KRILL OIL: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?
The krill oil is a source of eicosapentaenoic acid ( EPA ) and docosahexaenoic acid ( DHA ), both of which are part of the family of omega-3 fatty acids. For more information, see our fact sheet Omega-3 and Omega-6.
Relieve the symptoms of PMS and menstrual pain; reduce triglycerides and cholesterol; reduce inflammation; alleviating the symptoms of arthritis.
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There are insufficient data to recommend a dosage (see Research section).
Description of krill oil
Krill (oil)Krill is a small shrimp ranging in size from 0.6 cm to 10 cm. His body is translucent and luminescent organs, which makes it particularly visible in the ocean. It is found primarily in the cold waters of the Antarctic.
In Norwegian krill means "whale food." The whalers have indeed created this word to describe the swarms of tiny crustaceans that form the banks of zooplankton. The latter is a major source of food for whales, seals, penguins and seabirds. Although there are several species of these mini crustaceans Euphausia superba is the species that is currently the subject of an important fishing on an industrial scale.
The omega-3 fatty acids in the krill oil is usually a bit lower than that of fish oils currently available on the market. It contains 75 mg of EPA and 45 mg DHA per capsule of 500 mg, against 90 mg of EPA and 60 mg DHA in fish oils. But krill oil also contains phospholipids, about 40% depending on the manufacturer, and antioxidants whose antioxidant activity is much higher than that of fish oils. These substances confer increased efficiency: antioxidants help to protect the integrity of fragile omega-3 fatty acids and phospholipids provide transportation to the sites where they are needed, that is to say in the membranes of cells.
The omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil should give it similar to fish oil properties to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, reduce relapse and the risk of death after myocardial infarction , reduce the rate of triglyceride and prevent blood several cardiovascular disorders.
The primary antioxidant of krill oil is the astaxanthin (0.75 mg per capsule of 500 mg), a compound of the family of carotenoids. It is this substance that gives the shells of shellfish flesh and salmon and trout their typical reddish color. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that may especially be protective against the harmful effects of ultraviolet light and play a role in anti-inflammatory processes 1 .
In addition to its oil, krill contains proteins and enzymes that are the subject of some industrial uses as food for farmed fish, protein in formulating meal replacements for people wanting to lose weight or supplements for athletes enzymes to improve digestion or topically, for debridement of a wound or skin ulcer 2 .
Krill under surveillance
It was in the cold waters of Antarctica, periodically covered by ice and relatively unpolluted, krill is the best conditions for reproduction and growth. Small crustaceans are protected from most other pollutants in the world's oceans. However, scientists recently found substantial amounts of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) in stocks of krill in Antarctica 3 . The contamination rate was not considered worrisome to human health, but the researchers concluded that the need for supervision in this area. HCB is a derivative of DDT, insecticide still in use in the Southern Hemisphere to counter the breeding of mosquitoes responsible for malaria transmission (malaria).
The Commission for the protection of fauna and flora of Antarctic Marine, an international organization based in Australia, said that the current volume of krill harvests (less than 100 000 tonnes per year in 2004) is well below the amount that would the endangered species, about four million tonnes per year. So this is, for now, an abundant resource.
However, several factors may increase the harvest dramatically: the latest technological advances in krill (more efficient factory ships); multiplication farms farmed fish in the world (krill often serves food), the creation of pharmaceuticals or natural health products made from krill.
International authorities therefore monitor closely the industry and the catch has been regulated since 1993 . They want to ensure the sustainability of krill populations and avoid threatening the animals that feed on them. Besides it is still unclear what the effect of global warming on the colonies of Antarctic krill.
History of krill oil
Asia, Russia and some countries of the former USSR, humans consume has long dried krill . In Japan, it is called okiami and is used mainly as an ingredient in soups, salads, seafood and some input. The Japanese consider the costs krill as a food high end cuisine. But the largest share of the global catch of krill goes aquaculture industry (fish farming), which has grown significantly in recent years due to declining stocks of wild fish.
As for the popularity of krill oil, which is newer, it is especially pronounced from 2000 That year, researchers from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec) have developed developed a method for extraction of preserving a greater proportion of the essential fatty acids, phospholipids, and krill astaxanthin 4 . This process is patented by the Quebec firm Neptune Technologies & Bioresources which sells krill oil brand Neptune Krill Oil ® (NKO ® ) (Oemine Krill ® in Europe). In recent years, other manufacturers also offer krill oil, including Aker BioMarine Norwegian firm and California company Cyvex Nutrition.
Research on krill oil
Clinical trials mentioned below were carried out with the product NKO ® (Neptune Krill Oil).
Uncertain effectiveness Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea). During a double-blind trial conducted with 70 women, were compared effects of fish oil (containing 18% EPA and 12% DHA) those of krill oil on PMS symptoms and menstrual pain 5 . During the first month, patients took 2 g of krill oil or fish oil a day. Over the next two months, they took the same dosage, but only during the eight days before menstruation and the next two days.
