Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil

Two of the most popular sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are fish oil and krill oil. Commonly these oils are taken as supplements for the Omega 3 fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Fish oil is a little older and a lot more well-known. It continues to be a popular choice for many people who wish to take an Omega 3 supplement. However, there is a new kid on the block, Krill oil. And this new supplement boasts a lot of supposed benefits. How does it compare to the tried and true fish oil?

Continue reading to find out more about these two supplements.

Krill Oil

Krill oil is the oil extracted from Euphausia Superba, also known as the Antarctic krill. The main components of krill oil are Omega 3 fatty acids and phospholipid fatty acids. Krill oil comes mainly in the form of capsules. Krill oil supplements are thought to be beneficial for high cholesterol management and high levels of triglycerides in the blood. Besides this, krill oil supplements can also alleviate symptoms of dry eyes.

Krill oil can make our blood platelets less sticky and thus prevent them from forming clots.

As krill oil has both EPA and DHA fatty acids, it is great for several body functions.

Krill oil also contains a natural antioxidant called astaxanthin which gives it a reddish shade.

Krill Oil



Benefits of Krill Oil

Although krill oil and fish oil contain similar fatty acids, the structure of the fatty acids in krill oil is a bit different. As such, it is processed differently by the body. More particularly, the body is thought to absorb krill oil a little better. The fatty acids in krill oil are phospholipid derived, which is easily absorbed, making it more effective.

Studies show that even with a lower dose of krill oil, participants showed higher levels of EPA and DHA; despite the participants taking fish oil at a higher dose. However, the data still is not finalized, and experts require more findings.

Another study that explored the comparison between fish oil and krill oil showed similar findings. Although both supplements showed similar benefits, krill oil showed better LDL cholesterol management and triglycerides— bad cholesterol. Interestingly,  participants took krill oil in lower doses.

Dosage, Side Effects, and Precautions of Krill Oil

Krill oil is safe to take at a limit of 3 grams per day and more intake can lead to thinning out of the blood. You may experience nausea, fishy burping, or, in some cases, diarrhea. Stop your taking it if you do experience severe symptoms.

There are not many studies on krill oil, so it is best avoided during pregnancy. Avoid administering to babies, and if your child experiences allergies to shellfish, it is best to avoid krill oil.

Avoid having krill oil pre and post-surgery as the blood-thinning effect may cause complications.

Krill oil also interacts with blood-clotting drugs and weight loss drugs. Contact your doctor if you are on any such medications.



Fish Oil

Fish oil is derived from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, to name a few. And like krill oil, the main fatty acid components are EPA and DHA. Although sometimes confused with other omega 3 supplements like cod liver oil, they are not the same.

The FDA also considers high concentrations of fish oil as a prescription drug for lowering triglyceride levels. And although fish oil is available as a supplement, these supplements do not contain nearly the same concentrations as prescription fish oil.

The fatty acids in fish oil also help with mental health and heart health. It can also help with skin conditions like psoriasis and other conditions like dry eyes. And like krill oil, fish oil also helps prevent blood clotting.

Fish oil


Benefits of Fish Oil

Fish oil is well researched and shows many benefits and possible benefits. It is great for heart health, with research showing a decrease of up to 50% of triglyceride levels. When taken orally at about 4 grams, prescription fish oil provides up to 3.5grams of omega 3 fatty acids. So it is beneficial for people who suffer from a deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids.

Other benefits of fish oil include helping cancer patients fight off weight gain. Experts believe that fish oil helps mental health and thus helps them stay active and fit. Fish oil seems to help with recovery after postoperative procedures. Fish oil after organ transplants seems to help decrease the negative effects of cyclosporine on the kidney. Also, patients who took fish oil before an angioplasty did not see a re-blocking of blood vessels.

Dosage, Side effects, and Precautions of Fish Oil

If you aren’t on a prescription, then fish oil is safe to take at a maximum of 3 grams per day. Never take more than the required amount, as it can cause your blood to thin out. You may experience nausea, fishy burps, heartburn, or even diarrhea.

Fish oil supplements should also not be given to babies, instead fed through tubes. For adolescents and children, a maximum intake of 2.2 grams is safe.

Fish oil is also safe to take during pregnancy. And it is also safe to be taken via an IV for about 1-4 weeks.

Fish oil, however, is shown to interact with birth control pills, blood pressure medication, and weight loss medication. Contact your doctor if you are on any such medication.

Which one should you take?

Krill oil, although having many claims, lacks sufficient evidence to back it. On the other hand, fish oil has been studied for years, even to the extent of now being used as a prescription drug. Another advantage that fish oil provides is that it is cheap and very accessible. As a lot of people experience allergies to shellfish, making fish oil the better option as well.

However, if you do have the extra cash and don’t mind shelling out a little more for krill oil, it could benefit you. There is substantial evidence showing it is absorbed better and works well even at lower doses.

Krill oil should not be feared despite its lack of research. However, if you want a safer, cheaper option, fish oil is the one to go. Try them out and see which one fits you best. We hope you have more insight into these two Omega 3 supplements.


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