An extract made from an Antarctic krill species called Euphausia superba is known as krill oil, which contains two major nutrients – omega 3 fatty acids that are akin to those present in fish oil, as well as phospholipid-derived fatty acids, also known as PLFA, mostly phosphatidylcholine (also known as marine lecithin). In addition, krill oil also contains a natural antioxidant called astaxanthin.
Precisely speaking, krill oils are derived from krill, which is small creature resembling shrimps and is found in large numbers in the Antarctic region.
Several sea creatures like fish, squid as well as the Blue Whale feed on these tiny crustaceans. In addition to the Japanese, people from some European cultures have been using krill to prepare seafood dishes. However, these tiny shrimps are usually farmed for use as a fish feed.
Large nets are used to catch krill and they are subsequently processed to prepare a krill meal, which is passed through a specific manufacturing process to obtain krill oil.
As the krill are considered to be at the base of the food chain, these tiny shrimps cannot feed on larger fishes, which may possibly enclose elevated proportions of mercury. Hence, the oil obtained from krill too seldom contains any hint of mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or any other pollutant. On the contrary, these contaminants are sometimes present in several fish oils and they need to be eliminated before use.
It has been found that krill oil is specially useful for women during pregnancy and nursing mothers, as it is an effective anti-neoplastic agent. When used in post-operative cases, krill oil is useful in thwarting many carcinomas. In addition, krill oil can also be used for treating osteoporosis, several cardiovascular conditions such as myocardial infraction, for arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris, thrombosis, as well as arterial hypertension, especially in case of people suffering from conditions associated to high blood cholesterol levels. Krill oil is also used to treat several symptoms related to immunodeficiency.
Apart from the above mentioned health benefits of using krill oil, this supplement is also effective in reducing the symptoms related to memory loss like Alzheimer’s disease, dermatological conditions, depression and lowering the levels of blood sugar. Some of the therapeutic uses of krill oil are discussed comprehensively for your benefit.
In addition, krill oil is used extensively for treating many gynecological and obstetrics conditions, for instance dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), quite a lot of symptoms related to menopause and other problems experienced during as well as after pregnancy.
Krill oil is extremely beneficial for women enduring premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – this condition includes various physiological as well as psychological issues like headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, back pain, cramps and many others. These problems not only affect the women adversely, but also disturb their normal activities. As a result, numerous working hours are lost, both personally as well as professionally. Hence, these days it is becoming more and more important to highlight on this problems and also make sure that women experience an insignificant or no premenstrual syndrome at all for the numerous months and years during their reproductive life.
Having said that krill oil is effective in alleviating PMS, it is also important to know the actual connection between this natural oil and the bothersome issue experienced by several women.
Findings of several studies have suggested that contrary to consuming foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, these days people in the west are consuming more foods that have high levels of omega 6 fatty acids. In fact, foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids are more beneficial in many ways compared to those that contain omega 6 fatty acids. Our body processes these omega 6 fatty acids to produce anti-inflammatory substances such as arachidonic acid, which is deposited in the membranes of the body cells, thereby producing prostaglandins that have inflammatory actions.
In effect, the prostaglandins work to augment the inflammation in the uterus, which leads to more pain or even cramps. Hence it appears that while omega 6 fatty acids possess such properties that are responsible for increasing pain directly, the properties of omega 3 fatty acids help to combat and assuage inflammation. Therefore, it is all the more important to consume more foods that enclose omega 3 fatty acids and, at the same time, reducing eating foods that contain more of omega 6 fatty acids.
As krill oil is laden with omega 3 fatty acids, it is effective in combating inflammation. In fact, this property of krill oil makes it very useful for treating conditions that cause pain and inflammation, such as arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition to the problems of consuming foods rich in omega 6 fatty acids that have been discussed above, it is important to note the metabolism of omega 6 fatty acids results in the formation of arachidonic acid, which is broken down further to generate a substance called cyclooxygenase. This by-product of arachidonic acid results in vascular constriction as well as tightening of the uterus lining – a condition known as myometrium, which results in pain as well as cramps. Contrary to such functioning of omega 6 fatty acids inside our body, the omega 3 fatty acids like docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) facilitate our system to produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, which work to reduce the vascular constrictions of both – the myometrium as well as the uterus. In this way, omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce pain.
Besides reducing pain and inflammation, omega 3 fatty acids present in krill oil offer further health benefits. It is believed that krill oil helps to augment as well as restrain the different symptoms as well as problems related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods). Therefore, this helps to understand association between krill oil and PMS very clear.
In addition to treating dysmenorrhea and PMS, krill oil is also beneficial for women who have already entered their menopausal stage. It has been established that krill oil has been effective in treating several symptoms related to pre-menopausal as well as post-menopausal conditions.
