Krill Oil vs Fish Oil: Which Is Better?

When it comes to taking an Omega 3 supplement, some people swear by the health benefits of krill oil.

Others stand firm with fish oil. In fact, these two fishy oils are a cause of great controversy, with debates raging across the web as to which is the superior source of Omega 3.

Despite multiple debates, the jury is still out, and the questions remain …which is indeed better…krill oil vs fish oil?

Benefits of krill oil and fish oil

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that the specific benefits of taking omega-3 supplements include:

  • Reducing high triglyceride levels. High triglyceride levels have links to an increased risk for heart disease.

  • Relieving rheumatoid arthritis. Evidence suggests that omega-3 supplements may help relieve arthritic symptoms and joint pain.

  • Cognitive function: There is growing evidence stating the importance of omega-3 fatty acids for brain development in childhood. Omega-3’s are also crucial for optimal brain health in adults.

  • Gut microbes: Omega-3 fatty acids have an impact on gut microbes as well. One study found that there was a change in gut microbes after omega-3 supplementation.

  • Relieving dry eye symptoms. Some people use omega-3 supplements to help improve eye moisture and reduce the symptoms of dry eye disease. However, large-scale studies have found that taking omega-3 supplements are no better than a placebo for eye dryness, so more research is necessary.

pure krill oil supplement

What does the research say?

1) Source

Although it is true that both supply Omega 3 fatty acids, there are significant differences between the two.

Fish oil comes from a variety of fish, such as herring, mackerel or salmon, and maybe wild-caught or farmed (typically it is farmed).

While fish oil can be a good source of Omega 3, many supplements tend to use low-quality fish oils.

These can easily become rancid and cause indigestion. Although they might be cheaper, they are less effective.

A further issue is where it’s sourced from. Fish oil is generally sourced from farmed fish, and this in itself creates a multitude of problems.

Recent footage has revealed that in some fish farms, the fish are polluted with heavy metals, deformed and rife with pesticides.

Studies have shown that farmed fish contain lesser amounts of omega-3 fatty acids than wild-caught fish, as well as providing 20% less protein.

To make matters worse, farmed fish tend to be fattier with a higher concentration of omega 6. This can result in imbalances in the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can eventually cause inflammation in the body.

Pure krill oil, on the other hand, is sourced from Krill. These are small shrimp-like crustaceans that live in the clear, pure Antarctic waters. As a result, Krill from which the oil is sourced is unpolluted and sustainable.

Many fish oils are derived from farmed fish or polluted waters and need to be processed. In contrast, as Krill is sourced from the natural, unpolluted waters of the Antarctic, it requires no processing, and therefore it remains in natural phospholipids form.

RELATED: New Report Finds Many Common Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements are Rancid.

2) Absorption

When it comes to taking a supplement, absorption it an important factor. The quicker a supplement is absorbed, the faster and more efficiently it can begin to work. Research has shown that fish oil from supplements is not absorbed as well as fish in food form.

In one six-week study, the results showed that the active ingredients of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in fish oil capsules were not as effectively absorbed by the body’s blood plasma fat particles. When you process omega 3, the processing converts the oil to a triglyceride form.

As a result, the triglycerides cannot pass through the brain barrier and are absorbed less efficiently, meaning that to absorb a sufficient amount of Omega 3, you would need to take a high dosage.

Further studies have verified this, suggesting that there is a difference in bioavailability of EPA and DHA between fish oil and krill oil.

In contrast, omega 3 fatty acids found in Krill are bound to phospholipids (a lipid-containing a phosphate group in its molecule).

Omega 3 in our brain is phospholipid; therefore if the Omega 3 consumed is of the same type, it is absorbed much more efficiently and directly by the brain.

Studies conducted by the Cleveland Clinic have shown that krill oil improves DHA absorption and DHA delivery to the brain. This means less krill oil is needed than fish oil for health befits.

Krill oil supplementation has also been hailed for improving brain-boosting capabilities, with one study suggesting that phospholipids and astaxanthin within it might play a role in preventing depression and mental cognition, offering a new approach to treat mental health disorders.

