Krill oil: Now I wish I didn’t
Posted by Xeno on May 22, 2012
Do I have fluoride poisoning from krill oil?
… Krill oil is a trendy, higher-priced alternative to fish oil. But, as anyone knows, higher price does not mean higher quality. And when it comes to krill, higher price certainly does not mean safety. For a tiny percentage of the population, the chief krill oil dangeris that krill is potentially deadly.
What are krill? Krill are, well, mostly feces. These tiny ocean shrimp swim in schools of up to 100,000 individuals in a single cubic meter of water. To get a mental picture of what this looks like, imagine 100,000 shrimp in a large home aquarium.
Krill like to live next to icebergs. The bottom of an iceberg is home to enormous amounts of algae. During the night, the krill can dive hundreds of meters (up to 1,000 feet) to feast on the watery plankton. The chyme of water and algae bloats the krill and they float back to the surface.
The krill digest the plankton, fill with feces, and the denser feces sends them back to the bottom of the iceberg for their next meal. The older the krill, the deeper it dives, keeping it from competing with younger krill.
Not exactly appetizing? That’s not the real problem. The real problem with krill oil is that krill oil isn’t just oil.
Antarctic krill, which are most of the krill crop, contain high amounts of a protein called tropomyosin. This is the protein in shellfish that triggers allergies. If you are allergic to shrimp, crab, and/or lobster, this is what sets off an attack.
Larger shrimp in antarctic waters contain minimal amounts of tropomyosin, and are less likely to trigger allergies. If you had only eaten those shrimp, you might not even know you had a shellfish allergy until you used a poorly processed krill oil.
And allergy isn’t the only problem with krill oil. Here are three more.
Krill shells contain so much natural fluoride that they are toxic to humans. Krill are so tiny that they have to be mechanically shelled, and tiny bits of shell work their way into the final product.
Were you to take an improperly processedkrill oil over a period of months, one of the krill oil side effects you would notice first would be brown mottling on your teeth. Then you might experience other, more serious symptoms of fluoride poisoning.
Krill oil has less DHA and EPA than fish oil. To be fair, the DHA and EPA in krill is more easily absorbed than the DHA and EPA in fish oil, but you have to take a lot more krill oil to get the same amount ofessential fatty acids.
Krill pick up ocean-borne water contaminants. Even in polar waters, there is some pollution. It’s not as concentrated in krill oil supplements as in fish oil supplements that are not distilled, but krill are not toxin-free.
Despite what manufacturers tell you, krill is not free of ocean pollutants.
One of the most important krill oil facts is that krill oil costs about five times as much as fish oil, and you need to take more krill oil to get the same benefit as fish oil….
Wikipedia agrees about the fluoride problem:
Krill tastes salty and somewhat stronger than shrimp. For mass-consumption and commercially prepared products they must be peeled, because their exoskeleton contains fluorides, which are toxic in high concentrations.
Time to send my krill oil to the lab. I did notice a very strange effect when I dissolve a kill oil capsule in my mouth: the substance sticks to my gums and won’t be dissolved by saliva. I hope this was not the result of a high fluoride content. Fluoride sticks to and reacts with everything.
I’ll let you know what I find out.
Looking at the bottle, they do test for some things, but they don’t say if they test for fluoride. Does anyone have an atomic absorption spectrophotometer I can borrow?
Or is there a better test to quantify the amount of fluoride? Chemists, what would you do?