Is Krill oil better than other fish oils?

At this point the answer is no, and in fact there may be some lingering concerns regarding its use as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Krill oil is extracted from Antarctic krill, tiny shrimp-like crustaceans, and can be taken in capsules. Krill oil does contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and may have benefits, but for now it's best to rely on omega-3 sources that have received greater scientific scrutiny, including fatty fish and fish oil supplements. Krill oil is chemically different than fish oil in that it contains a tiny amount of the carotenoid astaxanthin and choline, a B-vitamin type substance. This does not mean that it delivers the potential health benefits demonstrated by fish oils.

In order to justify the higher price, krill oil products make the boldest health claims of all products but there is no scientific evidence to support krill oil being superior to the other sources of omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish. Krill oil marketing is simply that, a marketing way to try and "one-up" the competition since omega-3 fatty acids have gained in popularity. One product, Neptune Krill Oil, has been shown to improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels and to decrease hs-CRP (a measure of inflammation related to cardiovascular disease). But studies lasted only three months, so long-term effectiveness and safety are unknown.

Potential problems:

• Krill oil products including the one named above were found to contain less omega-3 fatty acids than shown on the label and were susceptible to spoilage

• Krill populations are essential in the marine food chain and harvesting for supplements is a major ecological concern because of global warming

• Krill supplements can trigger an allergic reaction in people allergic to shrimp and other crustaceans

Stick to omega-3 fatty acids  from fish oil until we see equal positive research supporting krill oil. Below is a related common question with more information on the proper source of fish oil.

What type of fish oil should I take for health benefits?

Capsules containing mercury free omega-3 fatty acids from fish with 600mgs of omega -3s made up of 240 mg DHA and 360 mg EPA is the clear winner at this time based on volumes of recent studies. For the potential health benefits related to maintaining brain, heart, hearing and eye health, take 1-2 capsules daily if not consuming 2-4 servings of fatty fish per week.

More info: Fish oils are fats found in fish (e.g. mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon), which are a rich source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA), better known as omega-3 (n-3 or w-3) fatty acids (FA). The two most studied n-3 fatty acids are the 20-carbon eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and the 22-carbon docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are the primary compounds in fish oils that scientist attribute to the health benefits of fish consumption. And by the way, a recent published review concluded that there is extensive evidence from three decades of research that fish oils, or more specifically the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) contained in them, are beneficial for everyone. This includes healthy people as a supplement for disease prevention as well as those with heart disease — including postmyocardial infarction (MI) patients and those with heart failure, atherosclerosis, or atrial fibrillation.

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