Fact Checked
Fact Checked

This NativePath content is medically reviewed or fact-checked to ensure factually accurate information.

With strict editorial sourcing guidelines, we only link to academic research institutions, reputable media sites, and, when research is available, medically peer-reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace that of a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended as medical advice.

Why Krill Oil Is Superior To Fish Oil

Five Amazing Health Benefits Of Krill Oil

By now, most people have heard of the benefits of fish oil, but there's another marine-sourced oil on the block that's blowing fish oil out of the water (no pun intended).

Krill oil offers an alternative option with higher-bioavailability than fish oil and a unique phytonutrient content that sets it apart from other oils on the market. 

In this article, you'll learn

  • The health benefits of krill oil
  • Why krill is superior to fish oil
  • The phytonutrient that's naturally occurring in krill that offers potent antioxidant activity 
  • What you need to know before buying a krill supplement

What Is Krill Oil?

Krill oil comes from tiny shrimp-like crustaceans called krill. These tiny creatures move in swarms throughout the ocean and feed on microscopic algae. They're a source of food for various ocean dwellers, including whales, penguins, and seals. 

While they may be quite small (about 2 inches in length), krill make up a crucial component of the ocean's ecosystem. 

What makes krill oil so compelling as a nutritional supplement is its astoundingly high levels of omega-3 fatty acids coming from both DHA and EPA. 

Due to its nutrient density, krill oil has been shown to support a wide range of health conditions, from inflammation to heart disease and much more. 

Benefits of Krill Oil

#1 Decreases Inflammation

One of the most well-researched benefits of omega-3s is their potent anti-inflammatory effect. 

Krill oil, in particular, has been shown to dramatically reduce inflammation in even the most vulnerable population -- those with chronic inflammatory diseases. 

In one study, researchers gave a group of patients with chronic inflammation either a placebo or a krill supplement for three weeks to measure blood and physiological markers of inflammation. 

 After just seven days of treatment, the patients experienced a 19% reduction in overall inflammation, as well as a 19% drop in levels of C-reactive protein (a biomarker for inflammation). That reduction in inflammation is astounding, but what's even more profound is that by the end of the trial, C-reactive protein had reduced over 30%[1].

#2 Supports Heart Health

Balancing out your lipid profile (the types of fats in your blood) is crucial for heart health. Research shows that taking krill oil can reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good kind)[2]. 

LDL cholesterol is implicated in the progression of heart disease, while HDL cholesterol is heart-healthy, as it removes excess cholesterol from your arteries and carries it to your liver to be excreted[3]. 

While omega-3s of all kinds are known to be heart-healthy, this particular study highlighted the fact that omega-3s from krill oil was significantly more effective than omega-3s from fish oil at improving lipid profiles[3]. 

What's more, animal research suggests that krill oil may assist in lowering blood pressure -- a primary concern for those with heart conditions[4]. 

#3 Joint Health

If you've experienced (or are experiencing) joint pain, you're not alone. The CDC reports that nearly 15 million Americans experience joint pain due to inflammation, which is about one in every four adults[5].

As an anti-inflammatory agent, krill oil has been shown to work wonders for joint health. 

In fact, one study showed that supplementing with krill oil resulted in a 20% reduction in joint stiffness and discomfort and a nearly 30% reduction in joint pain in just one week[6]. 

Another study showed that consuming omega-3's calmed joint pain so significantly that patients could stop taking pain-relieving medications. This provides a two-for-one benefit as analgesic medications (pain relievers) come with a host of unwanted side effects[7]. 

#4 Cognitive Health

As science continues to uncover the amazing ways in which our brains can grow and change, the importance of cognitive health has come further into view. 

Historically, it was believed that after a certain age, brain function was pretty set in stone. However, as concerns grow around neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's, researchers are uncovering lifestyle and nutritional tactics to enhance the function of your brain and prevent declining cognition. 

One of the most powerful nutritional tactics? Consume more healthy fats. 

