Fish oil, which is derived from fatty fish such as anchovies, salmon and mackerel, is one of the most common dietary supplements on the planet.
Its health benefits primarily come from two types of omega-3 fatty acids — eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both have been shown to improve heart and brain health, among other advantages.
Lately, a supplement called krill oil has emerged as a different product rich in EPA and DHA. Some people even claim that krill oil offers more advantages than fish oil.
This article assesses the differences between krill oil and fish oil also assesses the evidence to ascertain which is best for your health.
What’s Krill Oil?
These sea creatures are a dietary staple for many animals, such as whales, seals, penguins and other creatures.
However, the fatty acids in krill oil are structurally different than those in fish oil, and this may impact the way the body uses them.
Krill oil also looks different than fish oil. While fish oil is generally a shade of yellow, a naturally occurring antioxidant called astaxanthin provides krill oil a red color.
Your Body May Absorb Krill Oil Better
The fatty acids in fish oil are observed in the form of triglycerides. On the other hand, much of the fatty acids in krill oil are found in the form of phospholipids, which many experts consider helps boost their absorption and efficacy.
One study gave participants fish or krill oil and measured the amounts of fatty acids in their blood during the next several days.
Over 72 hours, blood levels of EPA and DHA were high in those who took krill oil. These results imply that participants absorbed the krill oil greater compared to fish oil.
Still another analysis gave participants either fish oil or about two thirds the exact same amount of krill oil. Both treatments increased blood levels of EPA and DHA by the exact same amount, although the dose of krill oil has been reduced.
However, several experts have examined the literature and concluded that there isn’t sufficient evidence to verify that krill oil has been absorbed or utilized any better than fish oil.
More studies are required before any definitive conclusions can be made.
Krill Oil Includes More Antioxidants
Krill oil contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin, which isn’t found in most fish oils.
Many people assert that the astaxanthin in krill oil protects it from oxidation and prevents it from going rancid on the shelf. But, no definitive research has confirmed this claim.
But, studies have shown that astaxanthin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may provide some heart health advantages.
By way of example, 1 study demonstrated that isolated astaxanthin lowered triglycerides and increased”good” HDL cholesterol in people with mildly elevated blood lipids.
Nevertheless, this study provided astaxanthin in much larger doses than those that you would typically get from krill oil supplements. It is unclear if smaller quantities would offer the very same advantages.
Krill Oil May Boost Heart Health Over Fish Oil
Fish oil is famous for its beneficial effects on heart health, but many studies have demonstrated that krill oil may also boost heart health, maybe to a greater extent.
1 research had participants with higher blood cholesterol take either fish oil, krill oil or a placebo per day for 3 months. Doses varied according to body weight.
It found that fish oil and krill oil enhanced several heart disease risk factors.
But they also discovered that krill oil was better than fish oil in lowering blood glucose, triglycerides and”bad” LDL cholesterol.
Perhaps more interestingly, the analysis found that krill oil was better than fish oil, though it had been given at reduced doses.
It’s worth mentioning that this is only one study.