The New Omega 3

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

I am back folks, been busy with a lot of family stuff the past week, driving all over New England, but I have a good one lined up for ya today. Everyone today knows about fish oil. They know that it can help lower LDL, triglycerides, decrease risk of sudden heart attack, improve joint health, the list goes on and on. To get a truly therapeutic dose though, it is recommended to take in between 1-3 grams of EPA/DHA per day. That is somewhere around 4-10 fish oil pills, depending on the strength of your brand. What if I told you there was a new, possibly better source of omega-3′s that required a much smaller dose and gave an even better outcome? Interested?

I do want to state first and foremost that this is all very preliminary. I am certainly not suggesting you just abandon your fish oil, as it has mountains of research and even more anecdotal evidence of its efficacy. This is just an interesting supplement to keep your eye on. It is called Krill Oil.

Krill oil is this beautiful red oil that comes from krill, obviously. Krill are a dietary staple of fish like salmon, and it is how salmon get their nice pink color. That color comes from a very powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin has 100-500 times the antioxidant capacity of Vitamin E and 10 times the antioxidant capacity of beta-carotene, a similar carotenoid. Many laboratory studies also indicate astaxanthin is a stronger antioxidant than lutein and lycopene, two other famous antioxidants. This alone is very compelling stuff. Side Note – farmed salmon are MUCH lower in astasxanthin, their color is usually added, another reason to buy wild.

Krill is also very high in omega-3 fatty acids, the ever important fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and it is believed to contain other healthy compounds not yet identified. Though it has lower amounts of EPA/DHA than traditional fish oil, in some recent head to head studies, krill oil has come out on top.

A recent study compared krill oil to fish oil and placebo on cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose. The groups were given either 1.5 grams of krill or fish oil, 1 gram krill oil, or placebo. Krill oil signifcantly lowered total cholesterol, LDL, glucose and triglycerides and raised HDL at both doses, and was better than fish oil at even the lower dose. So at even just 1 gram of krill oil, there were significant results seen in the 6 month study.

Krill oil is also becoming well known to help control the symptoms of PMS, includring dysmenorrhea as well as the emotional symptoms. This was achieved at a dose of 3g of krill oil. It is recommended to supplement for 3g daily 10 days prior to cycle, after which you can cut down to 1g.

To find out more about Krill Oil and its health benefits on PMS, heart and joint health, check out The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth by Dr. Jonny Bowden. Dr. Bowden’s work has truly opened my eyes to a whole new world, and a lot of the information I presented here today was from this fantastic resource.

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Posted on May 12th, 2009 by Brian St. Pierre

12 Comments

  1. sal Says:

    is Krill oil an alternative to fish oil… like would it be overkill to take both a fish oil supplement and krill oil? is there a brand of krill oil that you would recommend? I have heard alot of good things about krill oil in the past, but now that it has brian st pierres stamp of approval, im seriously considering buying some

    While were on the subject, I would recommend talking to your doctor about fish oil. See if you can talk him into how beneficial it is and have him write a prescription for you for a pharmaceutical grade fish oil. I did that, and the one i got is 90% epa/dha. Most commercial brands are like 30% epa/dha and are mostly filler. Not to mention, it costs me like $5 a bottle cuz its under my insurance..

  2. Jack Says:

    Brian,

    For someone taking 3-4 grams of combined EPA/DHA per day from fish oil, what would an appropriate “equivalent” dosage be with krill oil?

  3. keith Says:

    Krill oil is amazing, but there is a lot of evidence that the harvesting process is much more detrimental to the environment compared to fish oil farming. So while it is much better i have my reservations about using it from an ethical standpoint. Just thought that it was important to point out :)

  4. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Sal,

    Yes krill oil is an alternative, though I do not think you need to exclusively use one or the other. If you start taking krill oil, I would just cut back an equal amount of fish oil. As for brand, it doesn’t make a huge difference since virtually all krill oil is made by one company, Neptune Technologies, and is then distributed to manufacturers. Make sure it is from a reputable company.

    Some good info there about trying to get your doc to prescribe fish oil, not a bad idea at all.

  5. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Jack,

    It is tough to give a definitive answer on that, we need more information to have specific recommendations. I think you could cut back fish oil to 2g EPA/DHA from fish oil and take 1g of krill oil and be golden.

  6. Matt G Says:

    Is there any word on if Krill is a good alternative for people who have GI issues with fish? (and I’m not talking about me for once…) My wife does not like the way the fish oil makes her feel and so has stopped taking it all together.

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