Krill Oil vs Fish Oil

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

I recently received this question from a reader and I thought the answer was worth sharing with all of you.

Q. Brian,

I wanted to get your expert take on fish oil vs. krill. Which is better in your opinion? I’ve been on the fish oil bandwagon for years . Which is the better of the 2?

Thanks as always for your blog and the great info. It’s appreciated!

A. I think this is a good question, however I am not sure there is a clear cut answer.

In my opinion both are good, but in comparison to fish oil there isn’t nearly as much data on krill oil. The data that is coming out is quite positive, however much of it has been supported by Neptune Technologies, the company that owns the patent on the process of removing the oil from the krill.

Now that isn’t to say the research is invalid, it simply means I would like to see more independently conducted research before I draw any conclusions. Now having said that, people still want answers, and my answer is this:

For now I still recommend fish oil (I like 1 tsp of Carlson’s The Very Finest Fish Oil for most people). It has mountains of data supporting its efficacy in a plethora of capacities. It is cost-effective. And finally, it has been around long enough to have been found to work in real life, not just the lab.

Krill oil is an incredibly promising supplement that may one day supplant fish oil. With it’s phospholipid form of omega-3′s (rather than fish oil’s triglyceride form), astaxanthin (a powerful antioxidant), phosphatidylcholine (a potent source of choline, which I have written more about here), as well as some fat-soluble vitamins it certainly appears to be a wonderful thing. However, in comparison to fish oil it is not cheap. Yes you can allegedly take less to get the same result, but not enough to make up the cost difference.

For now with fish oil’s far longer track record it is my go source for marine lipids, but I am certainly keeping krill oil on my radar. If you choose to take krill oil that is certainly fine, just be willing to pony up a few (up to 5x more) extra bucks!

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Posted on January 13th, 2012 by Brian St. Pierre

15 Comments

  1. Chris Says:

    Brian, do you still recommend a TOTAL daily EPA/DHA intake of 1-2 grams?

  2. Louise Says:

    Brian,
    Can you mix fish oil in a smoothie with greens+ and jay robb whey protein powder and get the same benefits from the fish oil? I can’t get my kids to take the caplets because they are quite large.

    Thanks,

    Louise

  3. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Louise,

    That is more than fine!

    Brian

  4. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Chris,

    I recommend a daily intake of EPA/DHA from fish oil to be 1-2 grams. Your total daily intake will be higher as you get some from eggs, pasture-raised animal products, fish and seafood. In addition your body will synthesize some from the ALA you get from plant sources – flax, chia, nuts, canola, produce, etc.

    Brian

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