Krill are nothing but small shrimp-like crustaceans which serve as food for big animals like whales. They belong to the order Euphausiacea and are present in large quantities in all oceans, especially in Antarctica's deep water. Antarctic krill are very popular in the world. In Japan, krill are being harvested and are incorporated in the regular diet, since hundreds of years. Majority of Asians consume dried krill. Krill are rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids and hence krill oil extracted from the flesh of krill is recommended by dietitians for various purposes, including weight loss.
Krill Oil Dangers
- Allergic Reaction: Those who are allergic to krill oil may experience skin rash, difficulty in swallowing, bloating, nausea and vomiting. In extreme cases, breathing difficulty is experienced after ingestion of the oil. If you are allergic to seafood then it is better to avoid this oil. Food allergies can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, lightheadedness, swelling in face or all over the body. Those who are allergic to shellfish must strictly avoid the oil extracted from krill as krill is a type of shellfish only.
- Interference with Routine Medicines: Studies show that krill oil can cancel the effects of some of the routine medicines and can lead to toxicity, for example, blood-thinning and thyroid medications. So you should inform your doctor about routine medications and should discuss with him whether taking the supplements of the oil can be beneficial for you. If you need to take aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, etc., or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), etc., you should consult your physician before opting for the supplement. Herbs like ginkgo biloba and garlic increase the chances of bleeding. So while taking such herbs, consumption of the oil should be avoided or small amount of the oil should be consumed.
- Digestion Problems: Ingredients and quality of the oil may vary from brand to brand. Good quality krill oil may not cause any adverse effects but if the oil is not pure as it should be, then it may cause certain side effects like loose motions, indigestion and diarrhea. It can also result in bad breath. Side effects of krill oil may vary from person to person, depending upon the quality and quantity of the oil consumed and overall health of the person. Excessive consumption of the oil may lead to stomach problems like nausea, heartburn, loose stools and a fishy taste in the mouth.
- Avoid during Pregnancy/Breastfeeding/Before Surgery: Though the oil can be beneficial for pregnant women, more studies are required to prove its benefits and to ensure that there won't be any side effects. So, to be on the safer side, pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid it. Similarly, it is believed that this oil can slow down the process of blood clotting. Thus it may increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery. So, people are advised to stop taking these supplements at least 2 weeks before the surgery.
- Krill oil supplements works great for rheumatoid arthritis, as they help reduce inflammation and pain in joints.
- The oil helps regulate blood pressure levels. It promotes low blood sugar levels and low cholesterol levels and thus helps prevent cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks.
- The 'easy to digest' property of the oil is attributed to the presence of phospholipids in it. All nutrients in the oil are easily and quickly absorbed by intestines. Regular fish oil does not contain phospholipids.
- Consumption of omega 3 fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) help avoid congenital defects. They are essential for proper development of the brain and eyes of the fetus.
- DHA and EPA work great for brain and mental disorders like autism, dyslexia and other cognition problems. These supplements ensure healthy nervous system and reduce the chances of having Alzheimer's disease or brain tumors. It also prevents depression and mood swings.
- The oil is rich in vitamins A, E and D and it is high in antioxidant astaxanthin which offers several health benefits like improved immune system, improved vision, reduced PMS symptoms, improved prostate health, heart health, smooth skin, hormonal balance, etc. It is especially good for women's health, as it prevents hormonal imbalance.
- People diagnosed with diabetes are also benefited by regular intake of these supplements.
- As the oil exhibits antioxidant properties, it delays the process of aging.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.