A few years back in 2012, fish oil was established as one of the most popular natural products consumed all over the world. The reason was its high content of Omega 3 fatty acids and its natural healthy implications on the human body.
Now we have a similar or perhaps even healthier option to ensure adequate levels of Omega 3 fatty acids in our body and that is krill oil.
Being a comparatively newer addition to the list of food supplements or nutrients, krill oil and krill oil supplements are not as widely used as fish oil. However, as the need for more Omega 3 fatty acid sources are increasing, especially among the Canadian population, krill oil is being increasingly sought after in Canada.
As per data collected by the Canadian Health Measures Survey, the average Omega 3 Index for Canadian adults, that is, the sum of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in their red blood cell fatty acids was determined to be 4.5%. This essentially puts them at an immediate risk of coronary heart diseases.
Additionally, close to 43% of Canadians were found to be a high risk of heart diseases and 54.6% of them were at an immediate risk and only 2.6% of them were found to be in the low-risk category.
Clearly there is a need for additional sources of Omega 3 for Canadians, which is where Krill oil Canada strikes a home run.
Krill oil is basically derived from tiny crustaceans called Antarctic Krill. These are known to be a dietary staple for many sea animals including whales, penguins, seals and other water birds.
Just like fish oil, krill oil is highly rich in EPA and DHA, two of the most important types of Omega 3 fatty acids that provide most of its benefits. The difference however, lies in the structure of the fatty acids contained in each of them, which in turn affects the way our bodies absorb them and use them.
The fatty acids found in krill oil are in the form of phospholipids, which according to experts increases their absorption and effectiveness on the human body. It allows the nutrients contained to be released into the bloodstream as well as the cells at an easier pace.
On the other hand the fatty acids in fish oil are in the form of triglycerides.
Other than that krill oil also looks different from fish oil in that it is reddish in color owing to the presence of an antioxidant called astaxanthin. Fish oil is usually yellow in color.
In terms of nutrient content, krill oil contains extra essentials like choline and astaxanthin.
Choline plays a very important role in brain function and also the normal functioning of all cells. Astanxanthin on the other hand is known to be a powerful antioxidant with a unique molecular structure that facilitates effective neutralizing of free radicals. Established as the carotenoid antioxidant, it provides many benefits of its own that work in conjunction with the benefits of the Omega 3 fatty acids. This promotes healthy skin, improved eyesight, healthy weight and also enhanced brain health.
Additionally, astaxanthin also protects krill oil itself from oxidation, giving it a longer shelf life than fish oil.
Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil
Both krill oil and fish oil are beneficial in terms of reducing the risk of heart diseases. However, owing to the phospholipids contained in krill oil, it is found to be more effective than fish oil for health improvement even if it is taken in lower doses.
In addition, krill oil is also more effective than fish oil in lowering blood sugar and also LDL cholesterol.
These are findings from a few studies conducted to study the major differences between the two. Researches are still being undertaken to further confirm these results and also provide more accurate findings.
In terms of availability and cost though, fish oil takes a higher stand. Krill oil requires more expensive and elaborate harvesting and processing techniques and for the same reason, it is way more expensive than fish oil. Since it is a comparatively new addition to the market, it is also not as widely available as fish oil.