As krill mostly survives on plankton (comprising mainly algae and protozoa) that are excellent natural resources of omega 3 fatty acids, this shrimp-like creature takes in much of this nutrient and eventually turns itself into potent storehouse of omega 3 fatty acids. As a result, krill oil also encloses considerable amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the two key fatty acids that possess numerous beneficial attributes that are effective in treating a variety of conditions, including depression, memory loss, arthritis, a number of specific cardiovascular ailments and even cancer.
The elevated levels of omega 3 fatty acids present in krill oil help to augment the levels of antioxidants in the human body, thereby facilitating in reducing the psychological symptoms related to menopause further. These menopausal symptoms may include depression as well as distress. Use of krill oil provides another major respite to women, as it is effective in lessening the symptoms related to hot flashes significantly. In fact, this action of krill oil is also attributed to the presence of omega 3 fatty acids in it.
Apart from the above mentioned health benefits offered by krill oil, it is important to note that the omega 3 fatty acids contained by this natural supplement are also useful in preventing the peeling and chaffing of skin. Usually, these problems are related to dry skin – a major problem endured by women during the menopausal stage.
Krill oil also offers several other health benefits, which include its effectiveness in treating joint pain, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, women enduring menopause also experience these problems and they are of great concern for them. The health benefits of krill oil are not limited to these, but this supplement is helpful for women in several other ways.
Therefore, in addition to reducing the chances of developing health conditions like arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris, hypertension, myocardial infarction and lowering the blood sugar levels in menopausal women, krill oil also helps to directly alleviate a number of major conditions as well as symptoms linked to menopause. These conditions and symptoms include depression and/ or distress, dry and scaly skin, hot flashes and joint as well as muscle pains.
Krill oil has a close connection with pain relief. As discussed above, the health benefits offered by this natural oil also help to alleviate joint problems, including conditions that cause joint pain and inflammation.
It has been found that krill oil’s biochemical composition helps to alleviate joint and muscle pains to a great extent. This is primarily owing to the fact that these bio-chemicals produce a cushion-like effect for several tissues as well as organs in our body. Hence, krill oil is effective for people suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Application of this natural oil not only provides considerable relief from pain, but also assuages other associated symptoms.
While scientists are still examining the precise mechanism by which krill oil reduces pain, many attribute the analgesic attributes of this natural oil to the presence of compounds like leukotrines, prostacyclin and thromboxane. It is believed that these compounds help to reduce pain as well as inflammation.
Krill oil encloses such biochemical compounds that are transformed into prostaglandins during processing. It has been established that prostaglandins are effective in lessening the chances of developing many cardiovascular diseases, counting hypertension, arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris, and myocardial infraction. Most of us are aware that omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial for the cardiovascular system and heart. Therefore, it is natural that using this natural oil will help in protecting as well as promoting the health of these organs.
It has been found that krill oil assists in the formation as well as regulation of specific neurotransmitters in our brain. Precisely speaking, the elements present in krill oil help to lessen memory loss and, at the same time, enhance the functioning of the brain. Therefore, many people extensively use krill oil for treating Alzheimer’s disease.
As krill oil is laden with antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, it makes it highly useful in lessening inflammation as well as aiding problem-free respiration, particularly for people who have been enduring respiratory problems such as asthma and wheezing.
Krill oil offers numerous benefits to our skin and one of them is its usefulness in regenerating the cells of the human body. As it rejuvenates the cells of our body, krill oil also helps to revitalize the skin, nails and hair. Moreover, krill oil is also effective in reducing the decay of tooth and cavities.
In addition, krill oil possesses the aptitude to lower the levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, in the blood stream, while increasing the levels of HDL (high density lipoprotein), also called “good” cholesterol. As a result, this supplement helps to keep the levels of blood sugar in our body under control and, thereby, checks diabetes. Hence, krill oil is also used to treat as well as prevent diabetes effectively.
It has been found that krill oil may also be useful in treating tumours and some forms of cancers.
Findings of several scientific studies have suggested that the krill oil encloses DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), which not only decrease colon cancer development and at times even reverse the condition if the condition is detected in its initial stages and this supplement is used with immediate effect. However, krill oil may not prove to be effective in treating colon cancer if it is used in the latter stages.
Moreover, krill oil contains noteworthy amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and they are said to be highly effective in treating breast cancer as well as prostate cancer. Therefore, internal use of healthy doses of krill oil regularly may prove to be a right initiative for people who have high risks of developing these cancer forms.
Side effects and cautions
Generally, krill oil is safe for most people, but then one must use it very carefully with a view to avoid the possible side effects of this supplement. For instance, people who have allergic reactions to seafood or shell fish should essentially stay away from using this oil without the consent of their physician.
Krill oil possesses anti-coagulant attributes and, hence, it may possibly make the blood less liable to clot, which, in turn, augments the bleeding and bruising risks. Therefore, it is advisable that one should check with their physician prior to using this supplement, especially if they are using any blood thinning drugs like Warfarin, Heparin or Coumadin.