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Essential fatty acids (EFAs)

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs):

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs):

Antarctic Krill Oil for omega-3 - What you need to know

Antarctic Krill Oil for omega-3 - What you need to know

WARNING: If you are allergic to shellfish, have a blood coagulation disorder, or are taking anticoagulants such as Warfarin (Coumadin), do NOT use Krill Oil.

What are krill?

Krill are “shrimp-like” creatures (called euphausiids).   These, so-called, zooplankton live in cold waters, primarily the Arctic and Antarctic, feeding mainly on microscopic phytoplankton (plant-life), such as omega-3-rich algae.  E. superba species has a high omega-3 content in its oil - EPA: 15-21%; DHA: 9-14%.

Krill oil contains a synergistic balance of fatty acids, functional phospholipids and potent antioxidants

A quality krill oil is cold-extracted whilst protecting the oil from light and air, preventing its oxidation, and preserving its nutrients.  The process should not involve using solvents (e.g. hexane, acetone), which can leave traces of toxic residues behind after evaporation.

Krill are a better sustainable source for omega-3 than fish.

Health benefits of quality Antarctic krill oil

Canadian Neptune Technologies and Bioresources Inc. (now Neptune)  were the frontrunners for krill oil, which they called Neptune Krill Oil (NKO™ ).  Earlier studies supporting health benefits of krill oil used NKO™.  However, Neptune uses ACETONE as a solvent to extract lipids from the krill oil, which is not recommended.  More recently, the company made a decision to concentrate their oil. Neptune's new product is called NKO omega plus.  

Impressive health benefit studies using NKO

Naturally Toxin-free

The krill species, Euphausia superba, used in KO lives in the clean waters of the Antarctic ,although oil should still  be tested for toxin-content; this krill species, like many others, moves upwards to the surface at night to feed on phytoplankton, before retreating downward to try to elude predators during the day.

Biblical instruction in the Old Testament warns against consuming “shrimp-like”creatures:

"Whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins AND scales in the seas . . . they shall be an abomination unto you."--

- Leviticus 11:9-10

Since Christ's death on the cross, there is no longer a requirement for anyone to obey O.T. law, but it is in our interest to carefully weigh its merits. One important function of crustaceans is to remove toxins in the water ecosystem. However, similar to the pork and bacon issue, we need to wisely consider the conditions of the source. Most shellfish are harvested in coastal waters, which supply their diet of industrial deposits, sewerage, and fish excrement. If the krill oil is coming from uncontaminated waters and the oil is appropriately tested for toxins, the risk of consuming toxins should be null and void.

Krill oil's main drawback in comparison to cod liver oil , is that it does NOT contain vitamin D.    This important antioxidant is best obtained from sun exposure to bare skin, but if your area has insufficient sunshine in winter, you should take a high-vitamin cod liver oil in preference to krill oil.

Antarctic krill oil properties

40% of krill oil is in the form of beneficial phospholipids

Phospholipids are known as lecithin in commercial lingo.    In the diet, they are predominantly found in eggs, lean meat, fish. The most common PL is phosphatidylcholine.

Phospholipids in krill oil have marginally better absorption rates than other oil forms, but have been shown to be more bioavailable as far as showing up in plasma and cell membranes.    One 7 week study found that a  37% lower EPA/DHA dose from krill compared to fish oil achieved the same omega-3 plasma levels.  Ulven et al, 2011.  Another small, short-term study found that the bioavailability of omega-3 EPA/DHA  from krill oil was greater than fish oil, but discovered that it was NOT due to the phospholipids.   Kohler et al, 2015

Phopholipid vs triglyceride

Phospholipids provide health benefits of their own by being  a rich source of Choline.   The most predominant phospholipid in krill oil is phosphatidylcholine, a potent source of choline. Numerous studies have demonstrated the importance of choline in brain development, learning and memory, and its particular importance for fetal and infant brain development. Choline is the precursor for the vital neurotransmitter acetylcholine (sends nerve signals to the brain), and for trimethylglycine (recognized liver protector).    A shortage of acetylcholine has been associated with brain-related disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and autism.

~60% of krill oil is in the trigyceride form (the predominant form in fish oil) 

Naturally Toxin Free

Krill are tiny, crustaceans that live in the frigid open waters of Antarctica, which are the cleanest waters on earth; Unlike prawns or shrimp, krill are not bottom-feeders, they feed on tiny plankton (microscopic plants and animals) which float on the ocean surface.

