- Lab-certified pure
- Pure, whole, unrefined
- Less "repeat" than most fish oil
- 480mg of omega-3s* per serving
- Rich in rare, phospholipid-form omega-3s
- From an MSC-certified sustainable krill harvest
- 200mcg pure astaxanthin per serving (400mcg of esterfied astaxanthin)
- No artificial preservatives/colors; no dairy, starch, wheat, yeast, sugar, or soy
- Product of USA
Krill oil is the richest supplemental source of rare, exceptionally well-absorbed phospholipid-form omega-3s.
But, given the importance of krill to the ocean food web, we waited for a source of krill oil that meets the tough, science-based sustainability standards of the non-profit Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Ours was the very first krill oil certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which mandates independent monitors on the harvest ships.
This rigorous certification regimen ensures that our oil comes from krill that are sustainably harvested … an assurance needed to preserve the ocean food web that relies on these tiny, shrimp-like creatures.
About our certified-sustainable krill oil
You may have heard concerns about the wisdom of harvesting krill, most of which goes to farmed fish.
The Marine Stewardship Council certifies as sustainable the krill harvest from the single company that supplies our krill oil, only after considering the impacts of the harvest on the krill population and animals that depend on them for food.
The specific commercial harvest that supplies all of the krill oil in our supplements is a tiny proportion of the internationally agreed limit.
The current total krill harvest is below 160,000 tons per year, versus the highly conservative limit of about 3.5 million tons per year, set by the international Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.
The total allowable catch is calculated after subtracting the portion of krill eaten by whales, seals, penguins, and other animals.
Krill oil offers three special attributes
There are three good reasons why we decided to offer sustainably harvested krill oil:
#1 - Rare source of phospholipid omega-3s
- Most of krill oil's omega-3 fatty acids occur in the "phospholipid" form, which is absent from or scarce in fish oils.
- Substantial evidence indicates that phospholipid-form omega-3s are better-absorbed ... and may provide enhanced health benefits (more information below).
#2 - Unrivaled levels of an uncommon antioxidant
- Krill oil offers uniquely high levels of astaxanthin (ass-tah-zan-thin). This potent carotene-class antioxidant also occurs in wild salmon and in unrefined salmon oil supplements such as Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Oil.
- Our Krill Oil contains 100mcg of pure astaxanthin per one-gram capsule (i.e., 200mcg per two-capsule serving), and about 200mcg of "esterfied" (fat-bound) astaxanthin per gram (i.e., 400mcg per two-capsule serving).
- Misleadingly, most krill oil brands state astaxanthin content as esterfied astaxanthin, which is about double the weight of pure astaxanthin. (For more on this regrettable practice, see "Inflated astaxanthin numbers abound".)
- Compared with Vital Choice Wild Sockeye Salmon Oil, our Krill Oil has about 2.7 times as much astaxanthin (100mcg/g vs. 36mcg/g). NOTE: Our Astaxanthin supplement contains 4mg of astaxanthin per 350mg softgel, or 40 times as much as in one capsule of our Krill Oil.
#3 - Little or no fishy "repeat"
- Probably due to the phospholipid form omega-3s that predominate in krill oil, many people report little or no fishy aftertaste or burps, compared with fish oils.
Keep reading to learn more about the differences between krill oil and various kinds of fish oil.
Krill oil's uncommon omega-3s
The two major omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil are the same two found in fish and human cell membranes (EPA and DHA).
However, unlike fish oils, most of the omega-3s in krill oil occur in phospholipid (foss-foh-lipid) form … a difference whose relevance to human health remains unclear.
The human body can use seafood-source omega-3s (EPA and DHA) in any of the three forms in which they occur naturally … triglyceride, phospholipid, and ethyl ester.
While all three omega-3 forms are well-absorbed and beneficial, limited evidence suggests that phospholipid-form omega-3s may be more easily and fully absorbed, compared with triglyceride omega-3s and ethyl ester omega-3s.
These preliminary indications fit with evidence that the body needs fewer metabolic steps and less energy to digest, absorb, and distribute omega-3 phospholipids.
Some research suggests that krill oil's phospholipid-form omega-3s may yield superior cardiovascular and other health effects (see references, below).
Still, leading fatty acid researchers say it's too soon to conclude that krill oil's omega-3s deliver substantially greater benefits than the triglyceride or ethyl ester omega-3s. (Vital Choice fish oils feature triglyceride omega-3s.)
Click here to learn more about the exaggerated omega-3 absorption claims that some krill oil sellers make ... which seem designed to disguise the higher cost of omega-3s in krill oil versus fish oil.
Krill oil offers unrivaled levels of antioxidants
Like wild salmon, krill are naturally rich in the potent, red-hued antioxidant called astaxanthin, which belongs to the carotene family.
Astaxanthin displays extraordinary antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in cell and animal studies, but has not been tested extensively in humans.
The astaxanthin natural to our Krill Oil and Sockeye Salmon Oil protects their omega-3s from oxidation more effectively than the tocopherol (vitamin E) antioxidants added to standard fish oils.
Among fish, only wild salmon contain substantial amounts of astaxanthin, which they obtain by eating krill and other zooplankton … a diet that gives their flesh its characteristic red-orange color.
Compared with other wild salmon, sockeye eat more astaxanthin-rich zooplankton. This difference explains why sockeye contain more omega-3 phospholipids, astaxanthin, and vitamin D than other wild salmon, and why sockeye is also called "red" salmon.
Versus Vital Choice Salmon Oil, Vital Choice Krill Oil has substantially more astaxanthin per gram (100mcg vs. 12mcg).
Omega-3 health benefits
According to the U.S. FDA, "Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease."
The long-chain omega-3s (EPA and DHA) that abound only in seafood (especially fatty fish) – and in supplemental fish and krill oils – are essential to human life and support optimal health in key organs, systems, and life stages:
- Fetal development
- Skin, hair, and nails
- Joints and movement
- Cognition (thinking), attention, mood, and memory*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
References: Absorption of phospholipid omega-3s
- Burri L et al. Marine omega-3 phospholipids: metabolism and biological activities. Int J Mol Sci. 2012 Nov 21;13(11):15401-19. doi: 10.3390/ijms131115401.
- Murru E, Banni S, Carta G. Nutritional properties of dietary omega-3-enriched phospholipids. Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:965417. doi: 10.1155/2013/965417. Epub 2013 Jul 31. Review.
- Ramprasath VR, Eyal I, Zchut S, Jones PJ. 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. Lipids Health Dis. 2013 Dec 5;12:178. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-12-178.
- Rossmeisl M et al. Metabolic effects of n-3 PUFA as phospholipids are superior to triglycerides in mice fed a high-fat diet: possible role of endocannabinoids. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e38834. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038834. Epub 2012 Jun 11.
- Schuchardt JP et al. Incorporation of EPA and DHA into plasma phospholipids in response to different omega-3 fatty acid formulations--a comparative bioavailability study of fish oil vs. krill oil. Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Aug 22;10:145. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-10-145.
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