Scott: If someone is considering taking krill oil, who would be that type of person who would be a good candidate to start using this supplement? Do they have to be in a risk factor?
Sigalit Zchut, PhD.No.
Scott: Can it be a preventative? Who might want to take this?
Sigalit Zchut, PhD.I think anyone who's enjoying the western diet, which is very low in omega-3 and very high in omega-6. And actually, this problem with consumption of very high omega-6, which comes from vegetable oils, and then not eating enough marine-source products that doesn't provide you with enough omega-3, actually changes the balance of what is supposed to be a good balance in your body of omega-6 and omega-3.
Many years ago, people consumed a lot more omega-3 and a lot less omega-6. And then the ratio from 6 to 3 was about 4 to 1. Now it's about 20 to 1. And doctors have also shown that it's responsible for a lot of other problems that have to do with our health.
So, I would recommend that everyone, from a very young age, start consuming omega-3 unless they eat 2 to 3 portions of fish a week.
Scott: So, if somebody wants to start an omega-3 supplement, what do they look for? What is important to look for in that supplement? What do they need to know when they go out and purchase something?
Sigalit Zchut, PhD.I think they have to know that krill oil is more beneficial than fish oil. That when you take krill oil, maybe you are taking a product that is a little more costly, but it does have other benefits. And, I think that you should also look for quality parameters, and make sure that what you take is actually going to be beneficial for you.
Scott: You also mentioned EPA and DHA. There are often times ratios of that within the omega-3 supplements, too.
Sigalit Zchut, PhD.It's true.
Scott: Is there a certain ratio that people need to look for, or certain amounts per day that they should be getting? What should they look for there?
Sigalit Zchut, PhD.Well, in the United States, there are no recommendations for omega-3 daily doses. This is something that the industry is trying to change because omega-3 is actually so important for your health, and it should have some kind of suggested or recommended dose.
I can tell you that the European food safety authority just recently released an opinion suggesting that you can consume up to 3 to 5 grams of omega-3 per day with no risk or adverse events, and that it's actually going to be very beneficial.
So, obviously, when you look for a product that has EPA and DHA, you do want the concentration of omega-3 to be as high as possible. But, this can also be controlled by swallowing more pills per day, and you can always increase the concentration.