Participants were also instructed to follow a diet consisting of 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein and 20% fat, changes that can, by themselves, have a positive effect on the syndrome premenstrual, according Hélène Baribeau, nutritionist. The results indicate that krill oil helped relieve symptoms of dysmenorrhea as well as emotional events associated with premenstrual syndrome more effectively than fish oils.
Uncertain effectiveness Triglycerides and cholesterol. During a comparative trial, 120 subjects with hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia were separated into four groups 6 . Participants took daily placebo or one of the following treatments for three months: 2 g or 3 g of krill oil (weight issues), 1 g or 1.5 g krill oil, 3 g fish oils.
After three months, the total cholesterol levels of subjects given 2 g or 3 g of krill oil per day had decreased on average by 18%, against 13% (1 g or 1.5 g of krill oil ) and 5.9% (3 g fish oil). In the placebo group, cholesterol levels increased by 9.1%. Krill oil at a rate of 2 g or 3 g daily, also reduces blood triglyceride levels by 27% on average, a much sharper than the fish oil (-3.15%) and placebo (-9.88%).
Also during this study 6 , the researchers also found a marginally positive effect on blood glucose levels, a decrease of 6% on average in the two groups receiving the krill oil , against 3.3% in the case of fish oil, and no change in the case of the placebo group.
Uncertain effectiveness Inflammatory disorders. Ontario, we conducted a double-blind trial with placebo among 90 patients. The latter suffered from cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, and all showed clinical signs of chronic inflammation 7 . During the study, participants stopped taking anti-inflammatories they normally take. Researchers measured levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients, a physiological marker of the inflammatory process. The results indicate that after 30 days, CRP levels decreased by approximately 30% in subjects in the group taking the krill oil (300 mg daily) and had increased by slightly more than 25% in the placebo group. A standardized questionnaire to measure symptoms associated with osteoarthritis (WOMAC) was completed before, during and at the end of the test: pain, stiffness, and physical disabilities were significantly lower in patients in the active group after one month of treatment. These results are encouraging but still preliminary as they have not been confirmed by other studies.
Miscellaneous . Some researchers believe that krill oil may be useful for the treatment of various psychiatric disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, autism, for example). Theoretically, the phospholipids contained in the krill oil to allow the omega-3 consist of cross natural barrier which normally prevents it from entering the central nervous system neurons. A number of animal studies 8 indicate that this track could be interesting. However, testing on human error, we can now conclude that the effectiveness of krill oil in this regard.
People prone to bruising, and those who suffer from blood disorders or taking anticoagulant drugs should avoid high doses of supplements that contain the EPA and the DHA .
People allergic to shellfish may experience allergic reactions after ingesting krill oil.
In high doses, omega-3 can cause nausea and loose stools.
Such as omega-3 marine act on blood fluidity, high consumption could cause nosebleeds in some people.
With plants or supplements
Because of its content of omega-3 krill oil, taken at very high doses, may increase the effect of plants that have anticoagulant effects, including garlic and ginkgo.
Anticoagulants. Effects of Omega-3 seafood at a rate of more than 4 grams of EPA / DHA per day, can be added to those of synthetic drugs that have antiplatelet or anticoagulant action (warfarin, heparin, for example).
Hypoglycemic . In a clinical study, it was observed that krill oil may reduce the blood glucose level very slightly in subjects with hyperlipidemia 6 . However, data from several clinical trials indicate that fish oils, the usually recommended doses, do not interfere with medications that control blood sugar in diabetics 9.10 . So there is no evidence that krill oil can have a significant effect on blood sugar.
The opinion of our nutritionist about krill oil
Krill is, at base, a highly nutritious and complete food, which makes her an interesting product oil. Of course, this oil does not contain all the constituents of krill, but has the advantage of concentrating some, particularly omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and phospholipids.
Moreover, in the light of current knowledge, the krill oil seems clearly out of fish oils by its high antioxidant content. Thus, for a single gram, about ¼ c. Tea or 1 ml, it has an antioxidant value of 378 (measured by the ORAC method - Oxygen radical absorption capacity - capacity to absorb free oxygen radicals). This antioxidant value approximates that of a kiwi or 380.
So that's a promising product, but for which, unlike fish oils, the science is still insufficient. Moreover, it must be closely monitored in terms of its possible contamination hexachlorobenzene (HCB), a toxic pollutant present, among others, in the waters of Antarctica.
On the shelves
Supplements of krill oil is more expensive than most fish oil supplements. They are usually sold in 500 mg capsules.
In addition to krill oil, found in the commerce of krill powder dried. It is essentially protein rich krill enzymes and amino acids. Can not be attributed to this effect attributed to krill oil.