3) Nutritional Value

When it comes to nutritional value, krill oil wins this round. Krill oil has a higher number of antioxidants, including astaxanthin.

Known as the king of the carotenoids, astaxanthin ability to fight free radicals is even more potent than well-known antioxidant powerhouses such as vitamin c or curcumin.

This makes krill oil a formidable opponent in the battle against fish oil.

A closer look at the nutritional differences between Krill and fish oil also shows that krill oil is a better source of omega 3.

Our bodies do not produce enough essential fatty acids (EFAs). Therefore it is essential that we obtain them through our diet.

That’s where omega 3 fatty acids comes in. Omega 3 is necessary for healthy brain development, hormone production, and even healthy skin, hair, and nails. Research suggests that about 90 percent of Americans today are deficient in omega-3s.

We’re eating too many omega-6s and not enough omega-3s. An imbalance between omega 3 (which is anti-inflammatory) and omega 6 (which is highly inflammatory) leaves the body exposed to every form of inflammatory disease.

One study, which reviewed fish oil supplements in New Zealand, found that almost all supplements contained lower concentrations of n-3 PUFA than claimed on the product label. More worryingly, they were also highly oxidized.

This discrepancy went beyond the New Zealand market, with an international survey including Canada, USA, and the UK, finding that more than half of the marine products surveyed contained less than 90% of the n-3 PUFA originally claimed.

pure krill oil supplement

What are the risks of taking Krill oil and Fish oil?

Both krill oil and fish oil are generally safe to take, but there are some potential side effects to be aware of including:

  • bad breath

  • heartburn

  • stomach cramp

  • headache

  • diarrhea

The Best Source of Omega-3

Having reviewed the evidence, krill oil is significantly more bioavailable, you can consume a smaller dose, yet get a more significant effect.

Fish oil is converted into triglycerides, while Krill remains in a phospholipid form, helping it to be quickly and efficiently absorbed by the brain.

According to the ODS, an estimated 7.8 percent of Americans take a omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplement in the form of fish oil, krill oil, or alternatives, such as algal oil or flaxseed oil.

When it comes to taking a supplement, it is essential to do your homework. Finding a supplement you can trust can be difficult, and as evident from the points discussed in this article, many will make false claims about the actual nutritional content you are receiving. However, finding a potent and effectively absorbed source of omega 3 is an integral part of your daily supplement routine.

You can find a reliable, high quality, pure and 100% natural Krill Oil at

Ben’s wild antarctic krill is sourced from the clean, pure and unpolluted waters of the Antarctic, and is more easily absorbed, more productive, and requires a much lower dose than fish oil to have the same effect.

Dosage recommendations

According to the Office of Dietary Supplementation, daily intakes for omega-3 fatty acids are about 1.6 g per day for men and 1.1 g per day for women.

A person should read supplement labels carefully to determine how much of each substance is in each capsule.

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Taking a high quality, 100% natural and krill oil supplement have the potential to relieve you of joint pain, improve your mobility, improve your memory and focus, and help improve your overall quality of life. It will also help reduce inflammation and protect you against some of the biggest killers of men and women over 50, including heart disease, stroke, and dementia.


  1. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Nutrition, Trauma, and the Brain; Erdman J, Oria M, Pillsbury L, editors. Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury: Improving Acute and Subacute Health Outcomes in Military Personnel. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. 13, Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
  3. Wibrand K, Berge K, Messaoudi M, et al. Enhanced cognitive function and antidepressant-like effects after krill oil supplementation in rats. Lipids Health Dis. 2013;12:6. Published 2013 Jan 25. doi:10.1186/1476-511X-12-6
  4. Albert BB, Derraik JG, Cameron-Smith D, et al. Fish oil supplements in New Zealand are highly oxidised and do not meet label content of n-3 PUFA [published correction appears in Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 07;6:35092]. Sci Rep. 2015;5:7928. Published 2015 Jan 21. doi:10.1038/srep07928
  5. Dose J, Matsugo S, Yokokawa H, et al. Free Radical Scavenging and Cellular Antioxidant Properties of Astaxanthin. Int J Mol Sci. 2016;17(1):103. Published 2016 Jan 14. doi:10.3390/ijms17010103

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