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10 months ago
Krill oil vs. fish oil: which one should be the preferred choice?

Krill oil is exacted from crustaceans that live in the ice- cold waters near Antarctica, whereas fish oil is extracted from tissues of fatty fish like salmons, sardines. Both contain omega 3 fatty acids, namely EPA and DHA, along with nutrients like iodine and selenium. These nutrients are of high value in healing a number of health conditions ranging from cardiovascular problems, brain and neurodegenerative disorders, depression and inflammatory diseases like cancer, arthritis and IBS. But which is a better one? Luke Coutinho, Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine at Holistic Nutrition and Founder of PureNutrition.me helps us in finding out.

Major between krill oil and fish oil: Here are a few factors that differentiate fish oil from krill oil:

  1. Nutritional composition: Fish oil has a higher concentration of DHA and EPA than krill oil, whereas krill oil has more antioxidants (astaxanthin) and choline than fish oil. Krill oil also doesn’t turn rancid so easily because of high antioxidant content.
  2. Bioavailability: The omega 3 in Krill oil is conjugated with phospholipids and thus more absorbable by the body (almost 60% better). It also may be needed in lesser doses.
  3. Tried and tested: Fish oil has been used for healing patients since decades and has numerous researches to back up is effectiveness. Krill oil is fairly new and less studies on humans as compared.
  4. Purity: Since Krill is at the bottom of the food chain and comes from the less contaminated waters around Antarctica it’s less likely to be mercury contaminated as compared to fish oil. However, this isn’t much of a concern because fish oil supplements (if of high quality) undergo superior purification process that renders it safe to consume.
  5. Smell / odor: Krill oil doesn’t smell or taste fishy whereas fish oil may.
  6. Cost: Krill oil is more expensive than fish oil due to location and extraction process

Is krill oil better than fish oil for cholesterol? Both, EPA and DHA present in krill oil helps reduce triglycerides and inflammation, which can harm the walls of blood vessels. But fish oil is just as good and also more extensively studied on humans. Krill oil is relatively new and doesn’t have a solid research to back up its effectiveness against fish oil for lowering cholesterol.

But there are certain studies that prove krill oil to be more beneficial than fish oil for managing PMS and arthritic pain by lowering CRP levels.

Is krill oil good for weight loss or fish oil? Studies and experiments have indicated the presence of omega-3 fatty acids in the body have the potential to improve metabolic rate. Higher the metabolism, hence more efficient is the fat burn. Moreover, omega 3 fatty acids improve insulin sensitivity and chemical (hormonal) communication between cells, all of which is directly and indirectly conducive to weight loss.

There is no research to prove, which is better for weight loss: krill or fish oil, apart from the fact that krill oil has more antioxidant content that can calm down inflammation and assist weight loss.

Having said that, omega 3 supplement isn’t the only answer to weight loss.  One would also need to tweak their lifestyle to achieve desired results.

How much krill oil and fish oil is recommended in a day? Around 1-3 grams daily is a recommended dose for treating high blood pressure or high cholesterol and max of 300 mg daily to decrease arthritis pain and inflammation for both krill and fish oil. However, always consult your health care professional before taking any omega-3 supplement, as taking too much than your body needs can cause serious thinning of the blood. Also, if you eat seafood regularly, then you may want to adjust the dosage accordingly.

How to use these oils? Both fish and krill oil come in the form of gel capsules, chewable, and liquid forms. In certain parts of Japan, liquid fish oil or krill oil is also used for cooking however many do not find it palatable.

The bottom line: The bottom-line is that omega 3 fatty acids cannot be synthesised by our body, but play a vital role in brain, heart, cardiovascular and immune health. Hence, it’s important we get it from an external source. Plant-based foods like walnuts and flaxseeds do have omega 3 (like ALA), but the concentration of EPA and DHA (needed for certain health conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ADHD) is more in animal-based sources like krill and fish oil.

The kind of oil one chooses is just a matter of choice and affordability.  However, if you see, considering the fact that fish oil has more DHA and EPA than krill and is also less expensive, it’s certainly a more preferred option for the masses.

 

 

 

 

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