Everyone knows that eating oily fish like salmon and tuna can improve your heart health and offer a range of nutrients. There is also growing evidence to suggest that whole fish provides more benefits than krill oil and fish oil supplements. However, if you don’t have the time or inclination to chow down on fish all the time – leading to some potentially isolating social experiences, a supplement may be the next best thing. But, which one should you take – krill or fish?
Krill oil is a red oil from a creature called Krill that looks similar to shrimp. It contains omega-3 fatty acid and offers a whole host of health benefits to the consumer. Fish oil, on the other hand, is more yellow or gold, originating from oily fish such as salmon or tuna. It, too, offers omega-3 fatty acids and plenty of health benefits.(1)
If you want to know whether krill oil or fish oil is better for Omega-3, then the answer can change depending on the study and product. Both fish and krill oil are similar in EPA and DHA levels, but a 2011 study showed that you might need to consume twice as much krill oil to get the same number of benefits as fish oil.(2) In saying that, there are plenty of krill oil manufacturers laying claim to better absorption rates with krill oil as opposed to fish oil, resulting in a lower concentration necessary for the same benefits.
Other studies say the complete opposite. Therefore, it’s challenging to know which evidence is stronger – or whether you can expect the same benefits from both.(3)
Without strong evidence to find out which is better for Omega-3, the next best thing is to find out what benefits you can receive from consuming either fish oil or krill oil. There is no robust evidence to suggest you would receive the same benefits from supplements as you would eating whole fish, but you may find omega-3 can offer the following: (4)
The evidence is inconclusive as to whether fish oil and krill oil can reduce your risk of heart disease, improve your cardiovascular health, or offer nutritional benefits on-par with fish.(5) Even though scientists do not yet know for sure whether you receive as many benefits from supplements as you do whole fish, there is still around 1.1 percent of children and 7.8 of American adults who consume supplements daily. Many of these contain fish and krill as well as animal-free alternatives like flaxseed and algal oil.
Every manufacturer will state a different daily dose by which you should abide. However, there are a few recommendations and guidelines for omega-3 supplements. If you consume more than 900mg per day, you may be suppressing your body’s natural inflammatory response. Instead, men should consume 1.6g per day and women, 1.1g.
There is no reliable scientific evidence to determine whether krill oil or fish oil is better for omega-3. Some weaker evidence shows krill oil may be easier for your body to absorb, but you may still need to consume more of it to be on par with the benefits of fish oil. Regardless of which supplement you consume for omega-3, however, you are sure to find it’s going to be beneficial for your body in one way or another. Pay attention to the supplement bottle guidelines and consult a medical professional if you have any questions. (6)