What Are the Differences Between Krill Oil and Fish Oil?


Quick Answer

Krill oil is extracted from tiny, cold-water, ocean shrimp known as krill, whereas fish oil is extracted from fatty fish such as tuna, sardines and salmon, according to Consumer Reports. Registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick explains that krill oil contains phospholipids, substances that makes krill oil more readily available in animal subjects. Krill oil also has astaxanthin, an antioxidant that may prevent oxidation of omega-3 fatty acids.

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What Are the Differences Between Krill Oil and Fish Oil?
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Full Answer

Both krill oil and fish oil contain omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA, nutrients that help maintain a healthy heart. WebMD notes that omega-3 fatty acids are used to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and decrease inflammation.

According to Consumer Reports, a study published in January 2011 showed krill oil is just as effective as fish oil in obtaining recommended levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The seven-week study examined 113 men and women in Norway and Sweden, and researchers found blood levels of DHA and EPA increased "just as significantly" for patients who consumed krill oil and fish oil versus the control group. The findings suggest both supplements are equally as effective.

Kirkpatrick revealed in November 2011 that consumers felt krill oil was a viable alternative to fish oil due to concerns over pollution and mercury poisoning in tuna and salmon. A 2007 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found krill oil does the same job as fish oil except in lower doses.

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