Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil

Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil

Which Is Better and Why?

By Dr. Chad Walding, DPT
September 30th, 2019

It’s no longer a secret that omega-3s offer beauty and health advantages. The list of benefits omega-3 fatty acids offer your body is extensive. From improved development in babies to youthful-looking skin and hair, to reduced risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s – omega-3s support the vitality of your body throughout every stage of life. 

How can you incorporate this powerfully healing substance into your life? First, let’s explore the different types of omega-3s and which is best. 

There are three forms of omega-3 fatty acids, ALA, EPA, and DHA. DHA gets much of the attention because DHA is considered one of the building blocks for your brain. In fact, our brain is 60 percent fat and DHA makes up 40 percent of all the polyunsaturated fatty acids in your brain.1 

It’s the brain supporting the power of DHA that has made it the center of the omega-3 conversation.2 DHA is predominantly found in marine animals such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Though researchers have found krill to be an excellent source of omega-3s, especially EPA and DHA. 

Fish oil could be considered the original omega-3 supplement, however as it’s been studied, science is coming to realize that fish oil has some drawbacks and krill offers additional benefits.

So, let’s cut to the chase.

The pros and cons of fish oil and krill oil have been extensively studied and there’s a resounding agreement that krill oil holds a slight edge over fish oil due to its bioavailability, higher potency, lower oxidation potential, the fact it’s packed with beneficial phospholipids and has lower metal toxicity.3, 4, 5, 6 

Let’s break down the facts and examine exactly why the debate over krill oil and fish oil is concluding in favor of krill.

Krill oil has higher bioavailability

Bioavailability is a term used to describe how much of a substance (EPA and DHA in this case) enters the circulatory system and is used by the body. With every supplement or medication, some of what you consume is simply excreted and not used by your body. Therefore, bioavailability is an important consideration for nutritional supplements because it indicates how much of an active affect a substance can have on the body.  

Studies have found krill oil has a much higher bioavailability than fish oil.5 This means your body readily absorbs krill oil much more effectively than it absorbs fish oil. Great news for krill oil!

Krill oil is more potent

The potency is a term used to measure how much of a substance is needed to produce the desired effect. In the case of omega-3s, the desired effects are all the wonderful benefits they offer such as reduced inflammation, reduced disease risk, and supporting brain health. 

A 2011 study, found that krill oil is much more potent than fish oil. In fact, in this study, the researchers gave some participants 62.8 percent less krill oil than fish oil and those that took krill oil still had higher levels of EPA and DHA. Meaning, you need far less krill oil than fish oil to get the same results.7

Krill oil resists oxidation

Even though polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are great for you, the very fact that they are unsaturated also makes them unstable. This means you need to be sure any omega-3 supplement you take comes from a reputable supplier because there are many techniques which can prevent omega-3s from oxidizing.

Why is oxidation bad? First, oxidation makes your supplement go rancid, which isn’t any good for you. 

Second, if you’ve heard of free radicals, you probably know they aren’t good for you. Free radicals are little groups of unpaired atoms that float around your body, pulling electrons off stable molecules, which can cause all sorts of illnesses in the body. 

Oxidation creates free radicals (unless there are antioxidants present). So, it’s important to choose a stable omega-3 supplement that won’t oxidize, cause free radicals, or go rancid quickly. 

Research has found krill oil to be significantly more stable than fish oil for two reasons. First, krill oil naturally contains the antioxidant, astaxanthin.8 And second, krill oil’s EPA and DHA are bound to phospholipids, which are readily absorbed by your body – whereas fish oil requires more processing and promotes oxidation.

Which brings us to the next point…

Krill oil contains phospholipids

The EPA and DHA in fish oil is bound to triglycerides, while the EPA and DHA in krill oil is bound to phospholipids.5 This difference plays a significant role in absorption by the body. 

Do you know how oil separates from water or vinegar? 

That’s how omega-3s are within your body without the support of another substance to help integrate them – and those substances are the phospholipids in krill oil. Fish oil doesn’t have this added help, making it less absorbable and therefore less effective. 

Krill oil is free of contaminants

You probably know you should not eat tons of sushi due to the high levels of mercury. This is because the fish in sushi is high on the food chain and bioaccumulates a lot of toxins and heavy metals through eating lots of little fish. This is why you shouldn’t eat certain fish more than a couple of times a month. It’s also why krill oil is a better source for omega-3s.9

Krill oil doesn’t have the issue of bioaccumulation of toxins and metals because krill is at the bottom of the food chain. Krill feed on phytoplankton instead of other contaminated fish – making them a much safer source of omega-3s. 

Krill oil is a superior choice

While you can get some omega-3s by eating fish and some from plants, the modern diet does not contain nearly enough omega-3s for it to make a significant difference. You should seriously consider adding an omega-3 supplement to your diet, especially one high in the brain-boosting DHA.

We did the research and decided that krill was the best choice in omega-3 supplements. It’s how we came to formulate our signature K-REAL krill oil supplements. Our krill oil supplements are packed with healthy omega-3s, potent, oxidation resistant, and free of heavy metals and toxins.

Additionally, our krill oil supplements are:

  • Manufactured with advanced Multi-Stage Oil-extraction (MSO®2.0) technology to reduce oxidation. 
  • Extracted from krill biomass supplied only from vessels and facilities monitored by members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
  • Eligible to bear the Friend of the Sea logo (FOS) as a testimony to the sustainable approach of krill harvesting and processing.
  • The first, and currently only, krill oil to contain low sodium levels as defined by the European health authorities (EFSA).

Reap the benefits of reduced inflammation and better brain function with our krill oil supplements. 

 

Resources: 
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20329590
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728620/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4235028/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4374210/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4559234/
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/krill-oil-vs-fish-oil#takeaway6
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21042875
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21972007
  9. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/06/06/krill-oil-benefits-over-fish-oil.aspx
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