With your brain being composed of about 60% fat, it makes sense that the type of fat could make a significant difference in how this crucial organ operates. In fact, research shows that consuming more omega-3s can increase blood flow to the brain and is associated with improved memory and learning for people with Alzheimer's disease[8]. 

While the research connecting omega-3 fats and brain function is plentiful, studies show that krill oil, in particular, can activate cognitive function in older populations in a profound and lasting way due to the high bioavailability of these fats[9]. 

#5 Increased Longevity

Perhaps one of the most exciting benefits that researchers have uncovered about krill oil is its impact on something called telomeres

Telomeres are DNA-protein structures that live on the end of your chromosomes, protecting your genome and preserving this vital information. They're often compared to the plastic tip of a shoelace, which protects the ends of the shoelace from fraying (in this analogy, your chromosome is the shoelace). 

Every time your cell divides, your telomeres become ever so slightly shorter. Of course, as you age, your telomeres grow continuously shorter as the number of cell cycles increases over time. 

Because of this direct relationship between telomere length and the aging process, scientists have begun to attribute the health (and length) of your telomeres to your perceived longevity. 

Interestingly, a handful of dietary and lifestyle factors seem to preserve and sometimes even lengthen telomeres, one of them being the addition of omega-3 fats to your diet[10]. 

In one study, researchers even attributed the rate of survival among heart disease patients with the intake of omega-3 fats and increased telomere length[11]. 

How To Take Krill Oil

The best way to take a krill oil supplement is with food. This will help your body absorb the fatty acids and also prevent potential digestive upset.

Most sources suggest taking somewhere between 500mg and 1000mg daily, but you can consult with your health care practitioner for the optimal dose for you. 

Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil

Krill oil and fish oil are both rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. However, there are distinct differences between the two oils that make krill a far superior choice. 

These difference include:

  1. Bioavailability 
  2. Antioxidant content
  3. Toxic load

#1 Bioavailability 

From a structural perspective, krill oil more closely resembles the type of fats that make up your cells' membranes -- phospholipids. Unlike the fatty acid structure of fish oil, the phospholipids that krill provides are readily absorbed and incorporated into your tissues, resulting in what's known as high bioavailability[12]. This means that you get much more bang for your buck with krill, as much of the healthy fats contained in fish oil never get properly absorbed. 

#2 Antioxidant Content

One of the most unique aspects of krill oil has nothing to do with the fat content itself but rather the antioxidant content of the oil. Krill is an excellent source of the antioxidant astaxanthin, a carotenoid found primarily in marine life, and in exceptionally high levels in algae and krill[13]. 

Astaxanthin has exhibited a range of health-promoting effects, including enhanced immune function and reduced inflammation[14].

In fact, research shows that astaxanthin may be beneficial in various health conditions, impacting almost every system in your body, including[15]:

  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic inflammatory disease
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Liver disease
  • Male infertility 
  • Eye diseases
  • Skin diseases 

What's more, this powerful phytonutrient can help protect your skin from UV rays, acting as a natural sunblock[16].

#3 Toxic Load

What many people don't talk about regarding fish oil is the potential toxic load that these supplements contain. Due to our oceans' contamination with toxic compounds like heavy metals and pesticides, most of the fish we consume are exposed to these dangerous chemicals[17]. 

Furthermore, the contamination of fish becomes compounded in larger species as these fish eat smaller (often contaminated fish). 

On the other hand, krill is at the bottom of the food chain and only consumes algae. This results in a cleaner source of oil that's much less likely to be contaminated with environmental toxins[18]. 

How To Choose a Krill Oil Supplement

The first thing to be aware of when searching for a krill oil supplement is where it's sourced. 

As previously mentioned, our oceans are heavily contaminated with harmful chemicals like heavy metals and pesticides. When fish live in this environment, they become contaminated themselves. Although krill will pick up less contaminants than other types of fish, they are still exposed to unhealthy levels of toxins. 

For this reason, it's crucial that you know where your krill oil is sourced from. Ideally, krill should come from the Antarctic Ocean, which is one of the last oceans in the world to be free of harmful toxins.

