Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil: An Omega-3 Comparison

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are widely recognized. Reducing inflammation, protecting against neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s), reducing lactic-acid build up, boosting immune-system functions, increasing fertility in both men and women, improving heart health, reducing depression and anxiety, improving eye health, decreasing the risk of diabetes, improving skin health, and increasing cancer protection are all scientifically supported benefits linked to diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Bottom line: If you’re not getting enough omega-3 oil in your diet, you should consider making a change. But sometimes that’s easier said than done.

ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) omega-3 fatty acids can be found in certain nuts and seeds, but for the two most crucial omega acids — named eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — you’re going to have to look to the sea. Seafood is often the most potent source of vital omega-3s, which is why a lot of health enthusiasts choose to get their omega-3s from supplements. But at the end of the day, the omegas are still coming from seafood, and that means krill oil or fish oil.

So, which one is better? Let’s compare the two options and see how each holds up.

Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil: Sources

Both Krill and fish oil offer valuable omega-3s, but when it comes to overall nutrition, they aren’t exactly the same. For one thing, they come from different sources.

Fish oil comes from a variety of fish. Specifically, it comes from what’s known as “oily” or “fatty” fish, such as tuna, cod, salmon, halibut, anchovies, mackerel, salmon, and sardines.

Krill oil, on the other hand, doesn’t come from fish at all. Krill oil comes from tiny ocean-dwelling crustaceans called Antarctic krill. These animals are an important part of the diets of many ocean-based animals (including marine mammals and seabirds).

Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil: Nutrients

While both fish oil and krill oil contain high levels of the aforementioned EPA and DHA omega-3s, krill oil also contains a number of other important nutrients.

Krill oil contains high levels of vitamins A, E, and D, as well as phospholipids and choline. Additionally, and possibly even most importantly, krill oil contains the antioxidant astaxanthin. Astaxanthin helps reduce oxidation in both krill and fish oil, lengthening shelf life and reducing the risk of rancidity. And while it is possible to add astaxanthin to fish oil after the fact, with krill oil, it’s already part of the chemical makeup.

On the other hand, fish oil contains more EPA and DHA omega-3s than krill oil — approximately 30% compared to 14%. But there’s a catch, and it’s called absorption.

Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil: Absorption

There’s more to omega-3s than how much you’re taking in. If your body can’t easily absorb the fatty acids you consume, then they won’t be doing you much good.

Research suggests that the EPA and DHA found in krill oil is absorbed much more easily into the body than those found in fish oil. This is because the fatty acids in krill oil are packaged as phospholipids. By comparison, fish oil fatty acids are packaged as triglycerides. The difference is that phospholipids are easier for your body to use and can be absorbed more efficiently into the bloodstream than triglycerides. This means more omega-3s with fewer pills.

Getting more out of less is important to your body, but it’s also important for the environment.

Let’s consider sustainability.

Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil: Sustainability

Overfishing is a very real ecological danger. The United Nations reports that 17% of fish stocks worldwide are currently overexploited, 52% are fully exploited, and 7% are depleted. Fatty fish are among the most exploited populations.

Krill fishing, on the other hand, is tightly regulated by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). According to the CCAMLR, the annual krill catch is only ~0.3% of the unexploited krill biomass — well below established danger levels. This makes for a sustainable source of omega-3s.

Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil: Conclusions

Wherever you’re getting your omega — Krill or fish — you’ll be enjoying valuable health benefits that range across the board. That said, not all omega-3 sources are created equal. Krill oil offers better nutrients and easier absorption, all at a lower impact to the environment. Given the available data, the choice is clear: In the battle of krill oil vs. fish oil, krill takes home the prize. However, when krill isn’t an option (such as in the event that you suffer from shellfish allergies) fish oil is a reliable alternative choice.

Just be aware that some manufacturers only put a small amount of krill oil into their products. For the best krill oil supplements, make sure you’re using pure krill oil. Progenex Omega+ incorporates only high-quality pure krill oil, for a boost of omega-3s designed to keep your body healthy and happy.

You need your omega-3s, but it’s up to you to figure out how to get them. If a seafood-rich diet doesn’t appeal to you, then krill oil may be the best solution. Give Progenex Omega+ a try, and see for yourself what a little krill oil can do for you.


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