For years, the recommended supplement for Omega-3 fatty acids was fish oil, and for good reason. Fish oil contains healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which contain a litany of proven health benefits, including heart health, brain health, immune system support, and joint function, and can also help with inflammation. But recent evidence suggests that Krill Oil may be the better option for the essential and recommended Omega-3 fatty acids, we all need in our daily diet.
Both krill oil and fish oil contain essential Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA) Eicosapentaenoic acid and (DHA) Docosahexaenoic acid. Essential, meaning that your body cannot produce them on its own, therefore they must be obtained through your diet or through supplementation. So, is krill oil really better than fish oil? We’re going to investigate krill oil vs. fish oil supplements and put the debate to rest.
What Is Krill Oil?
Krill Oil is derived from tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that reside at the bottom of the oceanic food chain in the Antarctic Ocean. Krill feed off of phytoplankton and zooplankton, which are incredibly abundant in micronutrients. Because Krill live on such a nutrient-rich and sustainable diet, they are an incredible source of Omega-3's and antioxidants.
What Is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is a general health supplement that is created from cold-water oily fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. Fish oil is rich in the Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, which can also be found in foods such as flax and walnuts. Through several clinical studies, fish oil has been proven to help cardiovascular function, immune system health, brain health, and inflammation.
However, despite the impressive clinical evidence that supports the amazing health benefits associated with fish oil, there are a few key differences in the battle of Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil.
Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil – Key Differences
Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil: Krill Oil Has Better Bioavailability
One of the key differences between krill oil vs. fish oil is the bioavailability, or how quickly your body can absorb it. The Omega-3s found in krill oil are packaged as phospholipids, (the same structure found in your cellular membranes) which can be utilized immediately by your body. The Omega 3’s found in fish oil, however, are bound in triglycerides, which have to undergo additional conditions and processes in order for them to become bioavailable [R]
Since Krill oil is bound in phospholipids and not triglycerides, the addition of the phosphate group permits more efficient digestion and absorption. Krill oil is absorbed in 2-3 hours as compared to fish oil, which can take anywhere from 48-72 hours, therefore prolonging the benefits associated with inflammation and workout recovery
Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil: Krill Oil Contains Astaxanthin
One of the many reasons Krill Oil is better than Fish Oil, is because it contains the world's most powerful antioxidant Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid: an antioxidant which helps fights the build-up of free radicals and suppress the signs of aging. Free radicals are uncharged molecules having an unpaired valence electron that can cause damage to your immune system, as a by-product from numerous cellular reactions. Astaxanthin also plays a crucial role in reducing inflammation of the cardiovascular system and improving immune system function by increasing HDL-cholesterol which helps the body rid of plaque build up on the arterial walls.
RELATED ARTICLE Astaxanthin: What Are The Benefits Of Taking Astaxanthin?
Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil: Better Relief Of Joint Pain & Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory effects of Astaxanthin can help reduce chronic inflammation of the tendons and joints, which can cause detrimental effects to your training and recovery. In a randomized, double blind placebo-controlled trial by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 90 patients were recruited with rheumatoid and or osteoarthritis to evaluate the effectiveness of krill oil on arthritic symptoms. The results were astounding. After seven days of treatment with a dose of 300mg of administered krill oil, patients reported reduced pain scores by 28.9%, reduced stiffness by 20.3%, and reduced functional impairment by 22.8% [R]
Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil: Krill Oil Is Safer
Norway is the worlds leading nation in fish oil manufacturing, making up nearly 40% of the worlds fish oil market. A recent Norwegian study showed that 95% of 113 over the counter fish oil capsules were so rancid, that they didn’t even meet official quality standards [R] The oxidative stability of fish oil, when tested at a storage temperature of 20 and 40˚C showed that the Omega-3 content was highly influenced [R]. In another study, 171 North American Fish Oil brands were analyzed for oxidation safety and 50% exceeded the voluntary recommended levels for markers of oxidation [R]
Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil: Krill Oil Is Better For The Environment
If you care about the environment and the preservation of the beautiful world we live in, krill oil is the responsible and sustainable choice to make when choosing an Omega-3 supplement. Why? Krill are tiny shrimp-like crustacean that measure between a minuscule 1-6cm in length and which are found in the deep, clean waters of the Antarctic Ocean, which feed primarily on phytoplankton and zooplankton. Because of their short lifespan, krill simply don’t accumulate heavy metals, pesticides and other toxins as compared to fish oil. In 2008, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) set a precautionary catch limit of 5.6-million tons of krill. However the annual catch only measures 0.3% of the unexploited biomass of krill. Therefore, harvesting krill for krill oil production won’t interfere with the long-term marine ecosystem.
So Is Krill Oil Really Better Than Fish Oil?
Fish Oil, has been the preferred method for Omega-3 supplementation for years. However, overwhelming evidence proves that Krill Oil and it's powerful antioxidant Astaxanthin have even greater health benefits, especially for post-workout recovery, due to the bioavailability and inflammation response. Do yourself a favor and replace the four pills of fish oil you take a day with one 500mg capsule of Krill Oil. It will provide you with better results and better overall health. Not to mention, you can finally ditch the fish burps.
Thinking about adding an Omega-3 Supplement To Your Diet?
SWOLVERINE's KRILL OIL contains 500mg of Omega 3 phospholipids and Astaxanthin which are scientifically proven to help protect your heart, reduce post-workout inflammation for joints, improve immune system function, lower your blood pressure, reverse the effects of aging, and increase brain function.
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- Ulven, Stine M, and Kirsten B Holven. “Comparison of Bioavailability of Krill Oil versus Fish Oil and Health Effect.” Vascular Health and Risk Management11 (2015): 511–524. PMC. Web. 20 Aug. 2017.
- Schuchardt, Jan, 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, vol. 10, no. 1, 2011, p. 145., doi:10.1186/1476-511x-10-145.
- Ramprasath, V. R. et al. “Supplementation of Krill Oil with High Phospholipid Content Increases Sum of EPA and DHA in Erythrocytes Compared with Low Phospholipid Krill Oil.” Lipids in Health and Disease14 (2015): 142. PMC. Web. 21 Aug. 2017.
- Tillander, Veronika et al. “Fish Oil and Krill Oil Supplementations Differentially Regulate Lipid Catabolic and Synthetic Pathways in Mice.” Nutrition & Metabolism11 (2014): 20. PMC. Web. 21 Aug. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4021563/
- Deutsch L. Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007;26(1):39-48.
- Miyachi, Masashiro et al. “Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Astaxanthin in the Human Gingival Keratinocyte Line NDUSD-1.” Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition3 (2015): 171–178. PMC. Web. 21 Aug. 2017.
- Honold, P. J., Nouard, M.-L. and Jacobsen, C. (2016), Oxidative stability during storage of fish oil from filleting by-products of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is largely independent of the processing and production temperature. Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol., 118: 967–973. doi:10.1002/ejlt.201500344
- Norwegian Health Authorities Raise Question about Rancid Fish Oil. (2012, March 01). Retrieved August 20, 2017, from http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/3/prweb9241992.htm
- Jackowski, Stefan A. et al. “Oxidation Levels of North American over-the-Counter n-3 (omega-3) Supplements and the Influence of Supplement Formulation and Delivery Form on Evaluating Oxidative Safety.” Journal of Nutritional Science4 (2015): e30. PMC. Web. 21 Aug. 2017.