Many people think of krill as a vegetable or plant, but it is a small invertebrate animal like a tiny shrimp. Krill is a major component of the diet for penguins, seals, whales and small fish. In fact krill is the essential link in the food chain between plankton and the protein requirements of fish. At Biotivia we share the belief of many ecologists that harvesting krill is a death sentence for the sea.
Once people thought cod were in infinite supply. Don’t buy a supplement that contributes to the same mistake again. Look at the science, not the claims by krill oil supplement makers. Krill is not a renewable resource in infinite supply.
Krill oil is used by Omega 3 supplement makers for one reason. It is highly profitable. Suppliers do not chose it because it is a safe, healthy, Eco-friendly, renewable, source of fatty acids. They chose it because they can make a better profit. Krill is not a particularly good source of DHA and EPA.
Krill is a cheap source of Omega 3, but by no means a safe, potent, and renewable one. Krill oil suppliers make extremely large profit margins on their supplements. Their claims that krill is an infinitely renewable resource are either badly misinformed or based upon greed. No animal population can be called sustainable when millions of tons or it are plundered annually.
Richard Page, speaking for Greenpeace stated in the UK Daily Mail newspaper: “Among the most controversial rulings is the award of an MSC label to the Ross Sea Antarctic toothfish fishery, which is still regarded by scientists and the industry as an exploratory fishery. The species is so little understood that researchers still do not know even basics such as where the fish spawns.”
Others include krill in the Antarctic, , tuna and swordfish off the US coast, pollock in the Eastern Bering Sea where stock levels fell 64% between 2004 and 2009, and Pacific hake which suffered an 89% fall in biomass since 1989.
The supply of krill is diminishing in all the oceans. National Geographic Magazine and marine experts have expressed alarm over the 80 percent drop in some krill populations over the last few decades.
While krill oil makers and others who harvest krill for food insist krill are an infinitely renewable resource. In our opinion Krill should be left as a food source for marine animals. It is unwise and unnecessary to harvest massive quantities of krill for use in a dietary supplement. This is corporate exploitation at its worst.
Krill as a source of Omega lipids is probably safer than fish oil, but not free of the contamination that is endemic in all of the world's oceans. Dioxin and PCBs are prevalent even in formerly pristine Arctic areas. Krill absorb ocean contaminants and even radiation readily. They are by no means the clean Eco-friendly resource krill oil sellers claim.
Krill is a type of shell fish. Those who are allergic to crustaceans may experience skin rash, difficulty in swallowing, bloating, nausea and vomiting. In extreme cases, breathing difficulty is also experienced. If you are allergic to any seafood it is critical to avoid krill oil.
Studies show that krill oil can interfere with the effects of some of the routine medicines. Blood-thinning and thyroid medications are some of the drugs that conflict with krill. So you should inform your doctor about routine medications and should discuss with him whether taking krill oil can be beneficial for you. Krill can also exacerbate bleeding conditions.
One of both krill oil and fish oil supplements’ side effects is fish breath. Adding mint or other scents to cover this up, as some suppliers do, may sell more fish oil but it does not solve the problem.
There is little known about how to properly test the quality of krill oil therefore it is next to impossible even for the ethical producer to distinguish between a safe oil and one that carries toxic or allergic risks. Given that there are better sources of Omega 3 lipids, consumption of krill oil is foolish and irresponsible.
“The downside of getting your omega-3s from krill oil is the declining populations of these tiny marine creatures. Krill live in sea ice and are consumed in great quantity by whales. But as climate change and human activity warms the frigid polar waters, sea ice is melting, posing a danger to krill – and to whales and other marine mammals that eat them.”
Dr Andrew Weil, M.D. Extract from his website.