major changes