We’ll show you what to look for and reveal the three biggest advantages in choosing krill oil over fish oil.

Allison King

Allison King

Allison holds a PhD in Biology specializing in cell and molecular biology and undergraduate degree in biochemistry with a minor in theoretical physics. She has taught at four universities in Eastern Canada and currently consults masters and doctoral students. She believes that peer-reviewed scientific research is the best source when looking for information on a given subject. Allison also lives a healthy vegetarian lifestyle and enjoys competing in various races including half marathons and triathlons.

 

Krill oil is a relative newcomer to the world of health and wellness supplements. In short order, though, it has already gained the trust and confidence of health professionals and consumers alike. Astoundingly, it helps with at least two dozen diseases and health issues and counting. Containing essential omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA), phospholipids, and antioxidants, Krill packs a powerful punch, ameliorating myriad conditions from menstrual discomfort to cardiovascular dysfunction, cognitive issues, and joint and skin problems. The list of diseases and health issues eased by taking krill oil supplements is impressive, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), dyslexia and autism, and Parkinson’s disease. However, beware of sub-par brands as they may cause side effects or poor results from insufficient dosage or formulation.

In this article, I’ll discuss what krill oil is, its many and miraculous benefits, its safety and a few side effects, how it can work better than or alongside fish oil, and how you can ensure you receive the quality and positive health effects you deserve and have paid for.

What Is Krill Oil?

Krill oil is harvested from a small shrimp-like crustacean measuring only about 2.4 inches in length. Krill consume microscopic, single-celled plants called phytoplankton and are, in turn, consumed by literally hundreds of other creatures birds, squid, other fish, and, most famously, whales. In spite of being heavily hunted, the impact is only a tiny percentage of the population. In fact, seasonal swarms of krill are so dense they can be seen from outer space! In addition to being highly sustainable, krill are known for their longevity they can live from five to 10 years. Hence, Antarctic krill oil is an eco-friendly choice for an omega-3 supplement. Krill contain a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin which offers many of the same benefits as the omega-3s, including reduced joint pain, improved heart health, and even clearer, younger-looking skin. Astaxanthin is also a natural antioxidant, helping to preserve freshness.

10 CONDITIONS HELPED BY KRILL OIL:

Many People Find Krill Oil A Critical & Essential Component in Their Disease Management

Krill oil has been demonstrated in scientific studies to be a superior source for highly effective polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Americans generally have too much omega-6s in their diet, consuming an unbalanced ratio between 12:1 and 25:1, which may cause inflammation in the body, and not nearly enough omega-3s. Krill oil is replete with omega-3 fatty acids which help with digestion, blood clotting, muscle activity, memory and cognitive function, visual acuity and much more. They are also particularly important for proper cell division. They bind to cell receptors to help regulate genetic function.

Have high cholesterol?

Omega-3 fats EPA and DHA can help to reduce triglyceride and other blood fat levels in the blood. Studies have shown that krill oil lowers LDLs (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides and raises HDLs (good cholesterol). Krill oil beats out olive oils in improving insulin resistance. Patients in studies who took statins along with krill oil and a followed a low-fat diet saw cholesterol levels reduced by 20 percent.

Suffer from osteoarthritis or RA?

Krill oil has shown excellent potential as a treatment for joint pain and arthritis. The pinkish-orange pigment contained in krill indicates the presence of powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components. Krill oil supplements have been shown to significantly reduce CRP levels and TNF-a, an inflammation marker. After only a week of taking 300 milligrams a day of krill oil, subjects of a study reported reduced pain, inflammation, stiffness, and functional impairment, with even greater improvements after only one more week.

At risk for cardiovascular disease?

In a significant animal study, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3-PUFA) were shown to ameliorate several metabolic risk factors for cardiovascular disease and an association between elevated peripheral levels of endogenous ligands of cannabinoid receptors (endocannabinoids) and metabolic syndrome.

What Not To Do When Buying Krill Oil

While krill oil seems like an easy choice due to the number and seriousness of the diseases and conditions it treats, it is equally important to know what you must avoid when searching for the correct product. Here are my four top tips:

Don’t Forget the Research

The krill oil you select must be produced using Antarctic krill, which is the most abundant. As such, it will be free of heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs, and other contaminants. It should be cold-processed, which preserves its biological benefits. Avoid krill products that use hexane to extract the oil. Unfortunately, many popular krill oil brands use this dangerous chemical agent.

Use Your Discernment With Amazon Reviews

The Brighton Local study showed that ninety-one percent of 18-to-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and that fifty-seven percent of consumers will only use a business if it has four or more stars.

