Krill vs Fish Oil…. I choose fish

Why I do not choose Krill Oil


Many television commercials tout the benefits of krill oil over fish oil.  Both have essential fatty acids that are essential for health.  The benefits of krill oil are reported to be that the customer can take less of the product, and the product is more bio-available.  Omega 3 fatty acid from fish is approximately 80% fat.  The same Omega 3 from krill is only about 5% fat.

The reason for  supplementation with Omega 3 fatty acids is for the FAT.  It makes sense to pick the supplement that provides more FAT.

There are many health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows strong evidence that the omega-3s EPA and DHA can help lower triglycerides and blood pressure. And there are studies showing that omega-3 fatty acids may help with other conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and many more.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Benefits

  • Blood fat [triglycerides]. According to a number of studies, fish oil supplements can lower elevated triglyceride levels. Having high levels of this blood fat is a risk factor for heart disease. DHA alone has also been shown to lower triglycerides.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. A number of studies have found that fish oil supplements [EPA+DHA] significantly reduced stiffness and joint pain. Omega-3 supplements also seem to boost the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Depression. Some researchers have found that cultures that eat foods with high levels of omega-3s have lower levels of depression. Fish oil also seems to boost the effects of antidepressants. Fish oil may help reduce the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.
  • Prenatal health. DHA appears to be important for visual and neurological development in infants. However, studies are inconclusive as to whether supplementing omega-3 during pregnancy or breastfeeding benefits the baby.
  • Asthma. Evidence suggests that a diet high in omega 3s reduces inflammation, a key component in asthma. However, more studies are needed to show if fish oil supplements improve lung function or reduce the amount of medication a person needs to control their disease.
  • ADHD. Some studies show that fish oil can reduce the symptoms of ADHD in some children and improve their cognitive function. However, more research is needed in this area, and omega-3 supplements as a primary treatment for this disorder are not supported by research.
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The evidence is preliminary, but some research suggests that omega-3s may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Recent studies have also evaluated whether the omega-3 supplement DHA can slow the decline seen in those with Alzheimer’s dementia or in age-associated memory impairment. One recent study showed that DHA can be a beneficial supplement and may have a positive effect on gradual memory loss associated with aging. However, more research needs to be done.

Past evidence pointed to omega-3 fatty acids reducing risk of heart attacks, strokes and death from heart disease, but recent research has refuted these findings. More specific research is needed to sort this out.

As you can see, there are many benefits from fish oil supplementation. Most experts agree that 1,000 mg (1 gram) is a good dose to aim for.   That being the case, why would I choose to take more capsules of a fish oil, rather than fewer gels of krill?

The main reason is that krill is a bottom feeder.  It belongs to the same crustacean family as shrimp, lobster, and crab.  These animals are ‘filter foods’     Filter feeders actively filter dissolved and suspended matter from the water by pumping water through filtration structures, which include zooplankton, tunicates, bivalves and sponges. Suspension feeders actively capture food particles from the water which travel in close proximity, by using (stinging) tentacles. This strategy has been adopted by members from the Anthozoa and Hydrozoa class, such as scleractinian corals, octocorals and crinoids.


I am glad we have filter feeders in our waterways, but I do not want to eat them.  I have seen the debris in air conditioning filters, fuel filters, water filters, and I do not want to ingest the particles that are trapped in those very effective filters.  Why would I feel differently regarding food filters?  For this reason, I choose to supplement my essential fatty acids with fish oil.   I choose suppliers that are concerned with the environment, but also know that there is a possibility of mercury toxicity with fish.  The fish oil I recommend most often has been vacuum pulled twice in order to make sure that the oil is toxin free

Choose wisely, your health depends on it.


Until next time,


Dr. Polly

  1. Krill vs Fish Oil…. I choose fish | Polly Heil-Mealey, ND, M.Ed., C.C.I.

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