Krill are a shrimp-like marine invertebrate which form a marine biomass in many of our world’s oceans. These small crustaceans are the keystone of much of the marine ecosystem and serve as food for everything from baleen whales and many fish to sea birds.
Since February of 2011, PURE Canadian freeze dried Pacific krill, fished in the ARCTIC, is a part of every TCfeline raw cat food premix as a source for the Omega-3 fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The Omega-3 fatty acids in freeze-dried krill remain unaltered even if stored for longer periods, and retain all their beneficial properties. Previously, I used a micro-encapsuled fish oil powder from the USA, and before that Salmon oil in capsules.
Fish species commonly used for fish oil supplements do not actually produce Omega-3 fatty acids, but instead accumulate them by eating krill (or smaller fish which eat krill) which has accumulated omega-3 fatty acids from eating microalgae. These predatory fish also accumulate toxic substances in that manner, such as mercury, dioxin, PCBs and chlordane due to being on top of the food chain, in a process called bio-magnification, making krill a purer choice.
Nutritionally speaking, krill is not only a rich source for Omega 3 fatty acids, however. For example, Salmon have inherited not only their Omega-3 content from krill, but also the rich orange/red colour of their flesh. This is because krill contain Astaxanthin, a naturally occurring pigment belonging to the Phytochemicals and classified as a Xanthophyll. Research suggests that Astaxanthin has a number of biological functions and can be 100 times more effective as an antioxidant than vitamin E to protect tissue from oxidation and ultraviolet damage.
Krill is a source of natural Glucosamine, because Glucosamine is part of the structure of chitin – the exoskeleton of marine crustacean – and is rich in phosholipids like Phosphatidyl Choline (Lecithin).
Other benefits of the nutrients found in krill include stimulation of the immune system, anti-cancer effects, and anti-inflammatory properties. Krill contains all essential amino acids including the, for cats, essential amino acid Taurine. It is an excellent natural source of Iodine, and serves as a source of Potassium and source of bioavailable Copper, the later one being important for the formation of collagen in the body.
Truly a natural treasure.