Amazon has built its multi-billion dollar business on the back of this knowledge, with positive feedback leading to increased sales. Sadly, because the jury is in and reviews massively matter, there are less than scrupulous companies that aim to cheat the system. This is done with fake and paid testimonials. A piece in The Washington Post revealed that Amazon is chock full of these types of reviews. The renowned site MarketingLand.com noted that a staggering 64% of supplement reviews appear to be inauthentic. I want to ensure you receive the very best product because the potentially life transforming benefits of krill oil are miraculous. So a little word of warning: be careful relying on Amazon reviews alone.

Prioritize Price Over Quality

When it comes to supplements you get what you pay for. Creating quality products requires premium ingredients, world leading processes, and packaging that preserves purity, bioavailability, and potency. This isn’t cheap, so if your supplement is, there is a good chance you’re not getting what you hoped for. Second class constituents abound leading to poor results and even toxicity. A New York Times article delved into the world of GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart. They reported,“Four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels.” In order to cut costs, they literally omitted the therapeutic, expensive ingredients. This is unconscionable.

Formulas Matter

Because of the tendency to oxidize, krill oil should be encased in hard capsules instead of soft gels that allow more oxygen to permeate. Even though krill oil naturally contains astaxanthin, which naturally reduces oxidation, hard capsules add another protective layer giving you a product that’s optimally fresh and therefore effective. Also beware of extraneous and even harmful additives. Pure krill oil is all you need.

What to Consider in Choosing Krill Oil

Now that you know what to stay away from let’s look at how to sort the good from the bad among different krill and fish oil supplements.

Environmental sustainability

There are 85 known krill species and in Antarctica alone their biomass is said to be around 379 million metric tons. Krill are also found in oceans off of Japan and Canada. Harvesting is stringently monitored so that its impact is only a small percent of the overall krill biomass each year. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) notes that, “the actual annual catch is around 0.3 percent of the unexploited biomass of krill.”

Contains phospholipids and phosphatidylcholine

Your body needs phospholipids to allow absorption by your body of essential omega-3s. Phosphatidylcholine is a precursor for acetylcholine that sends nerve signals to your brain, aiding in better absorption of the omega-3s. Compared to other popular sources of omega-3s (e.g., fish oil, algae), krill oil inherently continues these compounds making it superior to these other sources in terms of bioavailability.

Proper dosage

While some krill oil dosages seem to be higher than a related fish oil supplement, the fact that 30-65% of krill oil is stored as phospholipids, while fish oil is stored as triglycerides, means that you may actually need to take less to achieve the same efficacy. A 1000-mg krill oil supplement will have at least 250 mg of EPA and DHA combined. (Consult your physician or naturopathic doctor to determine an effective dosage for you.)

Comparing Krill Oil Versus Fish Oil

Superior Bioavailability

Fish and krill oil supplements both contain EPA and DHA, with one key difference: Because the omega-3s in krill oil are stored as phospholipids, which make up nearly every cell membrane in your body, it can be absorbed much more quickly and easily. The EPA and DHA in fish oil are stored in the form of triglycerides, a type of fat molecule that is not as easily absorbed by the body. If you are already taking a fish oil supplement, consider adding krill oil for the boost in omega-3 and optimal absorption.

Avoids Overfishing

Krill, found in great abundance in the Antarctic, reproduce very quickly. Overfishing is not considered a problem due to the tiny percentages harvested and sustainability practices.

Safety

Since they are lower down on the sea food chain and live in deep, cold Antarctic waters, krill are distant from industrial pollution and are therefore unlikely to contain harmful chemicals and toxins, like mercury. In a test of 133 popular brands, 95% of fish oil supplements sold in Norway were found to be rancid; 50% in Canada, 27% in the U.S., and more than 80% in New Zealand and South Africa.

Our Specialized Grading System

I believe consumers should have access to the best supplements on the market. I know how hard it can be to secure the unblemished facts required to make an informed health decision. To solve this, I use a comprehensive grading system that weighs product ingredients, value for money, ease of use, refund policy and the happiness of its customers.

My Top 5 Krill Oil Product Recommendations With Gradings

1. Antarctic Krill Oil

721 votes

9.8/10

Total Ranking

A+

Overall Grade

  • Product Ingredients
    10/10
  • Value for money
    9.6/10
  • Ease of use
    9.5/10
  • Refund Policy
    10/10
  • Customer Happiness
    9.9/10

PROS

  • 60-day 100% money back guarantee
  • Offers buy-2-get-1-free and buy-3-get-2-free programs
  • FDA-approved Manufacturing Facility
  • Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified
  • 100% made in the USA
  • Sustainably sourced
  • Contains omega-3s, phospholipids, and astaxanthin
  • 1500-mg of krill oil per two-capsule serving
  • 375 mg total EPA and DHA combined, per two-capsule serving
  • Hard capsules to preserve freshness and efficacy
  • Flexibility in dosage (may take one or two capsules per day)

 

CONS

  • May, on occasion, run out of stock due to popularity

The Last Word*

RegenHealth’s Krill Oil is a popular supplement that offers premium quality and flexible dosage options. It is sustainable, non-toxic, and comes in hard capsules to prevent oxidation and leakage. I also love that it has a money-back guarantee and a discount program.

