Hammer Nutrition Blog

Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil – Which is better?

Krill are shrimp-like crustaceans. The oil extracted from these crustaceans, quoting one well-known nutritional scientist, “contains important omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, fatty acids found in fish oils. Krill oil also has a high amount of a potent antioxidant called astaxanthin along with small amounts of vitamin A and vitamin E, and perhaps small amounts of other undetermined beneficial  compounds.” As far as which is better, this particular nutritional scientist writes, “We often get asked whether krill oil is a better option as a supplement than fish oil or vice versa. Fish oil has a higher percentage of EPA and DHA fatty acids; however krill oil has the advantage of having astaxanthin, an important antioxidant, vitamins A and D, and possibly other nutrients such as small amounts of phospholipids.”

I personally believe that krill oil has benefits. However, I’ve looked at the EPA/DHA content of a variety of krill oil supplements and none of them contain nearly the same amount per 1000 mg as does most-to-all fish oil supplements, including Carlson Norwegian Salmon Oil. Also,  the vitamin A and D content is pretty miniscule in krill oil (roughly 100 IU of vitamin A and 10 IU of vitamin D per 1000 mg). You’re probably already getting those amounts, if not more, in your diet, plus you receive substantially greater supplemental amounts in our multivitamin/mineral supplement Premium Insurance Caps.

As far as astaxanthin (pronounced az-tuh-ZAN-thin) is concerned, I’m a huge fan of this nutrient, which is why it’s one of the components in AO Booster. In  general, most krill oil supplements contain about 1.5 mg of astaxanthin per 1000 mg. Each capsule of AO Booster contains 2.5 mg of astanxanthin, plus all 150 mg of all four tocopherols, 50 mg of all four tocotrienols,  and 10 mg of lutein. This is an amazing fat-soluble antioxidant product that has a lot of benefits attached to it; in fact, I think it’s one of the most important products we’ve ever come out with. I discuss this  product in more detail in Endurance News #61.

So with us already having an excellent fish oil supplement that contains  high amounts of EPA/DHA, and with the multiple nutrients (including  astaxanthin) in AO Booster, I personally don’t think it’s necessary to supplement with a Krill Oil product.

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5 Responses to “Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil – Which is better?”

  • In my opinion Krill Oil is better. Krill Oil has been working wonders atleast for my father who has high cholesterol level and our doctor recommended Krill Doctor Professional brand as it contains 2x more Phospholipids & Omega-3 DHA and EPA, as compared to other Krill products available in market.

    Posted by roofin james | August 14, 2011 at 1:45 am
  • I’m very pleased to hear that you’ve found a product that is proving to be beneficial for your father. In the final analysis, that’s all that matters… that the product works! I’ve looked at the brand you mention and it does appear that it contains more Krill Oil than many other brands (if not all).

    Still, when it comes to the Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA), I’ve got to continue give the nod to fish oil. For example 2 capsules of the Carlson Norwegian Salmon Oil contains 360 mg of EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and 250 DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), whereas 2 capsules of the product you mention contains 90 mg of DHA and 50 mg of EPA.

    The cost difference is significant as well, though it is understandable due to the amount of Krill Oil (and thus, phospholipids) you receive per 2-capsule dose (there is no Krill Oil in the Carlson Norwegian Salmon Oil). 60 softgels of the Carlson product costs $7.95 while 60 softgels of the product you mention costs $19.00 a bottle (if you buy only one).

    Bottom line is that if the product you mention is working for your father, then far be it from me to recommend something else.

    Krill Oil does provide phospholipids, which as you know are a subclass of lipids, with cellular membranes consisting primarily of phospholipids. Arguably the most commonly known phospholipid is lecithin, which is found in a number of foods, as well as in granular form (which is quite inexpensive and makes a delicious addition to salads, soaps, cereals, oatmeal, and other foods).

    Regarding lecithin, one nutritional scientist writes, “Lecithin is a type of lipd that is needed by every living cell in the human body. Cell membranes, which regulate the passage of nutrients into and out of the cells, are largely composed of lecithin, and the muscles and nerve cells also contain this essential fatty acid substance.”

    “This nutrient helps to prevent arteriosclerosis, protects against cardiovascular disease, improves brain function, and aids in the absorption of thiamine by the liver and vitamin A by the intestine. It is also known to promote energy and is needed to help repair damage to the liver caused by alcoholism. Lecithin enables fats, such as cholesterol and other lipids, to be dispersed in water and removed from the body. The vital organs and arteries are thus protected from fatty buildup. ”

    – END —

    Lastly, your father might consider asking his doctor to include soy protein in his diet. Soy, which contains phospholipids, provides a wealth of benefits including helping to lower LDL, VLDL serum (the “Bad” cholesterols) and raising HDL The “Good” HDL”

    REFERENCES:

    Anderson, J. W., et al. Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein intake on serum lipids. New England Journal of Medicine. 333(5):276-282, 1995.

    Carrol, K. K. Review of clinical studies on cholesterol-lowering response to soy protein. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 91:820-827, 1991.

    Greaves, K. A., et al. Consumption of soy protein reduces cholesterol absorption compared to casein protein alone or supplemented with an isoflavone extract or conjugated equine estrogen in ovariectomized cynomolgus monkeys. Journal of Nutrition 130:820-826, 2000.

    Sirtori, C. R., et al. Cholesterol lowering and HDL raising properties of lecithinated soy proteins on type II hyperlipidemic patients. Ann Nutr Metab. 29(6):348-357, 1985.

    Nutrition Research. 17(9):1457-1467, 1997.

    Hermansen, K., et al. Beneficial effects of a soy-based dietary supplement on lipid levels and cardiovascular risk markers in type 2 diabetic subjects. Diabetes Care. 24(2):228-233, 2001.

    van Raaij, J. M. A., et al. Influence of diets containing casein, soy protein isolate and soy concentrate on serum cholesterol and lipoproteins in middle-aged volunteers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 35:925-934, 1982.

    I hope you will find this information helpful.

    Steve

    Posted by Steve Born | August 15, 2011 at 10:30 am
  • These days we’re all well aware of the importance of including Omega 3 fatty acids into our diets. Krill Doctor Professional is a fantastic source of Omega 3s, especially EPA and DHA benefits, the two essential fatty acids the body needs to maintain excellent health.

    Posted by jimmy | August 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm
  • Hello Jimmy – Thanks for your reply. All I was suggesting is that one compare the amount of DHA and EPA between products – as I did between the Carlson Norwegian Salmon Oil and the Krill Oil your father is taking – to see which one gives you “the most bang for your buck” in terms of Omega 3 EFA content. If you believe the Krill Oil product provides sufficient amounts of these EFAs then by all means your father should continue to take it.

    As far as cholesterol-lowering nutrients/substances are concerned, my desire was to suggest the consideration of low-cost soy protein and lecithin… I think that those two (with physician approval first, of course) would definitely be worth considering.

    Sincerely –

    Steve

    Posted by Steve Born | August 16, 2011 at 8:48 am
  • Astaxanthin has been discussed by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Joe Mercola and recommended by many health experts, including myself. I take 12 milligrams every morning. I’d like to clarify one myth now: Krill supplements contain trace amounts of astaxanthin, not nearly what you need to achieve the therapeutic benefits discussed today. Here are five reasons to take astaxanthin supplements every day:’*;^

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    Posted by Janiece Rucky | June 8, 2013 at 12:46 am

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