Keeping Dogs And Cats Healthy And Happy
Antarctic Krill is not only a superior omega-3 source but also contains a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin, natural choline, and palatable marine proteins. This makes it a unique marine ingredient with several key nutrients beneficial for cats and dogs at every life stage.
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- Main health benefits of krill
- Studies show the positive effects of krill meal
- Proven health benefits of omega-3s
- Video: How important are the right omega-3s
- Choline - an essential nutrient for pets
- Video: The importance of choline
- Natural source of astaxanthin and marine proteins
- Video: The health benefits of QRILL Pet
QRILL Pet Has Multiple Health Benefits
Aker BioMarine has been investigating the effects of krill on dogs, publishing several studies that document the health benefits and efficiency of QRILL Pet meal in raising the levels of omega-3 and choline in dogs.
Studies Show The Positive Effects of Krill Meal
We are committed to document the effects of krill meal inclusion and already performed several studies to ensure and understand the advantages and mechanisms of dietary krill meal inclusion in dog diets.
All our studies show that phospholipid omega-3s and other key nutrients found in krill meal (as is choline) are shown to have positive effects on vital organs, being essential for the healthy development and maintenance of dogs.
These positive results encourage us to further research and study the unique components of krill, such as the positive effects of its omega-3s and choline on the health of several vital organs, including the heart, kidney, liver, joints, brain, eyes, skin, and coat.
The Phospholipid Advantage
Proven Health Benefits of Omega-3s
A recent study done on Alaskan Husky dogs 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. This result is also well supported by several human studies.
A krill-rich diet increased the Omega-3 Index of active dogs
A 6-week study done recently by Aker BioMarine had the objective to compare Omega-3 Index concentrations when omega-3s were provided in phospholipid versus triglyceride form. 
20 adult Alaskan Husky dogs were involved in the study. 10 dogs were fed with 8% QRILL Pet inclusion, while 10 dogs in the control group received a diet that included omega-3 triglycerides. The amount of EPA/DHA in the diet was equal in both groups.
The results have shown that the phospholipid-bound omega-3s from krill are more effective in raising the omega-3 index in a dog’s body compared to triglyceride-bound omega-3s, such as those found in fish oil. The group receiving QRILL Pet increased their Omega-3 Index by 62%, while the fish oil control group only increased by 21%.
What is the Omega-3 Index?
The Omega-3 Index measures the amount of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA compared to the amount of other fatty acids in cell membranes. This diagnostic tool provides a useful indication of a pet’s long-term intake of omega-3s.
A sufficient omega-3 index will be beneficial for keeping a healthy heart, brain, vision, joints, and skin.
Other benefits of a higher Omega-3 Index
The benefits of an increased Omega-3 Index were shown in an earlier study involving huskies participating in the Iditarod race, an ultra-endurance race in Alaska.  The race is known to induce muscle damage and inflammation.
The Alaskan huskies received pet food with 8% QRILL Pet inclusion for 5-week prior to the start of the 2016 Iditarod sled dog race. The control team didn’t receive any pet food with krill meal.
We found out that the dogs receiving QRILL Pet with a higher Omega-3 Index at the start of the race showed lower muscle damage and 55% less inflammation at the end of the race when compared to the other group.
More than omega-3s
Choline - An Essential Nutrient For Pets
Like humans, dogs can produce choline, however, not enough to meet all their body’s requirements at all times. A dietary supplement is advised to avoid choline deficiency.
Dogs on a krill diet had their choline plasma levels increased
In 2018, a dog sled team of 20 Alaskan Huskies took part in a six-week trial to investigate if the inclusion of phosphatidylcholine from Antarctic krill can increase the concentration of choline and its metabolites in the plasma of sled dogs. 
Twenty of these high-performing sled dogs were separated into two groups. The first group received 8 percent of a proprietary krill dietary supplement, and the second team of ten dogs received a control diet without krill.
After 6 weeks, the dogs which received a QRILL Pet diet have an average increase of 52% of their choline levels. The results demonstrated that a nutritional strategy, such as the addition of phosphatidylcholine to the diet, can help to significantly increase plasma choline concentrations.
Choline is an essential nutrient for dogs that has an impact on healthy brain development, heart health, liver function, muscle function, as well as the nervous system.
More than omega-3s
Natural Source Of Astaxanthin And Marine Proteins
While many of the nutritional needs in pet food have to be sourced through different ingredients, Antarctic krill is rich in multiple nutrients, not only omega-3s.
A powerful antioxidant
Another powerful nutrient naturally found in krill is the antioxidant astaxanthin, known as a natural protectant.
Antioxidants are important for dogs to protect all body cells from 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).
When provided in a dog’s diet, astaxanthin is integrated into the immune cell and protects it from destruction by free radicals.
Tasty marine proteins
Marine proteins are other important nutrients found in krill. They are highly palatable, easy to digest and present an alternative protein source. Krill protein has a complete protein profile meaning it contains all the essential amino acids a pet needs in a diet.
Ensuring pets like the taste of the food they eat is essential. Just like humans, some pets are picky eaters, and this worries their humans. They want to offer a healthy meal to their pets as well as provide them with a meal that they will enjoy.
In a study done by Aker BioMarine, 9 out of 10 dogs preferred the food that included a high-quality Antarctic krill ingredient. This shows that the highly palatable marine proteins that are included in Antarctic dried krill meal are the preferred choice by many dogs.
- Burri, L., et al., Enhanced omega-3 index increase in dogs with dietary inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids from krill versus fish. Vet World, 2020.
- Burri, L., et al., Effects of dietary supplementation with krill meal on serum pro-inflammatory markers after the Iditarod sled dog race. Res Vet Sci, 121: p. 18-22.
- Burri, L., K. Heggen, and A. Storsve. Phosphatidylcholine from krill increases plasma choline and its metabolites in dogs, Vet World, 2019. 12(5): 671-676.