What are Krill?


Krill oil is a newer supplement to the market.  Some belief it to be just another type of fish that can produce oil for supplementation…but we can assure you that there’s more to krill than meets the eye!

(Side note: krill aren’t fish).

Here, we’ll look at the basics:  what krill are, where Artic Flex krill come from, and why we chose krill (and not fish) to be a part of our formulation.



Krill are tiny crustaceans that look similar to shrimp: they have black eyes, are reddish in color, live and travel in swarms, and are plentiful throughout the world.

Interesting, however, shrimp and krill are of different orders.  (Remember: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species?)  Based on this, you could say that dogs and cats, which are classified under the same order, are more related than krill and shrimp.

Furthermore, there are just 85 species of krill and more than 1,900 species of shrimp! Today, we’ll be speaking on one species of krill, Euphausia superbawhich is found in the Southern Antarctic Ocean.

What’s even more impressive…scientists believe that the total biomass of all krill on the planet to be over 500 million tons!  That’s more than any other animal in the world.

Krill are at the bottom of the food chain, meaning that they are plant-eaters that are preyed upon by other animals (e.g., whales and seals).  Phytoplankton, microscopic marine plants, are krill’s main food choices.


What do krill have to do with bone & joint health?

With that shotgun-introduction on krill, you might be wondering why krill and what do they have to do with your joint health.

After all, can’t fish oil do the trick?

It’s true that krill oil and fish oil share some similarities, but krill themselves offer some unique benefits that fish do not.  In fact, many we can attribute several advantages of krill to the facts we mentioned above.

Let’s take a look…


Environmentally sustainable + responsibly sourced

We’re committed to sustainability and responsible sourcing. When any company works with animals or products found in nature, we believe that it’s their responsibility to maintain viability and not deplete the earth’s natural resources.

Krill are an extremely plentiful crustacean. It is a food source for all types of sea life, from whales and fish to seals, and even seagulls.  Thanks to the stringent regulations and harvest quotas set in place by the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), only about 1.5% of the krill population is harvested annually.

This is great news because it helps to keep the Antarctic ecosystem in check and running smoothly.  Krill remain large biomass to effectively feed the animals that sit above them in the food chain, as well as consume phytoplankton.


A pristine environment translates to a cleaner supplement

While it might be a little sad that krill are at the bottom of the food chain and get preyed upon, this is a good thing in terms of transferring and propagating environmental toxins, contaminants, pollutants and heavy metals.  The higher you move up the food chain, the more concentrated these potentially harmful substances can be.

For a more in-depth look check out this article on biomagnification.

Combining krill’s low food chain status with the pristine, deep waters of the Southern Antarctic Ocean (and the CCAMLR’s standards), krill are a very good source of “clean” nutrients when compared to industrial fisheries whose waters may be nearby other plants or commercial properties where runoff can occur.


Nutrients that are easily absorbed and used by the body

When it comes to supplements, you want them to work.  

That’s probably a no-brainer, but not all nutrients are equally as absorbable by your body’s cells.  If your cells can’t adequately absorb nutrients, then they’re excreted into…well, the toilet.

We’ve posted a variety of articles on the benefits of krill oil and how its nutrients when combined with the rest of the Artic Flex formulation, provide bones and joints the support they need, so here are the need-to-know takeaways:

  • Better bioavailability due to krill oil’s naturally occurring phospholipids.  Compared to fish oil’s triglycerides, phospholipids can double the absorption of Vitamin D (5).
  • Due to krill’s plant-based diet, they naturally contain the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin. It’s found to be more potent than vitamin E and A, giving an extra boost to heart, blood, and whole body health.
  • Krill oil is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Phospholipids expedite the cells ability to use them.


Interested in diving deeper into the benefits of krill oil?  Check out our past articles below.

– 3 Reasons Krill Oil is the Best Alternative to Fish Oil

– Krill Oil vs Fish Oil: What’s the Difference?


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