From: Dr. Mercola
I was one of the first to promote krill as an exceptional source of animal based omega-3 dietary fats. Many have, and some still criticize me for recommending this over fish oil, for the lack of studies to back it up, but the bulk of the new emerging studies are confirming that krill is the better option.
It merely took time for the science to document what was obvious clinically, that krill had the identical fats as fish oil but was a far higher quality source due to astaxanthin protecting the perishable fats, and the phospholipids that massively increase the absorption of the fats.
Please remember that omega-3 fats are essential to the health of your heart and brain, among other body systems. What you may not be aware of is the ever-widening array of diseases for which krill may have a positive impact. New research is emerging all the time revealing benefits that broaden the scope of what this powerful natural source of fat can do for you.
The research regarding omega-3 fats and krill has really exploded over the past two years, and it’s getting downright hard to keep up. This article will focus on the research specific to krill, but realize that there’s a massive body of research out there on omega-3 fats in general that I will only touch on, which has direct applicability to krill. By the end of this article, it should be obvious why I’m such a fan. Before we begin to talk about the health benefits of krill oil, allow me to refresh your memory about why you need omega-3 fats in the first place.
Plant-Based and Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats
Most people today are deficient in omega-3 fats and consume far too many damaged omega-6 fats, which are found in vegetable oils and processed foods. The ideal ratio is 1:1, but the average American’s ratio is more like 20:1, or even 50:1 in favor of omega-6. Because of this severe imbalance, I recommend you supplement your diet with a source of high-quality omega-3 fats, while simultaneously reducing your omega-6 intake to bring this ratio into balance.
There are both plant and animal sources for omega-3 fats, and there are differences between them. All have different ratios of three important omega-3 fatty acids—ALA, EPA and DHA. DHA is the most important for your brain. EPA is also required by your brain, but in smaller amounts.
Plant-based omega-3 sources like flax, hemp and chia seeds are high in ALA, but low in EPA and DHA. Although ALA is an essential nutrient, the key point to remember is that the conversion of ALA to the far more essential EPA and DHA is typically quite inhibited by impaired delta 6 desaturase, an enzyme necessary for you to convert the ALA into the longer chain EPA and DHA.
Elevated insulin levels impair this enzyme, and more than 80 percent of the U.S. population has elevated insulin levels. So from that perspective alone, it is important to include animal-based sources of omega-3 fats in your diet.