Fish are the gold standard for getting your omega-3s. But is fish oil the most efficient omega-3 source? Take a deep dive into the krill advantage and read about the unique health benefits of phospholipid omega-3s, through this article.
Health authorities around the world believe you should eat at least 2-3 servings of fatty fish per week. They say this because fish contains valuable healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and protein. But the most important reason why you should eat fish is because of the long chain omega-3s they contain. More specific; the omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
These are important building blocks for our body and we need to get them into our cells in an efficient way. Research has shown that krill oil is one of the most efficient ways to get your omega-3s.
Take a look at our video to learn why krill oil is more fish than fish oil:
We don’t eat enough fish
Unfortunately, when it comes to fish consumption we often don’t eat the amount we are told for a variety of reasons. This could be because buying seafood can be expensive or that there is simply other food you would rather eat.
In fact, if you look at the United States the average consumer only eats 14 lbs (6,35 kg) of fish per year. This leaves the consumer to be minus 25 lbs (11,4 kg) a year when you consider what health authorities recommend and what is actually consumed in the diet. The worst part of that is that it leaves us to be omega-3 deficient, which can lead to a lot of health problems.
The good news is that there are some suitable solutions to lack of dietary omega-3s.
One of the healthiest fish is the wild Atlantic salmon delivers long chain omega-3s EPA and DHA in a mixture of both phospholipids and triglycerides just as nature intended. Both phospholipids and triglycerides play an important role in delivering omega-3s, but they differ in structure and function.
What is krill oil?
Krill live in every ocean around the globe. There are literally trillions of them. But you can find the biggest masses in the Southern Ocean.
Krill also live at the bottom of the food chain, which is also why they are so highly regarded as being a clean source of omega-3s and other nutrients.
The krill in the Southern Ocean, which are about the size of a paperclip, also deliver long chain omega-3s EPA and DHA in a mixture of both phospholipids and triglycerides, just like the wild Atlantic Salmon. When krill is further turned into oil this combination of nutrients remains intact which is an important distinction between krill oil and fish oil.
So, what are phospholipids and triglycerides and what is so significant about the way they deliver omega-3s?
What are phospholipids?
Your cells need proper materials to function properly. Phospholipids are important to the structure of your cell walls because they help maintain their strength.
In addition to being structural components of your cells, phospholipids also have the responsibility of carrying long chain omega-3s EPA and DHA into your cell membranes. These are the ingredients that provide flexibility to the cell and travel around your body to import the benefits of various tissues and organs.
At the end of the day phospholipids and triglyceride are different molecules with different properties. They are digested and distributed differently. With phospholipid bound omega-3s reaching the cells and tissues more efficiently, as is the case with krill oil.
Omega-3s are great if they are delivered to the places the body needs them the most, such as the brain, heart, eyes, and joints. But they can’t get to your tissues and organs if they don’t get into the blood first.
So, how can you make sure the omega-3s you’re taking is getting into your tissues and organs?
It comes down to the phospholipids. By using something called the Omega-3 Index you can measure the percentage of EPA and DHA in the red blood cells. The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells is a reflection of omega-3s in your tissues and organs. An Omega-3 Index of 8% or above is considered optimal.
Read more: What are the Omega-3 Index Test?
Why krill oil is a more efficient source of omega-3s than fish oil
Studies have shown that krill oil preferentially boosts the Omega-3 Index compared to fish oil, even though krill oil delivers lower amounts of omega-3s EPA and DHA on a gram per gram basis compared to fish oil.
The main reason this happens is because of the phospholipids and their ability to carry omega-3 EPA and DHA into the blood more efficiently. On top of that, only krill oil provides, in addition to omega-3 fatty acids, the essential nutrient choline. This is crucial for cell structure, functioning, and signaling. Choline also contributes to cardiovascular, hepatic and cognitive health.
Let’s not forget about astaxanthin. This powerful antioxidant is present in krill oil naturally for a reason. It serves as a natural stabilizer of the omega-3 fatty acids. No added antioxidants are necessary as it is a natural preservative. In addition, it provides the signature red color of all pure krill oils.
Let’s go back to why krill oil is more fish than fish oil. Krill oil and wild Atlantic Salmon deliver omega-3s in the mixture of triglycerides and phospholipids. Fish oil doesn't. This is the way to get omega-3s the way nature intended.
Read more about the omega-3 deficiency worldwide in our infographic, by clicking on the button below.