Are you looking for ways to boost your brain function, improve your memory and reduce inflammation? One of the best ways to tackle all of these complaints is to supplement. Our modern diets often lack certain key vitamins and minerals, such as omega 3,3 present in a variety of fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines. It’s also present in flax and chia seeds, walnuts, as well as some seed oils such as soybean and canola oil. 1
These dietary sources of omega 3, which are crucial for brain development during pregnancy, as well as key for better brain function in adults, can be few and far between, or present in doses that are too low to make a difference. Once you’ve decided to supplement, it’s simply a matter of choosing the best option for you. What’s the difference between EPA and DHA? What is marine omega 3 and krill oil? Let’s explore the options here.
What’s the difference between fish oil and krill oil?
Up until recently, most commercially available omega 3 supplements were sourced from fatty fish and were known as marine or fish oil. Krill oil, sourced from those tiny crustaceans found in oceans all over the world is now also available in supplement form.
Both fish oil and krill oil contain EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) and a lack of these essential fatty acids has been linked to an increase in diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, preeclampsia, depression and schizophrenia.2
However, krill oil’s long chain omega 3’s is better recognised by the body because they are mostly attached to phospholipids resulting in higher cellular incorporation. But what is krill oil?
What makes PhytopureTM Krill Oil special?
Krill oil is known to have a wider range of benefits than fish oil and PhytopureTM Krill Oil is made with krill harvested from the pristine waters of the Antarctic Ocean. These incredibly pure krill are then processed in a GMP certified, state-of-the-art purpose-built facility at SuperbaKrillTM that utilises patented technology called FlexitechTM to both purify and concentrate the final product.
That final product contains the long-chain fatty acids, EPA and DHA, that we need so badly, as well as phospholipids, astaxanthin and choline, while removing excess salt. It is processed at a low temperature, which further reduces the chance of oxidation when in storage, which is something traditional marine oils can suffer from.
What are the health benefits of krill oil?
Omega 3 is known to be one of the most under consumed nutrients worldwide3 because most people simply don’t eat enough of those foods to meet their daily requirements. Krill is a great source of omega 3 long chain fatty acids, but in addition to this it contains phospholipids, choline and astaxanthin. In fact, there is strong clinical evidence which provides multiple health claims which have been approved by the European Union including:
- EPA and DHA contribute to the normal function of the heart.
- Choline contributes to normal lipid metabolism.
- Choline contributes to normal homocysteine metabolism (the metabolism of amino acids).
- Choline contributes to the maintenance of normal liver function.
- Astaxanthin has anti-inflammatory properties whilst also benefiting cardiovascular health.
The benefits of phospholipids found in krill oil
Krill oil is made up of a variety of nutrients, bonded to a phospholipid. Human cell membranes are made up of phospholipids, therefore this may facilitate the nutrients in krill oil to pass through the intestinal wall more easily and in doing so, increase the bioavailability of these fatty acids.4
Krill oil for improving cognitive function and memory
Research has indicated that krill oil may improve cognitive function and memory.5-6 Studies have found that supplementing with krill oil may even promote healthy ageing, making it a good candidate for further clinical explorations.7 Strong evidence shows that astaxanthin holds great promise for those wishing to prevent cognitive diseases and maintain general health.8
Krill oil for reducing inflammation throughout the body
Krill oil naturally contains astaxanthin which is a powerful antioxidant that preserves the integrity of the sensitive omega 3 fatty acids and prevents oxidation, eliminating the need to add any natural preservatives which some marine oils may contain.