In addition, be sure that the manufacturer providing your fish oil provides information about 3rd party testing. Marketing is one thing, but beyond the label "Sustainably sourced," you want to be sure that the oil is actually being tested and free from toxic compounds. 

Finally, many of the krill oils on the market use poor quality capsules, which results in oil leaking through, leaving a fishy taste.

In an effort to provide the highest quality krill oil to our consumers, we've created a wild-caught and sustainably sourced krill oil supplement that's 3rd party tested with every batch to ensure quality. And, of course, the capsules we use don't leak, meaning there's no fish burps or fishy aftertaste. 

Takeaway

Krill oil is your one-stop-shop for cognitive health, joint pain, heart health, inflammation, and longevity. While fish oil offers a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, krill has superior bioavailability -- meaning you get much more bang for your buck. 

Keep in mind that when purchasing krill, quality is absolutely key. Make sure to always go for sustainably sourced, and 3rd party tested krill to ensure it's free of contaminants.

Try NativePath Antarctic Krill Oil Today!

References 

  1. Deutsch, Luisa. "Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms." Journal of the American college of nutrition 26.1 (2007): 39-48.
  2. Bunea, Ruxandra, Khassan El Farrah, and Luisa Deutsch. "Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the clinical course of hyperlipidemia." Altern Med Rev 9.4 (2004): 420-428.
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/ldl_hdl.htm
  4. Zhou, Da‐Yong, et al. "Effects of long‐term intake of Antarctic krill oils on artery blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats." Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 97.4 (2017): 1143-1148.
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/pain/index.htm
  6. Deutsch, Luisa. "Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms." Journal of the American college of nutrition 26.1 (2007): 39-48.
  7. Rajaei, Elham, et al. "The effect of omega-3 fatty acids in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis receiving DMARDs therapy: double-blind randomized controlled trial." Global journal of health science 8.7 (2016): 18.
  8. https://www.j-alz.com/content/can-omega-3-help-prevent-alzheimers-disease
  9. Konagai, Chizuru, et al. "Effects of krill oil containing n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in phospholipid form on human brain function: a randomized controlled trial in healthy elderly volunteers." Clinical interventions in aging 8 (2013): 1247.
  10. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001140957.htm
  11. Farzaneh-Far, Ramin, et al. "Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart disease." Jama 303.3 (2010): 250-257.
  12. Schuchardt, Jan Philipp, et al. "Incorporation of EPA and DHA into plasma phospholipids in response to different omega-3 fatty acid formulations-a comparative bioavailability study of fish oil vs. krill oil." Lipids in health and disease 10.1 (2011): 1-7.
  13. Ambati, Ranga Rao, et al. "Astaxanthin: sources, extraction, stability, biological activities and its commercial applications—a review." Marine drugs 12.1 (2014): 128-152.
  14. Park, Jean Soon, et al. "Astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation and enhanced immune response in humans." Nutrition & metabolism 7.1 (2010): 18.
  15. Yuan, Jian‐Ping, et al. "Potential health‐promoting effects of astaxanthin: A high‐value carotenoid mostly from microalgae." Molecular nutrition & food research 55.1 (2011): 150-165.
  16. Ito, Naoki, Shinobu Seki, and Fumitaka Ueda. "The protective role of astaxanthin for UV-induced skin deterioration in healthy people—a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial." Nutrients 10.7 (2018): 817.
  17. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124105270000363#:~:text=Sources%20of%20omega%2D3%20fatty,may%20compromise%20their%20health%20benefits.&text=Heavy%20metals%20associated%20with%20fish,selenium%2C%20arsenic%2C%20and%20cadmium
  18. Bengtson Nash, Susan M., Martin Schlabach, and Peter D. Nichols. "A nutritional-toxicological assessment of Antarctic krill oil versus fish oil dietary supplements." Nutrients 6.9 (2014): 3382-3402.

More Supplements

New Supplements

Medical Disclaimer
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Comments must be approved before appearing