Krill Oil vs Fish Oil – Fishy Business

When supplements face off against each other it can be a battle of misinformation that leaves even the best-informed self-nutritionists baffled.

Every supplement has their claim that they have the unique ingredient that you have never heard of before that will be your ticket into nutrition heaven.

Krill Oil vs Fish Oil

The krill oil vs fish oil debate proves no exception, but with a close look at the facts it seems that one of these substances holds a clear advantage over the other.

Give me omega-3 or give me death!

If you care even a little bit about your health then I’m sure you have heard of omega-3 fatty acids.

They are essential fatty acids, found most commonly in fish and other marine life, which are not produced naturally in our bodies.

While the media hype regarding omega-3 fatty acids verges on the ridiculous, there are numerous health benefits that one can obtain.

These range from improvements in cardiovascular health to prevention or treatment of different types of cancer.

They also include improvements in mental and immune system health.

There are many lauded ingredients on either side of the krill oil versus fish oil debate, but omega-3s remain the most important ingredient in either product and should really be the only aspect considered when deciding between the two.

Krill Oil Benefits

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid antioxidant found in pure krill oil that is not found naturally in fish oil.

While it is, in fact, an antioxidant, there has been no studies showing it is any more effective than the many other cheaper, more readily available antioxidants on the market today.

It should play only a very minor role in one’s consideration of whether or not they will buy krill oil or fish oil.


DHA and EPA are two types of omega-3 fatty acids found in both krill and fish oil.

While both are considered beneficial to one’s health, DHA has been shown to be much more effective in producing the desired health benefits than EPA.

Because of krill’s relatively high cost when compared to fish oil supplements, the tradeoff of cost versus DHA concentration erases the perceived benefits of krill oil.

You will get more DHA for your money, and the quality does not vary between the two.

But what about pollution!

Some have argued that since sources of fish oil are higher up in the food chain than krill, it is likely that they will be more contaminated with mercury and PCBs and thus more dangerous than consuming pure krill oil. Read this article to learn more about mercury levels in fish: Low Mercury Fish.

While there may be differences in contamination in the source animal, most companies who produce soft-gel omega-3 supplements have processes in place to remove contaminants such as mercury and harmful PCBs from the oil to make it as safe as possible for human consumption.

This implies, once more, that given the price difference, krill has nothing more to offer than fish oil.

When all the facts are lined up it comes down to taking these supplements for one reason; getting the most omega-3 and the most useful omega-3 for the price.

Both krill oil and fish oil will provide a beneficial amount of these nutrients, and if you can afford to try it krill oil may react with your body in a way that you prefer to fish oil.

However, most people will find no difference in benefits between the two supplements, and the difference in price makes fish oil a clear victor in the cost-benefit analysis department.

Image: khuruzero

*This article was written by professional blogger and fitness enthusiast, Josh Henningsgaard.