The beneficial oils extracted from the tiny krill found in our oceans contain a rich dose of omega-3 fatty acids. There are a number of reasons why people are turning to krill as the preferred source of omega-3s.

The most beneficial types of omega-3 fatty acids for your body’s needs are EPA and DHA. These are not to be confused with omega-6 fatty acids, which are also essential but should be consumed in moderation.

You want to maintain an ideal balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but the more EPA and DHA you can get, the better you can support your health.

What Are Krill?

Krill oil is taken from krill, which are very small shrimp-like creatures that live in the ocean. The word krill actually means "whale food" in Norwegian, as these tiny creatures are a favorite food of the world’s largest animals.


What Are EPA and DHA?

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in krill oil and the fatty layers of cold-water fish, shellfish, plants, and nut oils.

Despite the vast amount of research conducted on these two essential omega-3 fatty acids, it is only recently that the actions of each have been understood individually.

These two fatty acids work in combination and isolation, and we now have a better understanding of how they are digested, absorbed, and utilized within the body. This valuable information allows scientists and researchers to create different blends of EPA and DHA to help you reach the long-term health goals you want to achieve.

Depending on which aspect of your health you want to focus on, combinations of EPA and DHA can be created to support brain function, heart health, and more.

EPA and DHA both play vital roles throughout your life, so as your needs in life change as part of normal aging, so does the amount of each you need per day.

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You can get the right amount of EPA from eating organic greens and fish or taking krill oil supplements. EPA is also highly recommended throughout life to help promote a healthy response to stress and promote overall well-being.

The Phospholipid Connection

Since omega-3 fatty acids, like EPA and DHA, are not manufactured by our bodies, we must consume them to receive the health benefits. Krill oil consists of 14% EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids compared to 30% content in fish oil.

This may be a lower percentage than you find in traditional fish oils, but it is actually better for you. The absorption rates for krill oil are substantially higher, meaning that a smaller dose provides more benefits.

The composition of krill oil is different from fish oil because it binds to phospholipids rather than triglycerides. Therefore, the oils are easier to absorb, so the smaller doses of krill oil are more beneficial for you than larger doses of fish oil.

Phospholipids are an important part of all cell membranes in the lipid bilayer. This bilayer contains two layers of fat cells which are insoluble in water. Within these fat cells are hydrophobic regions that repel water. These contain fatty acids responsible for restricting what moves in and out of cells.

Phospholipids also play key roles throughout the body, supporting cognitive and cardiovascular health as well as liver function and metabolism. They even help to move nutrients through the body during digestion.

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Fatty acids cannot be absorbed by the body, so they must be attached to another vehicle in order for your body to use them. The structure of phospholipids in krill oil enables fatty acids to mix with water, unlike the triglycerides found in fish oil.

This means that EPA and DHA are able to pass directly through the cell membrane barrier when taking krill oil. There are three different forms of phospholipids, each with specific functions:

♦ Choline is found in the most prevalent form and helps support nerve processes, including memory, learning, and reasoning. Choline is the precursor of acetylcholine, which is the primary neurotransmitter that supports brain function.

♦ The second form helps to support general cell health, including heart rhythm, bone growth, and cellular repair.

♦ The third form helps support your central nervous system function and structure.

The fatty acids and phospholipids within krill oil provide numerous health benefits, as previously mentioned. With daily supplementation, you can see the benefits to your overall health.

The Bottom Line

Krill oil is an excellent way to get several beneficial fats and oils into your daily diet through supplementation with liquid capsules.

Krill oil allows for EPA and DHA to bind directly to these helpful phospholipids, thereby allowing them easy access to your system. This increased bioavailability and enhanced absorption of the essential fatty acids is what makes krill oil the number one type of omega-3 supplement out there.