Antarctic Krill, a rich source of omega 3

Antarctic krill oil contains omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. Krill also provides us with phospholipids, antioxidants, Vitamins A, B and E, choline, selenium, trace elements such as zinc and copper, and it also has high biological value protein content (65% of the dry meat weight).

Antarctic Krill is a crustacean or very small type of prawn that is eaten by seals, penguins and especially whales.

Of the 85 or more species of crustaceans that form part of the southwestern Atlantic ecosystem, the most important is the Euphrasia Superba species.

This species of Antarctic krill (Euphrasia Superba) provides the nutrients that make it such a special part of the diet.

Krill oil also contains liposomes, which are small vehicles that transport fatty acids directly to the cells of the body.

Therapeutic properties of Antarctic krill

The immune system

It is a natural source of glutamic acid, proline, glycine, cysteine and selenium. This combination is essential for glutathione peroxidase production, which is vital for the immune system to function properly, namely, our defences.

The structure of the cells and tissues

Without a doubt, the key component of Antarctic krill is omega 3 (EPA and DHA), which is in the form of phospholipids and therefore aids the passage of omega 3 through the cell membranes.

This means that this omega-3 is absorbed more easily by the body than the omega-3 found in fish oils, which is often in the form of triglycerides.

Omega 3 fatty acids in the form of phospholipids are essential to the maintenance of healthy cells. The brain requires these phospholipids as they play a role in the structure of the brain tissue (DHA).

These Omega 3 phospholipids are also used by the body for the formation of red blood cell membranes and connective tissue, and to increase elasticity of the cell membranes, which in turn  facilitates the passage of nutrients into the cells.

Brain development and function

It contributes towards brain development and improves its function. It enhances memory and concentration.

A powerful antioxidant: anti-ageing

Krill is a powerful antioxidant. Amongst the antioxidants, astaxantin stands out. Astaxantin can also be found in algae (phytoplankton), the main food supply of Krill.

Astaxantin is a carotenoid that has the capacity to delay cellular and organic ageing, due to its highly antioxidant properties (10 times those of Vitamin A).

Other antioxidants in Krill are: Vitamin A, lutein, lycopene, selenium, zinc and copper.

Osteoporosis and joint care

Krill oil has anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it very effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis. It helps to alleviate joint pain, decrease joint stiffness and improve mobility.

The cardiovascular system: cholesterol

Krill oil reduces “bad cholesterol” or LDL levels and triglyceride levels. At the same time, it increases “good cholesterol” or HDL levels.

Premenstrual syndrome

It is also effective for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome or PMT, as it has adequate levels of omega-3 and omega-6. High doses are recommended – 2 gr per day for 10 days.

We will start to take Krill oil a week before our period is due. Krill oil can alleviate the depression, irritability and pain of PMT.

Skin, hair and nails

Krill strengthens the hair and nails and nourishes the skin, thanks to its high nutritional value.

Other possible benefits of Krill

The possible effects of Krill on the following conditions are being studied:

Cancer – in particular, breast cancer, prostate cancer and skin cancer.

Multiple sclerosis.

ADHD, especially in children.

Who can take it?

Anyone can take Krill oil as maintenance therapy, as it has multiple benefits. It is especially useful for the elderly, as it delays the ageing process that affects the joints, the cells and the different organs of the body.

It is highly recommended to sportspeople and young people who are still growing, due to its high nutritional and protein value.


Krill oil is contraindicated if you are taking anti-coagulant medication. Krill oil contains omega 3, which gives it anti-coagulant properties.

You should stop taking Krill oil a week before a surgical procedure, for example. Ask your doctor for advice before taking Krill oil if you are taking anti-coagulant medication.

You should not take Krill oil if you are allergic to shellfish or crustaceans.

Photo: Public Domain

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