Is Krill Oil Really Better Than Fish Oil?

by Jayson Hunter RD, CSCS

Krill oil comes from krill, which are small shrimp-like crustaceans that live in the cold depths of the ocean. They are very small, but make up the largest animal biomass on the planet. Krill oil is like fish oil in that it contains the omega 3 fats EPA and DHA, which are complete essential fatty acids.

The omega 3 fats found in fish oil are found in the triglyceride form whereas krill oil is in the phospholipid form. This makes krill oil much more absorbable because your fat cells in your cell walls are in the phospholipid form as well. Another key benefit to krill oil is that it contains astanxanthin, which is an excellent antioxidant that helps protect you against ultraviolet light and helps increase the ORAC potency of krill oil to 48 times that of fish oil.

So why should we consume krill oil or even fish oil?

The main reason is because we consume too few Omega 3 fats and way too many Omega 6 fats. The ideal ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats is 1:1. On average our intake is around 20:1 with 20 being omega 6 fats. This is a big problem because this can mean serious danger to your health.

One of the reasons we consume so many omega 6 fats is because of the vegetable oils we use everyday. I am sure you will recognize these oils such as corn, safflower and sunflower oil. They are all packed with omega 6 fats.



Many scientists believe that when we consume large quantities of omega 6 fats that this can trigger inflammation, sensitivity to pain and thickening of the blood. There can be a dramatic shift in the type of cells that are present at the site of the inflammation if you have prolonged inflammation or chronic inflammation. This can cause the tissue to try and heal itself yet destroy at the same time.

During the inflammation process there are many different proteins that are susceptible to genetic mutation and can impair the normal function of that protein.

Crohn’s disease, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and may other diseases can result from this chronic inflammation. 
 
Researchers have discovered through scientific studies that increasing your essential fatty acids so that your ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 is equal can reduce your incidence of inflammatory diseases.

In A Perfect World

So we know we need to increase our Omega 3 essential fatty acid consumption and what would be great is if we could consume this through fish. Unfortunately the majority of our fish supply is heavily contaminated with pollutants, heavy metals, PCBs and other toxins that it makes it rather hard to do.

The downside to consuming fish oil is that you have to also consume extra antioxidants because fish oil is very perishable, which means it can become rancid very quickly. With krill oil having 48 times the antioxidant potency as traditional fish oil you don’t have the same risk of rancidity as you would with fish oil.

Krill oil has been shown to be beneficial for a wide variety of health issues such as anti-aging, protection of cell membranes, healthy cholesterol levels, healthy liver function, relief of normal PMS symptoms, boost to your immune system and other issues.

Several studies have been published on complete essential fatty acids and krill oil.

In one study researchers took 76 overweight and obese men and women in a double blind parallel arm trial and randomly assigned them to receive 2 grams per day of krill oil, fish oil or a control (olive oil) for 4 weeks.

When the four weeks were over the scientists found that the levels of EPA and DHA concentrations significantly increased more with the krill oil supplementation than with the participants consuming the control or fish oil.

The EPA concentration at the end of the treatment was on average higher in the krill oil group when compared with the fish oil group. What this shows is that EPA and DHA quantities in krill oil is absorbed equally as well as that from fish oil. 



Is Krill Oil Really Better Than Fish Oil?

Another study proved that krill oil improved cholesterol levels more effectively than fish oil. HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) improved 44% with Krill Oil and only a 4.2% improvement was seen in fish oil. In this study LDL cholesterol which is your bad cholesterol decreased 32% with Krill Oil and only a 2% reduction was seen in normal fish oil.



It is clear that everyone needs to be consuming complete essential fatty acids and more omega 3 fats to be specific. To improve your health status you need to get your ratio of Omega 6 fats equal with your Omega 3 fats.

Since we can’t rely on normal fish consumption for essential fatty acids due to the potential risk of toxins that leaves us with omega 3 supplements. When selecting any supplement you need to look at the quality.

As more research continues to show the benefit of krill oil supplements over fish oil supplements make sure you choose a quality Krill Oil. A quality krill oil is harvested in compliance with international fishing standards in cold waters far away from potential pollutants. The biological benefits of this essential fatty acid are preserved through a cold extraction processing method to provide an essential fatty acid oil free of contaminants such as heavy metals and PCBs. As krill oil continue to build in popularity you will find many other types released that may not have the same quality standards so do yourself a favor and make sure you buy quality.


Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Your Fitness University
My Fitness Hut
Her Fitness Hut
Sports Fitness Hut

About Mark

About Mark

Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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