I suppose I will have to tolerate this whole krill thing, as savvy internet marketers are pushing it and frankly doing a good job by virtue of their popularity if not their science.
But here are the facts:
The company that makes Mega Red was censured for inaccurate advertising stating krill was healthier for your heart. The Council for Responsible Advertising found no evidence to support this and the company stopped that campaign although others, namely internet-based doctors that sell krill, continue to use it in their advertising.
Next, the dosage of Omega 3 in krill is far below what is needed to impact the health of many people since most have far too low an Omega 3 level to begin with.
Astraxanthan is added to krill; it is not naturally occurring and it can easily be added to fish oil.
The increasing use of krill is strictly based on the popularity of fish oil as its sales were poor by comparison until fish oil “hit big”. Using krill will not harm the arctic ecosystem as most of it comes from farmed sources in South America.
There are approximately 3 studies on krill in human health, most coming out of the University of Guelph or Magill in Ontario and most sponsored by one of the major manufacturers of the product located in Canada.
The scarcity of fish in the world is a subject of debate as well: the most recent “scarcity” paper was based on fish farming in Argentina and Peru and reflects more the impact of farming quality standards than actual fish counts. The World Fish Council says that fish harvests have been steady for many years now. Who you believe is up to you but the recent “climate gate” issues cast a jaundiced eye on the entire “going green” movement, not in principle but in fact.
Ironically a lot of the people I know who are krill converts are “Raw” or Paleolithic eaters. Somehow they forgot krill was never part of the human food chain!
Some comment of fish oil purity. Even the worst brands are pure out to parts per million in terms of heavy metals etc, and pharmaceutical grade brands are pure out to parts per trillion. There are also some “weapons grade” fish oils out there that are even tested for radiation!
I have seen no published purity tests on krill but whale meat is notorious for its contamination with mercury to the point where its consumption is generally banned in many countries. The whales get their mercury by ingestion of their food source. I will let you fill in the blank as to what that food source is. Hint: it ain’t fish! And while they may get some contamination from swimming around the ocean with their mouths open, clearly there is another source for their mercury toxicity. Yet on the internet is just says krill is free of all pollutants. Prove it; do an analysis like I do and publish it like I do.
Even traditional medical organizations have come out in support of fish oil including the American College of Cardiology, The American Heart Association, and the American Cancer and the American Diabetes Association. These organizations are primarily drug company funded so for them to come out in support of ANY supplement is a huge statement.
None of them support krill.
Finally, there are over 10,000 human studies supporting the benefit of fish oil. These include several huge studies from around the world including Italy, like GISSI PREVENZZIONE that prove the benefits of fish oil. There are studies on arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s all using fish oil, none using krill. So a recent blog post by a well known internet doc stating “until that research has proven the facts one way or the other, it makes more financial and ecological sense to stick with krill” borders on nonsense and is clearly biased to me. No major researcher has supported the benefits of krill over fish oil .
If you Google “Artemis Simopoulos MD” you will find a wealth of credible info on fish oil and nothing on krill.
There are major population based studies using fish oil consumption as a marker for heart disease, prostate cancer and breast cancer. Until people begin to adopt whale food as a mainstay of their diet’s we will never see such study on krill.
Once again, you will see a couple of studies on krill in humans all done in Canada and all funded by the company that makes the product. I think we know what that means from our experiences with Big Pharma. Finally, as vitamin store owners have been telling me for some time now, you couldn’t give krill away until fish oil hit it big.
I understand the public’s need for something “new” and I applaud the krill marketers for taking advantage of what will probably be their only opportunity to sell a “me too supplement”, but there is very little science behind this choice and far more marketing.
I will stick with people food, not whale food. Fish oil – Super Omega 3