*Results are based on the MedicalHerald Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

2. KrillWell

681 votes

9.6/10

Total Ranking

A

Overall Grade

  • Product Ingredients
    10/10
  • Value for money
    9.3/10
  • Ease of use
    10/10
  • Refund Policy
    10/10
  • Customer Happiness
    9.5/10

PROS

  • 365-day money-back guarantee
  • Powerful 1500 mg formula
  • Potent amounts of EPA and DHA
  • Uses Multi-Stage Oil (MSO) extraction technology
  • Organic ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • Sustainably sourced
  • Easy-to-swallow soft gels

 

CONS

  • May be out of stock
  • Permeable soft gel caps do not add more protection from oxidation and could leak

The Last Word*

KrillWell, a close second, has all the ingredients, manufacturing, dosage, and quality you’d look for in a krill oil supplement. The soft gel capsules do not provide the extra barrier of protection against oxidation that hard capsules do.

*Results are based on the MedicalHerald Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

3. Pure Krill Oil Softgels

479 votes

9.4/10

Total Ranking

B+

Overall Grade

  • Product Ingredients
    9.4/10
  • Value for money
    9.8/10
  • Ease of use
    10/10
  • Refund Policy
    0.0/10
  • Customer Happiness
    8.3/10

PROS

  • Excellent value for the price
  • Easy-to-swallow soft gels
  • Resealable pouch
  • Sustainable
  • No fillers or extra ingredients
  • Contains potent dose of EPA and DHA

 

CONS

  • Lacks a return policy
  • Complaints that some capsules have leaked.
  • Permeable soft gel caps lack that extra layer of protection from oxidation

The Last Word*

This value-driven recommendation for a quality krill oil supplement comes with a few caveats: soft gels can leak and turn rancid more quickly, and the lack of a return policy.

*Results are based on the MedicalHerald Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

413 votes

8.6/10

Total Ranking

B

Overall Grade

  • Product Ingredients
    7.8/10
  • Value for money
    8.1/10
  • Ease of use
    9.6/10
  • Refund Policy
    0.0/10
  • Customer Happiness
    8.5/10

PROS

  • Brand recognition
  • 1500 mg of 100% krill oil
  • 750 mg soft gel capsules allow flexibility in dosage
  • 183 mg total EPA and DHA, 262 mg of phospholipid, 225 mcg of astaxanthin
  • High quality, sustainable
  • 100% made in the USA

 

CONS

  • No product guarantee or refund policy
  • Contains artificial ingredients (vanillin, Sorbitol)

The Last Word*

Schiff is a well-known and respected brand, and MegaRed comes in a flexible 750-mg units allowing for individual variation in desired dosage. I was especially disappointed, therefore, to find no guarantee or refund policy. Given the brand reputation, I was quite surprised to find unnecessary artificial ingredients. These red flags pushed an otherwise fine product down to number 4 on my Top 5 list.

*Results are based on the MedicalHerald Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

5. Ovega-3

347 votes

8.1/10

Total Ranking

B-

Overall Grade

  • Product Ingredients
    6.3/10
  • Value for money
    8.2/10
  • Ease of use
    8.7/10
  • Refund Policy
    8.1/10
  • Customer Happiness
    8.3/10

PROS

  • Vegetarian and vegan omega-3 supplement alternative
  • Contains 320 mg of DHA and 130 mg of EPA omega
  • Plant sourced from algae
  • Contains algal oil comprised of high oleic sunflower oil, rosemary extract, and antioxidants (tocopherols and ascorbyl palmitate)
  • 183 mg total EPA and DHA, 262 mg of phospholipid, 225 mcg of astaxanthin
  • Sustainably sourced
  • 100% made in the USA

 

CONS

  • Not as bioavailable as krill oil
  • Contains additional natural and artificial ingredients including corn starch, glycerin (from palm oil), Sorbitol, carrageenan, beta carotene, and caramel color
  • Pricey

The Last Word*

As an effective alternative to animal-based fish- or krill-oil, vegan-friendly Ovega-3 is of interest for anyone allergic to shellfish (krill) or following dietary restrictions. This supplements contains healthy levels of EPA and DHA but hinders its purity profile with unnecessary natural and artificial additives. If you don’t actually need plant-sourced product, you’d be better served by choosing a krill oil supplement of your choice.

*Results are based on the MedicalHerald Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.