Neptune krill oil (NKO) is a dietary supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids that comes from a small crustacean that is similar to shrimp. It is found in the colder bodies of water in the world such as the Antarctic and North Pacific oceans.

Even though their small size puts them at the bottom of the food chain, there is an estimated 500 million tons of krill in the ocean. This means that quality krill oil is plentiful.

Neptune Technologies, the company which holds the patent on krill oil extraction, has reported that 110,000 tons of krill are harvested yearly.

 

There are a Range of Benefits

Krill oil softgels have many nutritional uses. Several studies have found that it is an effective treatment for cholesterol. It decreases LDL, the so-called "bad" cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL, the "good" cholesterol.

Studies have also shown it to be effective in lowering blood glucose levels, making it an excellent option for controlling diabetes.

It contains antioxidants which offer cell protection benefits. Antioxidants have been linked to rejuvenation of the body and anti-aging.

Some research has indicated that krill oil may be helpful in protecting skin from ultraviolet (UV) light and the damage induced by it by fortifying cell membranes.

It may also be helpful in reducing inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions and diseases, treating the symptoms associated with PMS and dysmenorrhea and suppressing autoimmune murine lupus. Improvements in the health of various organs in the body, including the heart, brain and liver have been noted in individuals who supplement with krill oil.

Krill Oil Trumps Fish Oil

Krill oil is similar to fish oil in that it contains the omega-3 essential fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). However, the similarity ends there.

Oil from krill has a phospholipid structure whereas fish oil has a triglyceride form. It also has an addition to EPA called astaxanthin, which is a powerful antioxidant. This makes the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value of krill oil 48 times more potent than fish oil.

When compared to another popular antioxidant supplement, Coenzyme Q-10, the oil from krill was found to be 34 times more potent.

For many consumers, though, the main advantage of this oil over its fish oil cousin is its rapid absorption, which eliminates the "fishy" aftertaste and belching. There is also less concern over potential mercury or lead poisoning.

Safe to Use

Studies on Neptune krill oil have found it to have no toxicity, even when taken over the recommended dosage for long periods of time. In animal studies, it showed no toxic effects on the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, lungs, stomach, kidneys, reproductive organs or skin.

However, those with allergies to shrimp or other seafood should use caution if supplementing with this oil. It is recommended that individuals who are on blood thinners or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications seek medical advice before beginning Neptune krill oil supplementation.

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References:


  1. Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms.
  2. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the clinical course of hyperlipidemia.
  3. Elucidation of Phosphatidylcholine Composition in Krill Oil Extracted from Euphausia superba.
  4. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the management of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea.
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