Krill oil contains lots of cell membrane protecting antioxidants

In direct ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) comparisons - milligram for milligram - the value of krill Oil was found to be 48 times that of fish oil and 34 times that of Coenzyme Q10.

Natural, quality Antarctic krill oil contains vitamins A and E, and a small amount of the powerful and prized antioxidant astaxanthin.   When present at > 200mcg astaxanthin/gram of krill oil, it can guard your cell membranes from free radical damage, help regulate inflammation, and protect against cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and sunburn; However, natural krill oil content is only about 100 mcg / gram, and its main benefit is to protect the oil iself from going rancid. Some manufacturers state esterified astaxanthin amounts, which includes the weight of the fat they are attached to and approximately doubles the true amount. SInce some krill oil labels list higher than natural amounts, it is assumed that they are adding astaxanthin for marketing purposes.

No fishy aftertaste or reflux

No adverse effects have been noted even at high dosages.  Phospholipida disperse in water and so blend in with stomach fluids. In contrast,  fish oil tends to stay floating on the top where it can "burp" back at you.

Krill Oil is always taken in Capsules.   Prevents oxygen from damaging its polyunsaturated fatty acids; also you don't have to taste the oil on the way down!

Unlike Cod Liver Oil, krill oil does NOT contain Vitamin D

This important antioxidant is best obtained from sun exposure to bare skin, but if you live in an area with insufficient sunshine in winter, you should supplement vitamin D3 (Vitamin D -“The Sunshine Vitamin”), or choose cod liver oil as your EPA/DHA supplement.

Recommended daily dosages of Antarctic krill oil

1g krill oil -  2-3 times daily


Works best if taken in the morning.   Taking it after noon may keep you awake.

Omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil.  1 gram (usually 1 capsule) contains ~120 mg EPA and ~60 mg DHA.

Storage / Shelf-Life of NKO

Krill Oil will last up to 2 years.   Its own antioxidants acts as natural preservatives,  making it more resistant to rancidity than conventional fish oils

Do not store it in the freezer or refrigerator.   Extended exposure to temperatures higher than 100 degrees or lower than 50 degrees diminish effectiveness of the phospholipid ingredients.

Good brands of krill oil

mercola krill oil

Dr. Mercola Antarctic krill oil

Cost (Feb 2020)  $53 / month taking 2 gram/day   (if you buy 180 capsule size bottle, otherwise $60/month)




Dr. Ron's 100% pure wild Antarctic Krill oil


dr ron's krill oil dr ron's krill oil

Cost (Feb 2020): $49.95 / month taking 2 grams/day. Astaxanthin amount listed is true amount (does not include esterified fat).

mercola krill oil

Captain's krill oil 

Extracted as it is harvested using a mechanical process that is completely chemical and solvent free

Bottled fresh in small batches. So it doesn't sit around in oil drums waiting to be “bottled fresh.”

100% free of any type of additive, filler or alteration of any kind. High astaxanthin amount has presumeably been added.

Cost (Feb 2020): ~$100/month taking 2 grams/day. Rather pricey.  captainskrilloil.com



Kohler A, Sarkkinen E, Tapola N, Nishkanen T, Bruheim I (2015 Mar)  Bioavailability of fatty acids from krill oil, krill meal and fish oil in healthy subjects--a randomized, single-dose, cross-over trial.  Lipids Health Dis. 14:19 a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25884846" target="_blank"> PubMed

Ulven SM, Kirkhus B, Lamglait A, Basu S, Elind E, Haider T, Berge K, Vik H, Pedersen JI (2011) Metabolic effects of krill oil are essentially similar to those of fish oil but at lower dose of EPA and DHA, in healthy volunteers. Lipids. 46: 37-46.  PubMed

DISCLAIMER: The content on this website is intended for informational, and educational purposes only and not as a substitute for the medical advice, treatment or diagnosis of a licensed health professional. The author of this website is a researcher, not a health professional, and shall in no event be held liable to any party for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, punitive or other damages arising from any use of the content of this website. Any references to health benefits of specifically named products on this site are this website author's sole opinion and are not approved or supported by their manufacturers or distributors.

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