Krill oil has been the best health product I have discovered in my life, and that isn’t a statement I make lightly.
I initially started taking krill oil during my struggles with eczema, which was causing the skin on my face to be red and irritable. Previously I had tried all kinds of creams, vitamins and so forth, all to no avail. Then I decided to go down a different path and try boosting my levels of omega-3.
For my eczema, the boost in omega-3 has paid dividends. After one week there was a noticeable reduction in itching, after three weeks the redness had begun to reduce, and after nine months it had cleared up and gone altogether.
You’re here looking for help with anxiety, so why am I talking about eczema you ask? Well, after taking krill oil with breakfast each day, I noticed that not only was I much calmer than usual, I also had greater mental energy. Things that normally would have made me irritable, stressed or angry did not.
With the boost in mental energy, I also felt more motivated and experienced less feelings of depression throughout the day.
My new found mental energy encouraged me to research krill oil, and identify exactly why taking it had such a positive spin off for my mental health.
With the research completed, I am very excited to now share the results with you.
What Is Krill Oil?
You have probably heard of fish oil before, and krill oil is similar in that it is sourced from seafood. Krill are small, shrimp-like crustaceans and are the backbone of the world’s marine ecosystem. Whales in particular are very fond of krill, eating up to 8,000 lbs (3,600 kg) each day.
The krill most preferred for human consumption are antarctic krill, located in the antarctic waters in the Southern Ocean.
How Does Krill Oil Help Anxiety and Depression?
Putting it simply, omega-3.
There are three main forms of omega-3 – docosahexanoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and alpha linolenic acid (ALA).
The forms we are most interested in are DHA and EPA, and these are best sourced from seafood such as krill and fish. Plant based foods such as walnuts do contain omega-3 however it is in the form of ALA, which is not beneficial in treating anxiety or depression. Your body does convert small amounts of ALA to DHA and EPA, however you would need to eat more walnuts than is safe (walnuts are toxic when consumed in large amounts).
Omega-3 is critically important for brain function, with DHA in particular being enormously beneficial for battling neurological disorders, brain performance, and building long-term neuronal resilience. It also regulates the growth of new brain cells as well as playing an important role in human emotion.
Anxiety and depression, although different, are often tied together, with one almost always triggering the other in some form. When you are having a difficult day, sometimes it is hard to identify which of the two is making you feel the worst.
The good news is that krill oil and omega-3 will assist with both anxiety and depression. A major symptom of depression is a lack of energy or motivation. As explained earlier, your brain lives for omega-3. If you feed it, you will have more mental energy, which will definitely help pick you up out of a depressive slump.
Although this article is dedicated to the treatment of anxiety and depression, it has to be noted that krill oil contains other benefits as well. Most notably, it has been shown to reduce cholesterol, increase blood flow, improve eye health and reduce inflammation in joints.
Which Krill Oil Is The Best For Depression and Anxiety?
Not all krill oil is created equally, and omega-3 is complex. As explained earlier, the two forms of omega-3 we are interested in are DHA and EPA. All krill oils contain both DHA and EPA, however, the ratio of one to the other varies between brands.
While an increase of both DHA and EPA will do amazing things for you, it is believed that EPA is the most important in the treatment of both depression and anxiety.
Not only does the ratio of DHA to EPA vary from one brand to the other, so does the concentration and purity. Sometimes a smaller capsule from one brand will contain more DHA and EPA than a large one from another.
How Much Omega-3 Is Needed To Treat Depression and Anxiety?
When we discuss amounts of omega-3, we are combining both the DHA and EPA number. For example, if a capsule contained 200mg of EPA and 100mg of DHA, that would be considered 300mg of omega-3.
For a healthy diet, the World Health Organisation recommends your diet contains 250-500mg of omega-3 per day. This works well for those who do not experience anxiety or depression, however it has been shown in trials that people who increased their omega-3 intake to 1000mg per day have the biggest improvements in mood.
It is very important to note that 1000mg of krill oil does not equal 1000mg of omega-3. On the contrary, the average 1000mg capsule contains between 260-340mg of omega-3.
If your diet does not contain seafood such as fish or prawns, you may need to take 4000mg of krill oil supplements per day, depending on how concentrated the brand you choose is.
Each capsule must be taken with food, and I highly recommend 1000-1500mg capsules. In your first week, take only one per day with breakfast. In your second week, take one with breakfast and another with dinner. If need be, increase the amount to 3 per day from the third week, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If your omega-3 levels were low, you will notice an improvement after 2 or 3 days. It can however, take up to 3 months to bring your levels up to where they need to be.
The Best Krill Oil
I have hand picked the following brands of krill oil, based on their reputation, quality, ease of consumption and ratio of EPA to DHA.
The capsules of some brands will be oily, and it will appear as if a capsule has leaked within the container but this is caused by their packaging process, rather than a rapture. For most people this is not a concern, but if you are sensitive to the smell or taste of seafood, you may wish to purchase a more expensive brand, as they usually remove the excess oil before packaging. This may mean paying twice as much.
MegaRed 1000mg Krill Oil – EPA 128mg, DHA 60mg, Total Omega-3 230mg.