Fast transport and effective absorption mean that your body gets greater health benefits from each krill oil supplement.
The human body is believed to contain more than 30 trillion cells, written out that is 30,000,000,000,000 cells! Each of these cells have a job to do to keep us healthy and functioning. The health of these cells is what determines the health of our bodies, as it’s these trillion of microscopic ‘building blocks of life’ that deliver the nutrients we need to live and thrive.
Each cell is wrapped in a cellular membrane that protects the integrity of the cell. A functioning cell membrane is vital for normal development, function, survival and reproduction of all cells. When it comes to cellular health, we seek to have healthy cell membranes that are soft and permeable, so that they easily absorb nutrients and expel metabolic waste. Unhealthy cells are defined by hard and rigid membranes, which makes it difficult for these cells to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste.
To contribute to better cellular health, we must ensure that the right nutrients are transported and absorbed at a cellular level. One such important nutrient is omega-3.
Efficient bioavailability of krill phospholipid omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that play a critical role in healthy cell membrane structure which means they affect every single cell in your body.Omega-3 has long been renowned for its health-boosting powers. From immune strengthening powers to brain boosting abilities, omega-3 is one of the most taken human health supplements by people of all ages. But to get all those benefits from this supplement, the source of the omega-3 must be looked at a bit closer, because not all omega-3 sources are created equal.
Antarctic krill is an omega-3 source that’s different from the rest. Harvested in the area around the Antarctic peninsula, this tiny crustacean is known as a unique source of several important nutrients, especially due to its “phospholipid advantage”, meaning that most of the omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil is found in the form of phospholipids. This is an advantage that fish oil-based omega-3 supplements simply don’t have.
What is the krill phospholipid advantage?
When a person consumes a krill oil supplement, they are ingesting omega-3 and choline in phospholipid form. Phospholipids already exist in the human body – our cell membranes are made up of them.
When krill oil starts its digestive journey in the body, it already begins to emulsify fat and get absorbed in the intestine, without requiring the assistance of bile, like fish oil supplements do. From there, most of the phospholipids found in krill oil travels to the liver for immediate use, whereas most triglycerides takes a longer route through the lymphatic system, losing some precious omega-3s along the way.
After the liver, the phospholipids have a direct entry pass into the cell membrane, due to its phospholipid form.
Krill takes the ‘highway to cell’ and our bodies reap the benefits
All in all, this means that phospholipid-bound omega-3 from krill oil is much more effectively transported into the liver and blood stream, and then promptly delivered and absorbed into the cell membranes.
The bioavailability of krill oil phospholipids is substantiated by studies investigating the level of omega-3 concentration in the blood in healthy participants after digesting krill oil vs fish oil. One study found that the mean EPA concentrations were higher in the krill oil subjects compared to the fish oil subjects (1) and another study found that subjects taking krill oil supplements over 4 weeks had significantly increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in their blood compared to those using fish oil (2).
At Aker BioMarine, we like to call this effect the “highway to cell” – as krill oil is a fast and effective means of getting these much-needed nutrients into your cells. And once absorbed at a cellular level, the body can start reaping the benefits, from heart and liver function to joint support to brain function and more.
While the journey of krill oil is fast and effective, fish oil-based omega-3 supplements have a more mixed fate in the digestive system and beyond. Since fish oil omega-3s are bound to triglycerides, which are fats/lipids, some of these are burned off or stored in fat cells, while the rest must be converted to phospholipids before they can be integrated into the cell membrane for utilization.
Krill oil phospholipids are a more effective way to ensure that our cells are healthy and robust
Getting more omega-3 into the body and more importantly, into our cells, means that we will be better prepared to deal with whatever life throws at us. A healthy life and a healthy body require healthy cells, and a krill oil phospholipid supplement a day is an impactful step in the right direction.
1) Maki KC et al "Krill oil supplementation increases plasma concentrations of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in overweight and obese men and women
2) Ramprasath et al "Enhanced increase of Omega-3 index in healthy individuals with response to 4-week n-3 fatty acid supplementation from krill oil versus fish oil"
Want to know more? Download the highway to cell infographic below: