Is Ascenta a carbon neutral company?
While Ascenta is not a carbon neutral company, we are leading the way on corporate environmental responsibility. We are working towards slowing climate change by reducing our energy consumption, choosing to travel sustainably, and being conscious of what we purchase. Protecting and restoring the environment is at the heart and soul of Ascenta. Since our inception we have made sure that all of our practices are environmentally sound, from energy conservation, to recyclable packaging. Thanks to our progressive environmental policies we are providing hope that future generations will enjoy and benefit from a healthy environment. Ascenta is the first natural health products manufacturer to become a member of 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses committed to leveraging their resources to create a healthier planet. Through this organization, Ascenta donates 1% of its annual sales to environmental causes worldwide. Our donation of a minimum of 1% of our annual sales is a significant commitment that we are proud to embrace (to learn more, visit www.onepercentfortheplanet.org).
What is krill?
Krill are tiny crustaceans measuring no more than 62 millimeters that live in the oceans and are eaten by whales, seals, penguins, squid, fish, and other species. Krill oil is extracted from krill and sold as a nutritional supplement.
Why have I been hearing so much about krill in the press?
Krill, like many marine oils, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA and it is often advertised that only one small, easy-to-swallow krill oil softgel is necessary per day. Krill has been advertised to have better bioavailability than non-krill fish oil supplements since much of the EPA and DHA in krill oil is linked to phospholipids. Finally, krill oil offers an antioxidant called astaxanthin that gives krill, other crustaceans, and salmon their reddish-pink colour.
Is krill oil better than fish oil?
While krill oil is a good source of omega-3s, one small, easy-to-swallow softgel of a krill supplement typically contains 300 mg of krill oil, of which ~75 mg is EPA and DHA (combined). This is important to note if certain health benefits are desired, since dosages of 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA (combined) are recommended daily. Keep in mind that 1 tsp of NutraSea contains 750 mg EPA and 500 mg DHA, which far surpasses the omega-3 content delivered in krill oil. To date, the absorption of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids from phospholipids as compared to triglycerides has not been studied in great detail but in general is considered to be of the same magnitude. Finally, health claims and marketing of krill-based omega-3 oils are focused on antioxidant content but the antioxidant capacity of astaxanthin to date are not necessarily supported by strong, solid scientific evidence.
Why doesn't Ascenta use krill in any products?
Despite the potentially unique and beneficial attributes of krill oil, Ascenta stands by Antarctic scientists who believe that fishing for krill is taking an unnecessary risk with an entire ecosystem for three key reasons: 1) Krill is the base of the entire food web since whales, seals, penguins, squid, fish, and other species are hugely or almost totally reliant on krill as a food source. The Antarctic supports 50% of all the krill biomass on Earth and is the main area where krill is fished. The health of krill in this area directly supports the health of the rest of the food web; 2) The krill population has, and will continue to be, drastically affected by climate and sea ice changes which are happening rapidly in the Antarctic; and 3) We do not know how much krill there actually is since no population survey has ever been completed. There is concern that krill levels are already depleted so human fishing will result in continued decreases that will ripple through the ecosystem. Ascenta believes that fishing for krill must be considered beyond just the financial and health benefits that may be gained for humans, but for its far-reaching implications on the ecosystem now and in an uncertain future. It is simply irresponsible to increase our footprint in the Antarctic by exploiting krill, the basis for life there, as a commodity.