What are the benefits of Krill oil? It’s becoming a more popular way of getting omega-3s, so today I’m diving deeper into some of the important information you need to know about it.
What is Krill Oil?
Krill oil is an omega-3, but it doesn’t come from a fish with fins and scales. It comes from krill, a crustacean that’s similar to shrimp. It’s at the very bottom of the food chain, as it nourishes itself from algae. Did you know that whales consume up to two tons of krill per day? That’s a lot of krill!
What Are The Benefits of Krill Oil?
For us humans, the benefits of krill oil come not only from the fact that it’s an omega-3 source, but also from the fact that the oil base from krill oil is a phospholipid base.
Phospholipid happens to be identical in nature to the cells in the human body, which means that krill oil is absorbed very quickly, without any conversion needed.
Krill oil also contains inflammation-fighting omega-3 fats and an antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is what gives krill oil that bright pigmented color.
And, while there have been limited studies on the effects krill oil may have when it comes to inflammation, the studies that have been done have shown benefit.
Here are what some of the studies have shown as it relates to the benefits of krill oil:
- Krill oil may help support intestinal barrier integrity. (1)
- Krill oil may help support a healthy inflammatory response. (2)
- A study found that krill oil improved high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. (3)
- One study also noted that krill oil was beneficial for reducing symptoms related to arthritis. (4)
Are There Any Drawbacks of Krill Oil?
While krill oil is quickly absorbed, there is one drawback, and that’s simply that the amount of omega-3 is quite small.
What I like to do is take krill oil along with fish oil to give myself a bulk of the omega-3s from the fish oil, but then the door to the other benefits that krill oil can give becomes opened.
Krill Oil VS. Fish Oil
Many people like to try to compare krill oil vs. fish oil, but the thing is that it’s not whether one is better than the other.
While fish oil does contain a higher potency of omega-3s, Antarctic krill oil also brings EPA and DHA, and its phospholipid base is easily absorbed, and bioavailability is key.
As mentioned, I like to take both as a way to get enough omega-3s but to also help ensure optimal absorption.
What to Look For in an Omega-3 Fish Oil Or Krill Oil Supplement
No matter what supplement you take, the most important thing to consider is quality. Ideally, you want to select a high-quality krill oil supplement or fish oil supplement that has been third-party tested for purity.
So many aquatic species have been tainted with heavy metals and pollution that you want to make sure that the supplements you are taking are free from the things we don’t want to be ingesting.
Finding What Works Best For You
Omega-3s are essential, meaning that we must get them from food or from supplements, so getting enough is a huge piece to supporting overall health. But you have to find what works best for you. It’s not fish oil over krill oil, or krill oil over fish oil — it’s about finding a balance and what works best for you and your body.
Some may also prefer to expand their omega-3 sources with plant-based foods like walnuts, flax, and chia seeds.
The important thing here is to find ways to fit omega-3s into your diet or supplement routine, and pair that with your MEDS – Mindfulness, Exercise, Diet and Sleep – to support a healthy and happy life.
If you want to find out more about omega-3s, why not take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Omega-3?
- Costanzo M, Cesi V, Prete E, Negroni A, Palone F, Cucchiara S, Oliva S, Leter B, Stronati L. Krill oil reduces intestinal inflammation by improving epithelial integrity and impairing adherent-invasive Escherichia coli pathogenicity. Dig Liver Dis. 2016 Jan;48(1):34-42. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2015.09.012. Epub 2015 Sep 28. PMID: 26493628.
- Cicero AF, Rosticci M, Morbini M, Cagnati M, Grandi E, Parini A, Borghi C. Lipid-lowering and anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 ethyl esters and krill oil: a randomized, cross-over, clinical trial. Arch Med Sci. 2016 Jun 1;12(3):507-12. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2016.59923. Epub 2016 May 18. PMID: 27279841; PMCID: PMC4889684.
- Cicero AF, Rosticci M, Morbini M, Cagnati M, Grandi E, Parini A, Borghi C. Lipid-lowering and anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 ethyl esters and krill oil: a randomized, cross-over, clinical trial. Arch Med Sci. 2016 Jun 1;12(3):507-12. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2016.5992
3. Epub 2016 May 18. PMID: 27279841; PMCID: PMC4889684.
- Deutsch L. Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Feb;26(1):39-48. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2007.10719584. PMID: 17353582.