Krill Oil: Whale Food or Superfood of the Future?

Krill Oil

I’m often asked what the difference is between krill oil and regular fish oil. We all know that omega 3’s are great for reducing inflammation, so they are both great. But why choose krill oil instead of fish oil? First of all…

What is Krill Anyway?

Krill are small crustaceans found in the ocean, similar to shrimp. They’re an important part of the food chain: they feed on plankton, converting it into a form that can be consumed by whales, seals, penguins and other creatures of the sea. Tiny little krill make up the world’s largest animal biomass.

Why Take a Krill Oil Supplement?

One reason why krill is so appealing is because it contains phospholipids, which act as carriers of the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. This increases the bioavailability and absorption of krill oil.

The biggest benefit of krill oil is that it contains the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powerhouse astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, giving krill its pink color. (It’s also responsible for the pink color of salmon and flamingo feathers.) As far as antioxidants go, astaxanthin can’t be beat in it’s ability to hunt down and trap free radicals. The only dietary sources of astaxanthin are microalgae and the sea creatures that eat the algae, such as salmon, shellfish and krill.

The Benefits of Krill Oil Include:

•    Promotes cardiovascular health – by increasing good cholesterol, decreasing bad cholesterol and triglycerides levels, and maintaining healthy blood pressure. Also protects against hypertension and stroke.

•    Healthy brain function – astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier and shows neuroprotective effects

•    Diabetes – the antioxidants in krill oil are of great value for diabetics, as they often have a high level of oxidative stress. Krill oil research also shows improvements in blood glucose and hyperlipidemia.

•    Supports Skin Health – protecting against UVA-induced aging, as in skin sagging and wrinkles. Dr. Lipman always takes krill oil when he’s going out in the sun.

•    Anti-Inflammatory Benefits – helps to inhibit the formation of pro-inflammatory mediators. This can be especially helpful with patients with Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

•    Supports Gastric Health – Krill oil has found to be helpful in the treatment of H. pylori, helping to reduce bacterial load, gastric inflammation, and reflux symptoms.

•    Attention deficit problem and mood disorders – due to its ability to support cognition, mood and behavior, krill may be helpful for treating attention deficit problems and mood disorders, including with kids

•    Eye Support – beneficial in reducing and preventing eye strain

Be sure to note: if you’re allergic to shellfish, you should avoid krill.  If you have questions about Krill Oil, please feel free to reach out to us.

  • celeste arzuaggah

    How about microalgae supplements ????

  • joan snyder

    I was told that Krill Oil spoils very quickly which was supposedly the reason not to use it.

  • Matty

    How much Krill oil is considered enough to receive the benefits mentioned in this article? Also, should Krill oil be taken on an empty or full stomach, I always wonder why most health articles ignore the mention of dosage??? Thanks for your reply.

  • karen

    I’m extremely concerned about the impact of humans on the whales, seals and other creatures that depend on krill for their main source of food. Do we really think there is sufficient supply when the oceans are already so depleted and in danger?

  • Anonymous

    We recommend 2 capsules of the Be Well Krill oil per day, with meals:

    -Laura, Be Well Health Coach

  • Lauren

    Laura, can you speak to why the Be Well brand is so much more expensive that most krill oils on the market. By my research, 3-4x the price of some other brands. I believe in quality supplements and know there’s a lot of crap on the market, but I also believe that sometimes prices are hugely inflated simply because the market supports it. What makes this brand so exceptional?
    Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Lauren,
    Thanks for your question. The Be Well Krill Oil is considered to be a virgin krill oil, the purest form available, with high phospholipid bioavailability enhancing the absorption of the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin, one of krill’s shining features.

  • KDW

    Not true. It actually spoils less quickly because the omega-3s are in phospholipid form, allowing them to mix with water and oil and avoid going rancid, and also because the DHA in krill is attached to astaxanthin, an antioxidant … which means it doesn’t oxidize, i.e. spoil.

  • KDW

    Articles don’t mention this because they are trying to sell something and not give actual advice. There are many doctors who do still give advice in their letters, like Dr. Al Sears and Dr. Fred Pescatore as two examples. You need at least 3 grams of omega-3s every day to have an optimal effect, but one gram is an OK amount. Try to mix animal omega-3s with plant omega-3s, too (like avocados or sacha inchi oil) so your body doesn’t make too many arachidonic acid metabolites. Those are inflammatory.

  • KDW

    Hmmm … well, remember that those are not really part of the natural human diet. Not that they’re bad, they might just not be all they’re cracked up to be. Although, they are the original manufacturers of omega-3s. So phytoplankton may not be a bad way to go. There are some reliable sellers out there. The only one I can think of is Oceans Alive.

  • KDW

    We take much less krill from the ocean than the Russians and the Japanese used to. They started fishing it in the 60s and were taking huuuuuge amounts out. But it has dropped off since. There’s lots of research out there on this. Here’s a history: