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Ako3™ — Frequently asked questions

1. Promotes health and wellbeing

Q: What does Ako3™ contain?
A: Each capsule of Ako3™ contains 500 mg of pure Antarctic krill oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, phospholipids and the antioxidant astaxanthin.

Q: What are omega-3 fatty acids?
A: Omega-3 fatty acids are long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids that play an important role in many processes in the human body. They are also essential fatty acids because our bodies do not synthesize them; omega-3 fatty acids must be obtained through diet.

Q: What are EPA and DHA?
A: The health-promoting properties of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) have been well documented. Research shows that EPA and DHA have a range of beneficial biological effects, such as: decreased cardiovascular disease, decreased blood lipids (triglycerides), less depression, prevention of Alzheimer, decreased chronic inflammation and provides benefits for arthritis sufferers.

Q: What are omega-3 phospholipids?
A: A unique feature of Ako3™ is that a significant proportion of its omega-3 content is in the form of phospholipids. Most omega-3 dietary supplements — which are derived from fish, seal, or fish liver oils — provide omega-3 fatty acids in the triglyceride form.

Phospholipids play vital roles in cell membranes and cellular processes. Consequently, omega-3 phospholipids are important to the structure and function of the human brain. Fatty acids stored in the form of triglycerides are mainly found in adipose tissue where they are a source of energy to the human body. Omega-3 phospholipids are reported to offer greater bioavailability and bioeffectiveness than omega-3 triglycerides. The possible explanations might be: a) greater solubility in aqueous environments in the intestine due to spontaneous micelle formation, b) other pathways by which omega-3 phospholipids are digested and absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract, c) different distribution to body tissues and d) different uptake and utilization by tissues.

Q: Are omega-3 phospholipids found elsewhere than in krill and Ako3™?
A: Yes, omega-3 phospholipids occur both in fatty fish and other marine products. Omega-3 phospholipids is also present in mother’s milk.

Q: How do Ako3™ and fish oil, seal oil, and fish liver oil differ?
A: Ako3™ differs from other commercially produced marine oils in two important ways. Firstly, fish oil, seal oil, and fish liver oil contain almost no omega-3 phospholipids. In fact, the production process for making fish oil removes the omega-3 phospholipid content of fatty fish. Secondly, Ako3™ is a rich, natural source of the (powerful) antioxidant, astaxanthin.

Q: What are antioxidants?
A: Antioxidants protect cells in the body against harmful free radicals; free radicals are implicated in the etiology of numerous human health disorders and diseases, such as cancer, aging and atherosclerosis. Ako3™ provides astaxanthin as it is found in nature — in amounts that make it an effective antioxidant source.

Q: Eating fatty fish is generally recommended. Does Ako3™ replace eating fish?
A: Ako3™ contains the same valuable omega-3 phospholipid fatty acids that are present in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and herring.

Q: Why is Ako3™ described as naturally clean and stable?
A: Antarctic krill live in some of the world’s cleanest waters. Thus, the potential for absorption and storage of environmental toxins is minimal. Ako3™ Krill Oil is neither a manufactured concentrate nor a product in which the molecular structure of the oil or its constituents have been altered. Krill oil is considered as a stable marine oil — and Ako3™’s significant astaxanthin content further protects the oil’s beneficial omega-3 fatty acids from becoming rancid due to oxidation. Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids in phospholipids are less vulnerable to oxidation (harshening) than omega-3 fatty acids in triglycerides. 

Q: What is the most effective carrier of omega-3 fatty acids?
A: Omega-3 triglycerides (from intake of fish oil, seal oil, fish liver oil) and omega-3 phospholipids (provided by Ako3™) are digested differently, prior to entering the blood stream from the small intestine. Stated succinctly, krill oil undergoes different digestive and distribution routes than fish oil. Research indicates that omega-3 phospholipids are the preferred omega-3 carriers in diet, based on observations that they feature better absorption, tissue uptake, and utilization by cells.

Q: Have the health-promoting properties of Ako3™ been scientifically documented?
A: There is solid documentation that marine oils containing the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are found in Ako3™, are beneficial to maintaining and/or restoring the health of the human heart and cardiovascular system, brain and central nervous system, skin, and joints.

2. Krill

Q: What is krill?
A: Krill are small, shrimp-like crustaceans. Krill occupy a relatively low position on the marine food chain and they eat phytoplankton. Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) can grow up to 6 cm in length and weigh some 2 grams.

Q: How abundant are krill resources?
A: The oceans are home to enormous quantities of krill. The total weight of the world’s krill is greater than the combined weight of the world’s human population and is the greatest biomass in the world.

Q: How do krill live?
A: Antarctic krill spend most of their lifespan of five to seven years in large, densely populated swarms, which can extend over several square kilometers of ocean. Krill are pelagic (live relatively near the ocean’s surface) and migrate vertically through the water column. For example, krill dive to great water depths during the day to avoid being eaten, and resurface in the evening to feed on plankton.

Q: How do krill reproduce?
A: Krill lay eggs during the Antarctic summer. A female can lay up to 10,000 eggs at a time; eggs are often laid several times during a season, particularly during January and February. Spawning takes place near the surface; the eggs, which are externally fertilized, sink to depths of 2,000 meters or more before they hatch. Thereafter, the larvae begin their long, so-called developmental ascent to the surface; upon arriving they begin to feed.

Q: How long have people been harvesting krill?
A: Krill has been harvested since the 1800s in the waters around the Southern Ocean and Japan. Large-scale commercial harvesting got underway in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Q: How is krill harvesting regulated?
A: Commercial krill harvesting in Antarctic waters is currently regulated by CCAMLR (Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources). CCAMLR has limited total annual krill harvesting to four million metric tons to secure sustainability in the krill mass.

Q: How are Antarctic krill resources managed?
A: Monitoring and management of Antarctic marine resources are performed on an ecosystem-wide basis. This approach is unique to the region; regulation is generally conducted on a species-by-species basis. Antarctic krill resources are managed and regulated by the treaty-based organization CCAMLR (Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources). Aker BioMarine’s operations in Antarctic waters are monitored in detail by independent CCAMLR inspectors on board our vessels.

3. Aker BioMarine™

Q: What is Aker BioMarine?
A: Aker BioMarine is an Oslo-based, stock-exchange listed company; Aker ASA is the company’s main shareholder. Aker BioMarine controls and operates a comprehensive, technology-based value chain, spanning from krill harvesting in Antarctic waters to finished products. Research, development, and scientific documentation of the health-promoting properties of Krill Oil are also important components of Aker BioMarine’s krill value chain.

Q: How does Aker BioMarine catch krill?
A: Because Antarctic krill live in dense schools or swarms, it is well suited to harvesting by trawling. However, powerful enzymes in krill begin to break down krill’s valuable bioactive resources as soon as the crustacean dies; significant catch mortality results from traditional trawling practices. Aker BioMarine’s harvesting technique keeps the krill alive in the seawater in which it was netted and brings it onboard the trawler alive, in quantities which can be processed rapidly.

Q: What is unique about the way krill is harvested by Aker BioMarine™?
A: Aker BioMarine uses a unique, patented technology that continuously siphons netted krill to the factory trawler. The krill arrive onboard alive; decomposition of krill’s bioactive resources does not occur before processing begins. Our Eco Harvesting technology is also of fundamental importance because it successfully prevents by-catches of birds, marine mammals and fish.

Q: How does Aker BioMarine’s harvesting technology prevent by-catches?
A: By-catches of birds and marine mammals mostly occur while a trawled net is being hauled on board the harvesting vessel. Traditional trawling requires repeated hauling on board and emptying of the trawl bag. Aker BioMarineTM conducts continuous trawling; the trawl bag can remain submerged throughout days or weeks of operation, while netted krill are conveyed to the trawler for immediate processing. A specially designed trawler bag head eliminates fish by-catches.

Q: What is the nature of Aker BioMarine’s cooperation with WWF Norway?
A: The World Wildlife Fund works globally to achieve sustainable management of the Antarctic’s fabulous natural resources. Aker BioMarine cooperates with WWF Norway to ensure sustainable management of Antarctic krill resources. Aker BioMarine encourages everyone to support WWF (see www.wwf.no for further information).

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