When you think of Valentine’s Day, it’s cards, flowers, champagne and chocolates which probably spring to mind, not Antarctic crustaceans.
But, whether it’s the unique make-up of their omega-3 fatty acids, the role they played as matchmaker on board one of our fishing vessels, or even their depth-defying, deep-sea mating habits, when it comes to matters of the heart, krill has no rival.
Romance on the high seas
Living and working on a krill harvesting vessel for months at a time, sailing in some of the most challenging environments on earth, may be exciting, scary and most probably very tiring, but romantic? Well, for two members of the Saga Sea Eco-Harvesting vessel, it was just that.
Meeting for the first time on board the vessel, Quality Controller Kathrine Strøm’s debut voyage was nothing if not eventful as it’s where she met factory technician, and more importantly future life partner, Geir Tore Bøen.
Viewing their connection at sea as far from unique, or rare, the couple now work onshore and have a young daughter. Her name? Saga.
Read more: About our fishing operation
Turn the lights down low
A vital source of key omega-3s, and the inadvertent matchmaker to Katherine and Geir, while krill are one of the most studied pelagic animals, little was known about what gets their hearts racing, or their mating behaviour, until recently.
Research conducted by the Australian Antartic Division presented two unique findings which set Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) apart. The first is that they can actually mate nearer to the seafloor at depths of between 400 and 700m, making them closer in behaviour to a decapod shrimp. The second is that krill maturity and reproduction can actually be significantly altered by exposing krill to a period of darkness right after spawning.
Resetting their internal body clocks, it’s the timing of darkness, rather than light that alters their reproductive cycle.
A hungry heart
Though the typical Western diet probably doesn’t suffer from low chocolate intake, and especially come Valentines, it is found to be severely lacking in adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and choline.
So much so, that a staggering 90% of the US population are found to be deficient in these nutrients. The implications are significant as omega-3 and choline deficiencies are flagged by numerous studies as leading to cell dysfunction, contributing to inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease.
Obviously raising Omega-3 levels up to optimal levels is key with a number of large scale, in-depth clinical studies showing that higher consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). This is the case for both men and women and while eating lots more oily fish will help lower the risk of CHD, nothing quite ruins date-night like the mackerel breath.
Enter Superba Krill oil. Taken in capsules, it is odourless and tasteless, so won’t affect an evening of romance, and is shown to increase your omega-3 levels faster and more efficiently compared to other marine and algal sources. Like the traditional sources of omega-3s such as oily fish, the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in Antarctic krill are in phospholipid, rather than triglyceride form.
A key distinction, omega-3 phospholipids are delivered much more effectively to tissues and cells than triglycerides. Powered by these phospholipids, Superba Krill ensures the delivery of the key fatty acids EPA and DHA to various parts of the human body, including of course the heart. In addition, Superba Krill also contains choline, the other key nutrient essential to heart function.