Did you know that aside from fish, a substantial source of omega 3 fatty acids can be found at the deep wavy oceans? A bioluminescent shrimp-like organism called krill is a crustacean that gets its name from Norwegian meaning, “young fry of fish.”
This tiny sea creature feeds on phytoplankton, and at times, on some zooplanktons. The population of krill is distributed in different oceans in the world. There are three species of krill which are being commercialized today. These are the Euphausia superba, or the Antartic Krill, the Euphausia pacifica, or the Pacific Krill, and the Meganyctiphanes norvegica, or the Northern Krill. Despite their size, few animals impact the ocean's ecosystem and life cycle more than krill, and all three species of krill, in all areas of the world, play a very important role in sustaining the balance of life in the oceans.
What Are the Health Benefits of Krill Oil?
Krill oil is an essential source of omega-3 fatty acids. Its oil contains EPA and DHA which are responsible in maintaining healthy heart and active mind. But apart from being rich in omega 3 fatty acids, krill oil contains astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that regenerates body cells.
Below are health benefit highlights of krill oil supplements:
Taking a krill oil supplement regularly for at least two weeks time can help prevent heart attacks and strokes by 30 percent. Odds are further reduced if krill oil supplements are taken daily for an even longer period of time. It helps lower bad cholesterol and promotes good cholesterol propagation. A 500 mg daily intake of krill oil daily can improve cholesterol levels by up to 300 percent.
Krill oil is very rich in DHA, which is very essential for the brain to function at its maximum level. DHA is a well known brain booster. It is the primary structure in the brain that fluidizes the cell membranes. It helps the neurotransmitters communicate faster which enables people to think and react faster, too. Krill oil supplements have been seen to improve mental focus by 50 percent.
Menstrual cramp and arthritis fighter
Pre-menstrual syndrome is mainly due to lack of omega 3. By taking krill oil supplements, menstrual pains will be reduced. It's also proven that krill oil stabilizes the emotional symptoms before and after the menstrual cycle. As for inflammation and arthritis cases, krill oil can reduce the symptoms and pain by at least 30 percent if it is regularly used.
Look as young as you would if you owned your own fountain of youth. The astaxanthin, one of the components of krill oil, is an effective antioxidant. It helps to regenerate aging cells in the body that can reduce appearance of wrinkles by at most 60 percent! So, if you are contemplating a face-lift, or have tried everything else in the marketplace, why not try krill oil?
Why should krill harvesting be regulated?
The total abundance of krill is five times the human population on earth. In fact, the average cubic meter of water in the ocean has 30,000 krill ranging from one up to six cm long. But recent studies show that since the early 1990s, krill population has dramatically decreased. This significant decrease of krill is attributed to two factors – global warming and the growing industry of krill harvesting for human consumption.
This sudden decrease of krill population can adversely affect and disturb the marine ecosystem because this small animal is the engine of the marine habitat. It bridges the gap from large sea creatures to the microscopic diatom plankton, which are rich in nutrients and act as a food source for krill. Krill eat diatoms while the population of krill is consumed by other sea creatures. Some of sea animals which feed on krill are seals, penguins, rock fish, salmon, flatfish and squid. In fact, the migration patterns of these animals can be observed where krill is most abundant.
Even the largest of all living animals depend heavily on krill. Blue whales, also known as baleen whales, almost exclusively feed on krill. These giant sea mammals can consume up to four tons of krill per day. Imagine the more than 12,000 blue whales all over the world and how much krill they need in order to sustain their species. How are they going to survive if the krill population continues to decline? Is the survival of the largest animal on the planet really that dependant on krill?
What Are Possible Substitutes to Krill Supplements?
While krill supplements are known to alleviate some conditions in humans, the bigger problem lies in the continuation of krill harvesting. There is hope, however. Other health supplements which have similar benefits can be taken in the place of krill oil supplements. Traditional fish oil, which is also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, is the best replacement for krill supplements. Since fish oil has lower amounts of omega 3s, the dosage level just needs to be compensated to make up for the loss of the amount. There are also other supplements which are good sources of omega 3s, like flaxseeds, soybeans, walnuts and olive oil. You can use supplements made from these sources as alternatives to krill oil supplements.
It’s amazing how the very small krill contributes to the overall survivability of other sea creatures and the significant role it plays in maintaining the equilibrium of marine ecosystem. But it’s more astounding to know that even humans can benefit from krill. Not only does krill promote a healthy heart, but it also leads to an active mind. However, there are limits to which we can enjoy and not abuse the benefits of the sea. That is why alternative measures are present and recommended – to prevent bigger problems from arising.