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Fish oil has long been touted as an effective supplement for fighting heart disease, high cholesterol, and a host of other health problems. Recently, there has been a lot of talk about taking krill oil instead to enjoy the same benefits. When it comes to krill oil and fish oil benefits, there are some important differences you should be aware of.
Krill oil comes from a tiny, shrimp-like animal that is primarily consumed by whale, shark and manta. Fish oil on the other hand is extracted from Pelagic fish such as tuna, sardines, mackerel, and herring. Much of the krill oil on the market today is labeled as Antarctic, meaning it comes from a species of krill known as the Euphausia superba. Fish oil is often taken from wild-caught specimens, but is sometimes extracted from deep-ocean farmed fish as well. Both types are available in a soft gel tablet that can be taken once or twice a day with meals.
Fish oil contains approximately 30% of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids, while krill oil contains only 14%. Even so, krill oil’s structure makes it easier for the body to absorb these fatty acids. The reason is because krill oil contains high levels of astaxanthin, an antioxidant that also provides stability. The EPA and DHA in fish oil also contain triglycerides that must undergo additional processing by the body before they become bioavailable. So even though krill oil contains less than half the amount of EPA and DHA, you can enjoy about the same benefits as you would from taking fish oil.
When consuming fish oil, it is possible to take in heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and chromium. That’s because fish oil is often extracted from species living in highly-polluted waters. That’s not the case with krill oil, as krill live in the deepest parts of the ocean far away from industrial areas. As such, krill are unlikely to contain the same type of heavy metals or other contaminants as fish oil. To be safe, ensure you purchase only pure krill oil. Some brands contain only a small amount of krill oil to which fish oil has been added, and may therefore provide you with less-than-satisfactory results.
A Canadian study showed krill oil effective at reducing arthritis pain. There is also research available that suggests it is beneficial at reducing menstrual pain and helping people control diabetes. Fish oil has been shown effective at helping people lose weight, improving fertility, and increasing energy. As such, you may want to consider the other health benefits if you are having trouble deciding between the two.
When it comes to the benefits of krill and fish oil, emerging research suggests krill oil may be slightly better when it comes to improving heart health, while fish oil could be better for improving your overall wellness. You can achieve the greatest benefits when choosing a pure supplement that contains no additives or preservatives, regardless of which type you choose.