Krill oil has been a hot topic lately as the newest latest and greatest addition to the omega-3 supplement market. Many people have started taking Krill oil capsules as a result of published reports stating that Krill oil contains more beneficial components than standard fish oil, and, as a result,a Krill oil versus fish oil debate is being waged. Such that it has, you should be aware of some facts about krill oil.
The first thing you might want to know is exactly what is krill oil? Krill are tiny crustaceans that resemble small shrimp inhabiting the colder ocean areas of the planet. Krill compose the majority of the diet eaten by baleen whales that filter tons of them out of the water. Krill are also popular fare for humans in parts of Russia and Asia.
As far as the fish oil derived from krill, it is no different from standard fish oil in the sense that it is a source of the popular essential omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. While there is credible research telling us that DHA is more important to your health than EPA, that’s not say that EPA is not important. It is. Perhaps the reason researchers tout DHA as the most important omega-3 is because the brain is approximately 60% fat, and of that 60% DHA is in high concentration. So, the general consensus is that DHA promotes brain function better than EPA. Apart from that, DHA, together with EPA, provide health benefits in a myriad of areas from cardio vascular and coronary health, to a host of inflammatory conditions including joint support. Therefore, it is well accepted that adding both DHA and EPA to your diet promotes a wide array of health benefits. Unfortunately, krill oil is very low in DHA.
So, if you are buying a fish oil supplement predominantly to supplement DHA, then krill oil is disadvantaged. And that goes to cost. If you’re buying krill oil for its DHA content then you are going to be paying an awful lot for it. If you read the product labels and do the math, you’ll find that in comparing standard fish oil capsules to krill capsules you’d be paying about five times as much for your DHA if you’re buying krill oil.
Some might say “you get what you pay for,” but that doesn’t seem to be the case with krill oil. While there are literally thousands of studies demonstrating the health benefits of DHA and EPA there are very few, if any, independent scientific studies that show that krill oil is any better for your health compared to fish oil, despite the claims made by the purveyors of krill oil. It seems that omega-3s are omega-3s; what’s important is adding them to your diet. Of the few studies done on krill oil they all seem to be financed by the company producing it. There are no independent studies that prove krill oil is any better for you than standard fish oil.
Yet,the makers of krill oil claim it is more potent than fish oil because the EPA and DHA it contains are attached to phospholipids. If this were a meaningful claim we would explain it. However, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that this does anything at all, nor is there any evidence that the phospholipid structure in krill oil in any way supports good health in any way superior to standard fish oil.
The marketers of krill oil will also tell you that it is rich in potent antioxidants, the most potent of which being Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a red-orange carotenoid pigment derived from microalgae, fish, and crustaceans – such as krill – that can prevent, and even treat, some inflammatory conditions. Be that as it may, the makers of krill oil extol this virtue as a selling point, but the reality is that some high quality fish oil supplements also contain astaxanthin, and it is contained at a significantly higher level than what is found in Krill oil. This makes the anti-oxidant potency of Krill oil in fact lower than that of the best fish oil supplements.
While the health benefits of Omega 3 supplementation have been established by numerous credible scientific studies, and the benefit of fish oil to your health is recognized by such credible authorities such as the American Heart Association, there is no independent scientific evidence to warrant spending substantially more money for krill oil because it is more beneficial to your health than a high quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements like Omega XL.