Krill Oil vs Fish Oil
What’s the difference between taking krill oil and fish oil?
Krill Is Lower On The Food Chain
First, krill oil is sourced from Antarctic Krill, which are small crustaceans at the bottom of the ocean’s food chain. That means lower levels of toxins like mercury.
Fish oil, on the other hand, comes from fatty fish like salmon or trout, a bit higher on the food chain. The higher a fish is on the food chain, the higher the bioaccumulation of mercury.
Krill oil takes the lead over fish oil when it comes to additional nutrients.
In addition to containing meaningful amounts of the active omega-3s EPA and DHA, krill oil contains phospholipids and astaxanthin.
Phospholipids offer brain and cellular health benefits, including protecting cell membranes, thanks to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties[*][*][*][*].
And astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that may protect your brain, eyes, and skin[*].
These additional nutrients mean that krill oil has a higher bioavailability,which means a lower dose of krill oil has equivalent effects of a higher dose of fish oil[*][*].
EPA and DHA Levels
One of the biggest differences between krill oil and fish oil comes down to their respective EPA and DHA levels.
Krill oil supplements contain far less EPA + DHA, 45- 200 mg per softgel, compared to 300-2,250mg per softgel or teaspoon of fish oil.
But, here’s where the real difference comes in.
The type of fat within these two oils varies in that the EPA and DHA in krill oil is primarily incorporated in phospholipids while fish oil is in triglycerides or ethyl esters.
Because of this key difference, krill oil may have a superior bioavailability (it may be absorbed better).
Current studies suggest:
- Krill oil may be more bioavailable but more research is needed [*]
- Krill oil is the better option for increasing EPA + DHA levels while simultaneously lowering omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid ratio [*]
- Krill oil led to significantly greater increases in plasma EPA + DHA [*]
- Krill oil is a safe and comparable alternative for people who don’t like fish or fish supplements [*]
Types of Supplements
Fish oil is also available in either softgel or liquid forms while krill oil only comes as a softgel.
Krill oil supplements come in a smaller capsule than fish oil,
Larger fish oil pill size can contribute to “fishy” smelling burps.
Fish oil is often cheaper than krill oil.