Omega-3s have many recognised health benefits for dogs and humans alike. Pets are unable to produce sufficient omega-3s naturally in their bodies. However, they are an important nutrient to any diet, benefitting everything from brain development to hearth health. But not all omega-3s are effectively utilized by pets. Therefore, offering the right source is important.

The power of marine-sourced omega-3s

Studies show that marine-sourced omega-3s remain the most effective source for pets, as pets are unable to convert enough of the plant-sourced version in their bodies. The omega-3s that seem to be most efficient are those bound to phospholipids, such as found in krill.

Krill are tiny crustaceans that are present in all oceans, holding a vital position in the marine food chain. Antarctic krill is also a superior source of marine omega-3s, with a distinctive advantage when it comes to the form their omega-3s are made of. This is known as the phospholipid advantage.

Recent studies have shown that the phospholipid-bound omega-3s from krill are more effective in raising omega-3 levels in a dog's body compared to triglyceride-bound omega-3s, such as those found in fish oil.

Known as the foundation of all cells, omega-3s are more effectively incorporated into tissues cell membranes when bound to phospholipids. And this incorporation is crucial to obtain the health effects of omega-3s. Once in place in the cell membranes, the omega-3s EPA & DHA support the health of several vital organs, including the heart, kidney, liver, joints, brain, eyes, skin and coat.

But there is more to krill than this…

Krill is also naturally rich in choline, astaxanthin and marine proteins.Choline is a vitamin-like component that plays an important role in liver health and nerve transmission, and thereby also cognitive function and muscle function. Dogs produce some choline naturally, but due to its importance, petfood manufacturers are advised to add this nutrient to the food. However, the choline additive commonly used (choline chloride) is 12 times less bioavailable than the choline found in krill (phosphatidylcholine).

The astaxanthin found in krill is a natural antioxidant that protects all body cells from oxidative damage. It has 10 times higher antioxidative capacity than α- and β-carotene and lutein, and more than 100 times higher capacity than vitamin E (α-tocopherols).

QRILL Pet, the krill ingredient from the leading biotech company Aker BioMarine is the first krill ingredient for pets certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as being sustainable and traceable from sea to product. Besides besides, Aker BioMarine's krill fishery  is rated as the world's most sustainable reduction fishery, receiving an 'A' rating from the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership for 7 years in a row.

By Tonje Dominguez, Director of QRILL Specialty Animal Nutrition

All Pet Food

You could be interested: Nutritional needs of cats and dogs


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