Krill Oil vs Fish Oil - Which is better?
The studies are deep and wide to convince everyone who is open-minded that increases in omega-3 fats are a vital step toward optimal health. Despite the sometimes negative headlines from those who seek to diminish the validity of nutritional supplements, the evidence is quite clear that eating and supplementing our diets with Omega-3 is a very wise and safe choice for everyone, and health will decline without it. Omega-3 has a litany of abilities to optimize health issues such as reducing inflammation, assisting in maintaining eye health, optimizing of triglycerides, balancing blood sugar, ADHD, memory retention, autoimmune, and so many others.
However, the challenge with many decisions regarding our health is determining the most effective choice as to the proper supplements or foods. The options at your local nutrition store, drugstore, or online are horribly confusing due to the variety of choices because they all promote themselves as the best choice.
One of the most confusing in this area is the decision of picking krill oil and regular omega-3 from fish oil. Krill oil is often touted as far superior to regular omega-3 from fish oil in the ads. I have my opinion on this that I will gladly share in this article.
In regards to adding any omega-3 into our diet much has to be considered when picking a product:
- Quality of raw materials
- Freshness and oxidation
- Heavy metal content
- Type of product (krill vs regular omega-3)
The krill oil sales line is being heavily promoted online touting the supposed advantages of krill over omega-3 from other fish. Brands with names such as MegaRed, Viva, Jarrow, Now, and many others are making quite huge claims as to the superiority of krill. Reading the variety of ads on krill makes it sound like there is no other choice but krill oil. However, let's put it to “the Ed test”.
Pros of Krill Oil vs Fish Oil
- Krill oil is derived from a tiny crustacean and does supply the food for whales, penguins, and other sea creatures. This means that they are at the top of the food chain which lowers the chance of heavy metals and toxins. When fish eat other fish it accumulates toxins, and since krill are so small they are not consuming other fish which results in a cleaner byproduct.
- Krill contains a phospholipid which is a special fat that aids absorption of the omega-3. Phospholipids also may assist in brain function.
- In compromised individuals who are unhealthy in their gut or have other health issues, krill may be necessary for raising omega-3 levels. Rheumatoid arthritis is one such example.
Cons of Krill Oil vs Fish Oil
- The dose of krill is very low. Many brands offer only 200-300 milligrams of EPA and DHA per two capsules. EPA and DHA are the active compounds necessary for Omega’s benefits. I recommend no less than 500 milligrams daily of both EPA and DHA per day, but the optimal is 2000 mg of EPA/DHA daily. This means you would need 10 capsules of krill per day! Don’t buy into the argument that the low dose of krill works despite low potency because of its higher absorption rate. The higher absorption does NOT make up for the lower potency in most cases.
- The cost is two to three times higher than even the best quality omega-3 from fish oil capsules
- Some brands have a very fishy smell when you open the bottle.
What Ed Recommends
Bottom line is that if you have the budget to support it, I recommend one capsule of krill daily along with higher doses of a clean, pure brand of regular omega-3. For those who desire results for the least amount of dollars, I strongly believe sticking only with regular omega-3 and with brands that are trustworthy such as Nutrigold, Nordic Naturals, Life Extension, Terry Naturally, Wiley’s Finest, Metagenics, or brands that have substantial proof of purity and freshness.
What I do not recommend is trying to rely only on krill and recommend dosage on the label unless you eat a very clean diet that supplies high levels of clean omega-3 from foods.
Keep in mind that the majority of nutritional supplements, even at their worst quality, are not harming your health, but that is untrue of poor quality omega-3. Low-quality krill or fish oil has so many potential issues such as impurities and rancidity that it can create damage to the cells of the body. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you are taking a high-quality product!
Lastly, it must be remembered that health must be addressed with a full spectrum of nutrition from all areas and no single nutrient is enough. The synergy of combining the correct nutritional supplements is the key and my 40 years has shown me that everyone needs the Core 4 to age gracefully and feel our best. Our Core 4 is comprised of using omega-3, probiotics, proper multivitamin, and a green drink daily. If you never do anything else, except maybe Vitamin D, you will increase your chance of health tremendously over doing nothing. For more information about the Core 4, go here.