Astaxanthin is a promising compound found to be helpful in the prevention or even treatment of different health conditions due to its significant antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, skin-protective, immunomodulator and antimicrobial function, as well as its ability to improve lipid metabolism.8 Krill oil is suggested to reduce pain through anti-inflammation mechanisms, due to its high content of astaxanthin.9
Krill oil as a sustainable alternative to fish oil
Fish or marine oil is extracted from fatty fish and has challenged scientists over the years due to several inherent problems. It tends to oxidise (degrade) during storage, making it less effective over time.10 Additionally, with global fish stocks depleting, it’s becoming harder to meet the growing demand for this most under consumed essential fatty acid.3 These issues, as well as issues related to purity and reflux, led to scientists searching for other options to ensure the transmission of the incredible health benefits of omega 3 supplements.
Phytopure™ Krill Oil contains SuperbaKrillTM who source Antarctic krill, Euphausia Superba, which are harvested in a region of the Antarctic Ocean known as Area 48. SuperbaKrillTM is certified sustainable from the Marine Stewardship Council and uses Eco-HarvestingTM technology that reduces the risk of by-catching other species to almost zero, while also ensuring the krill caught remains submerged, thereby avoiding any initial degradation.
The krill oil is then processed using a technology called FlexitechTM which purifies and concentrates the beneficial elements, the phospholipids and choline, for example — while removing the salt elements, which our bodies need less of.
How to choose between marine and krill oil for omega 3 supplementation?
Marine oil and krill oil are great ways to provide your body with the EPA and DHA long-chain fatty acids it needs for optimal brain function. The advances in harvesting method, processing and natural bioavailability used for Phytoceutics™ has been key in opening up many new possibilities for improving health that have never been attained by an omega 3 supplement.
- National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Fact Sheet for Consumers. Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/
- Yehuda, S., Rabinovitz, S., Mostofsky, DI., (2005). Essential fatty acids and the brain; from infancy to aging. In Neurobiology of Aging 26.1 (Suppl 1): 98-102. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0197458005002848?via%3Dihub
- Thuppal, S., von Schacky, C., Harris, W., Sherif, K., Denby, N., Steinbaum, S., Haycock, B., & Bailey, R. (2017). Discrepancy between Knowledge and Perceptions of Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake Compared with the Omega-3 Index. In Nutrients. 24;9(9):930. Available from: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9090930
- Ulven, S., & Holven, Kirsten. Comparison of bioavailability of krill oil versus fish oil and health effect. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2015;11:511-524. Available from: https://doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S85165
- Choi, JY., et al. Antarctic Krill Oil Diet Protects against Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Oxidative Stress, Neuroinflammation and Cognitive Impairment. In Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2554. Available from: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122554
- Andraka, J., Sharma, N., & Marchalant, Y. Can krill oil be of use for counteracting neuroinflammatory processes induced by high fat diet and aging? In Neuroscience Research. Volume 157, August 2020, Pages 1-14. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neures.2019.08.001
- SenGupta T, Lefol Y, Lirussi L, Suaste V, Luders T, Gupta S, Aman Y, Sharma K, Fang EF, Nilsen H. Krill oil protects dopaminergic neurons from age-related degeneration through temporal transcriptome rewiring and suppression of several hallmarks of aging. In Aging (Albany NY). 2022; 14:8661-8687. https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204375
- Bjørklund G, Gasmi A, Lenchyk L, Shanaida M, Zafar S, Mujawdiya PK, Lysiuk R, Antonyak H, Noor S, Akram M, Smetanina K, Piscopo S, Upyr T, Peana M. The Role of Astaxanthin as a Nutraceutical in Health and Age-Related Conditions. Molecules. 2022 Oct 23;27(21):7167. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27217167
- Stonehouse W, Benassi-Evans B, Bednarz J, Vincent AD, Hall S, Hill CL. Krill oil improved osteoarthritic knee pain in adults with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis: a 6-month multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2022 Sep 2;116(3):672-685. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1093%2Fajcn%2Fnqac125
- Opperman, M., & Benade, S. (2013). Analysis of the omega-3 fatty acid content of South African fish oil supplements: a follow-up study. Cardiovascular journal of Africa, 24(8), 297–302. https://doi.org/10.5830/CVJA-2013-074