The importance of including omega-3 fatty acids in the diet has long been recognised, and much research has been devoted to analysing its beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system and blood flow, particularly in modulating cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids can also help to reduce joint tenderness and ease pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, leading to less reliance on pain medications.
Krill oil is a more recently introduced source of these fatty acids, being derived from a particular species of krill found in the Antarctic ocean, and comprising a richer and more effective source of omega-3 than regular fish oil. This is because the omega-3 in krill oil is bound to specialised fat molecules called phospholipids. These are more easily absorbed by the body than the molecules in fish oil, which are bound to the less easily absorbed triglycerides.
Krill oil is also a source of the carotenoid compound astaxanthin, which has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, allowing it to attack the free radicals which can damage the immune system. It has also been suggested that the anti-oxidant properties of astaxanthin can play a role in combating neurodegenerative diseases, improving cognitive function and even perhaps slowing the ageing process.