Click here to purchase freeze-dried Krill. Thank you!
From fish to humans, the benefits of Krill and Krill oil have been proven time and time again for many species. We haven't even scratched the surface of what this wonderful little creature can do for us and our pets. It is difficult to not get caught up in those possibilities, but we have focused on the facts based on scientific studies here.
The blanket term 'Krill' refers to all 85 deep water marine planktonic crustacean species, which combined make up the world's most abundant biomass. Krill has been informally harvested since the early 1800's and they are one of the most efficiently renewable food resources. Precautionary regulations in Canada have prevented over-harvesting. Krill species harvested in North America include Meganyctiphanes norvegica, Euphausia superba, Euphausia pacifica, Thysanoessa inermis and Thysanoessa raschii. There is no waste with Krill - even the byproducts have value.
Krill is available in several forms for our pets, including frozen, various grades of meal, whole freeze-dried, flaked/ground freeze-dried and oil. These can be used as ingredients in homemade pet food recipes or mixed with commercial food as a supplement. Cats will often eat pieces of flaked freeze-dried Krill as a nutritious treat.
Krill is rich in Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), Phospholipids (stimulates the building of cell membranes) and Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), including Omega 3, 6 and 9. It is an exceptionally rich source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and DHA. Both DHA and EPA are crucial to fighting and preventing disease and overall health. The most commonly available Krill species are E. pacifica and E. superba, which have similar fatty acid composition. E. pacifica boasts higher EPA (ca. 23%) and DHA (ca. 14%) unsaturated fatty acids (Yamada, 1964).
The presence of the amino acids proline, glycine and glocosamine can stimulate feeding behaviour in some animals (Shimizu et al., 1990). It is a very effective palatability ingredient, masking everything from less palatable ingredients to medication.
Astaxanthin, a carotenoide, is abundant in Krill. In fact, over 95% of the pigments present in krill are in the form of natural astaxanthin, measuring a whopping 100 to 300 parts per million (ppm=mg/1). It is a more powerful antioxidant than Lutein, Alpha-tocopherol, Lycopene and Beta-carotene. As a supplement, Krill Oil is naturally more stable and bioavailable than fish oil and it contains no heavy metals. Krill far outperforms fish oil for heart and liver fat reduction. It is also higher than fish (and vitamins A & E) in antioxidants.
Another unique & valuable quality of Krill is its Hydrolytic enzymes. A rarely seen combination of cohabitating enzymes results in mutual protection, so that one does not degrade the other.
The immunity enhancement provided by Krill through its amazing nutrient profile is combined with unique contributions such as Chitin, which is 2.4 - 2.7% of their dry weight. It also promotes early development of the immune system, resulting in increased survival rates of newborns. Krill has been repeatedly linked to disease resistance in animals and humans.
It all adds up to a fantastic tool in the natural, holistic care of pets! Since scientific research on the effects of any item can be lacking for specific species, we suggest you research the known benefits of each component. For example, Krill is a premium, natural source of antioxidants. We can take that fact and research how antioxidants can improve the health of our specific pet. It is an effective way to avoid getting caught up in product hype as well - arm yourself with basic facts so your pet's paws remain firmly planted in reality. Following is some basic information to get you started...
- Krill contains unsurpassed levels of bio-available Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (HUFA) and Essential Fatty Acids (EFA)
- Exceptionally high Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Contains Phospholipids
- High in Antioxidants
- Krill is an excellent source of Carotenoide astaxanthin
- Rich in bio-available minerals
- Krill is a rare source of cohabitating Hydrolytic enzymes (Phospholipases, Proteases, Nucleases & Carbohydrases)
- Natural immunity enhancing properties
- Natural Source of Chitosan (derivative of Krill Chitin)
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Anti-fungal properties
- Krill contains a wide range of biochemicals
- Offers Photoprotectors
- Reduces fat in your pet's heart and liver
- Krill is lower in Ash and Phosphorus by comparison to fish or shrimp meal
- Moderate caloric content
- Easily digested
The use of Krill for pets has yielded positive results in regards to the following:
- Krill stimulates the immunological system in pets
- Provides exceptional cardiovascular support
- As a dietary supplement during pet pregnancy & lactating
- Increase in newborn pet survival and healthy growth rates
- Natural treatment of arthritis / joint conditions in pets
- Improved skin and coat condition (through improved collagen production)
- Improved appetite/intake/palatability
- Maintains healthy blood lipid levels
- Krill as an ingredient masks medication taste
- Naturally improves chemioperception in pets
- Decreased recovery time in pets when fed Krill pre- & post-operative
- May naturally decrease hyperactivity, anxiety and minor aggression in pets
- Overall revitalization & improved alertness
- Krill naturally protects pets from UV rays
- Natural treatment of pet nutritional disorders
Aquarium Fish & Shrimp enjoy all of the above, as well as:
- Increased egg production in aquarium fish, shrimp and snails fed Krill
- Naturally conditions captive fish, shrimp & snails for breeding.
- Improved egg and offspring health from a diet supplemented with Krill
- Better finnage growth, healing and overall fin quality in show fish
- Naturally enhanced colouration/pigment in aquarium fish and shrimp
- May calm 'nervous' species of aquarium fish
- Krill is rich in trimethylamine oxide, which improves osmoreguation in fish
We were pleasantly surprised recently to have a user of our Immunition Krill Krumbles post in the Canadian Aquarium Connection forum about his experience with them (in part below).
"... I can identify improvements in ALL my fish for example:
- Instead of one dominant (coloured) Ameca - I now have a half dozen males all showing blazed yellow tails.
- My sons barbs look like gold coins swimmin' around in there, you should see the bellies ; now I recall why we used to call them the 'footballs'.
- The first time my shrimp spawned it took me a few minutes to spot any baby when I approached the tank. Now the back and front glass are littered by the dozens with new hatches.
- My wild caught pleco comes out for feeding time
- I realise my common pleco was slowly starving to death. He went from a decoration; that moved every other day , to a ferocious hand feeder. Before he only would crawl from point A to point B. He now swims freely about the tank in the current - all the time.
- Both of my pleco's bellies show scribbling they never had before.
- I even saw (an Invisible) kuhli loach - fat as the cat.
I can not say enough about how glad I am to be off the store bought feed. At one time I thought twenty bucks was a good deal for a container the size of my fist. Now the math has changed..." ~ J. Burgess, Alberta, Canada
As with any 'wonder food', we have to be diligent when selecting sources. Many of the beneficial components of Krill, including enzymes, antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins, are heat sensitive. Adding Krill to high heat processed food will therefore drastically decrease its benefits. When seeking Krill products, look for cold pressed oil, freeze-dried whole Krill and bio-encapsulated feed. It is also important to know the source and how the Krill is treated from harvest to consumer. The Canadian Krill product that we have chosen for our pets and yours, is immediately flash frozen aboard the fishing vessel and the oils are cold pressed.
For the specific use of Krill, including recipes, please visit our blog.
© Melody McKinnon, AllNaturalPetCare.com - All rights reserved.
Click here to purchase freeze-dried Krill. Thank you!
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Yamashita, E., (1995), Suppression of post UVB hyperpigmentation by topical astaxanthin from krill. Fragrance Journal 14:180-185.
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