Our Omega-3 Expert Answers Your Questions…
Krill Oil Dosage
I have been taking 3000 mg of fish oil everyday. I would like to switch to krill oil and was wondering if I am supposed to take the same dosage as fish oil? Here are the dosages of both oils that I have:
Fish oil omega 3: EPA 360 mg, DHA 240 mg (1200 mg tablets)
Krill oil omega 3: Fatty acids 90 mg, EPA 50 mg, DHA 24 mg (300 mg tablets)
A holistic doctor said to take 3 grams of omega 3 everyday. How many krill oil tablets do I then have to take? I’m confused by all the different dosages.
The dosage is not the same for fish oil and krill oil. You need less Krill oil.
3000 mg of fish oil is not the same as 3000 mg of Omega-3. Your doctor recommended the latter, which usually means a lot more pills.
The good news is that you can get the same benefits as fish oil with about half to two-thirds as much Omega-3 from Krill oil.
Your doctor is right – you do need about 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day for maximum benefits. It’s good to hear doctors recommend Omega-3 and in the right dosages.
But you’re not going to like what I have to say.
To make my point, let’s pretend fish and krill oils are the same. To get 3,000 mg or 3 grams of Omega-3, you will need 5 of your fish oil pills a day. (Here’s the math: 360 mg EPA + 240 mg DHA = 600 mg total Omega-3. And 3000 mg per day divided by 600 mg Omega-3 per pill = 5 pills per day)
Each pill of Krill oil has 74 mg of Omega-3. Now, to get 3,000 mg of Omega-3 from Krill, 3000 divided by 74 = 40 pills. That’s right, forty pills a day. That’s not a typo! But studies show that Krill oil is time-and-a-half to twice as good as fish oil when it comes to absorption. So let’s give krill the benefit of the doubt and call it TWICE as good as fish oil.
The data says 100 mg of Omega-3 from Krill is equivalent to about 160 mg of Omega-3 from fish. This study was done by the folks at Aker Biomarine. So yes, Krill is much better, no doubt.
Even if Krill oil is twice as good as fish oil, you’ll have to take 20 pills a day (instead of 40) to get the benefits of 5 of your fish oil pills. I’m not joking! You can’t argue with the math.
Of course, this is mostly because your Krill oil pills contain 300 mg of oil and your fish oil pills are four-times bigger at 1200 mg. If your Krill oil pills also had 1200 mg of krill oil in each pill, your bottle would cost about $100 each.
If you read Krill oil marketing, you will hear a lot about antioxidants and astaxanthin etc., which are great! But don’t forget: you’re not taking Krill for antioxidants and astaxanthin – you’re taking it for the Omega-3.
If you’re on a budget, you’re much, much better off taking your five fish oil pills per day and then taking a good antioxidant and a good astaxanthin supplement. All three supplement together will be cheaper than the cost of Krill oil pills.
Yes, Krill oil pills are small. And they are easy to swallow. But there are really good fish oil pills that are equally small, like OmegaBrite.
Percent Omega-3 change in blood plasma
(The red bar is NKO Krill oil; green and yellow bars are fish oils)
Source: Evaluation of Omega-3 Bioavailability & Steady State Assessment of Neptune Krill Oil Compared to Established Omega-3 Formulations. Presented at SSW 2009.
Like I said, if you’re a krill oil believer, you’re not going to like what I have to say. Yes, Krill oil is without a doubt better than fish oil, but it does not make financial sense and it is silly to take 20 pills a day. Even if you had to take 10 pills a day (assuming krill is 4X better), that’s still a hassle.
Hi – I would like more info on how your product compares with vs GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil and Costco. New items from GNC and Costco offer 900-1200 Omega-3. Are they the same as your item?
Also, can you take OmegaVia with Lipitor?
If I take the 3 pills, should I take them at the same time or one in the morning one at noon and one at night?
I am familiar with all fish oil supplements at Costco and GNC.
At Costco: there is a Nature’s Bounty product at Costco with over 900 mg Omega-3. This is a fairly good product. It has 70% Omega-3, which is the highest you will see in mass market retailers. While it gives you a good amount of Omega-3, the ‘fill weight’ of the pill is 1400 mg. This means there is 1400 mg of fish oil in each capsule. This is by far the biggest fish oil pill on the market and it is not enteric-coated.
GNC: Triple Strength Fish Oil is the best product GNC has. It is enteric-coated and has 900mg Omega-3. It is much better than most fish oil supplements found at grocery and drug stores but still, I do not recommend this product because it has only 60% Omega-3.
The mg of total Omega-3 is very important, but also, the PERCENT Omega-3 purity is very important if you are trying to reduce triglycerides or manage blood fats. 60% Omega-3 (GNC) will not improve triglycerides. Even 70% will only have a small effect.
What fish oil labels won’t say
The label will not say the purity of Omega-3 in percentage. You will have to calculate it or call up the manufacturer.
To begin noticing true benefits, you will need higher than 80%. This is why Lovaza is 85% pure Omega-3. And also the reason why OmegaVia is equally strong. Please read this article for a more detailed explanation of why fish oil works best when 85% pure or better.
You mention a product at Costco with 1200 mg Omega-3. I am not aware of such a product at Costco. I would be happy to provide my opinion on this product if you can provide a link. Please refer to this blog for other fish oil brands that we think are effective.
Yes, you may take OmegaVia with Lipitor, but first, talk to your doctor about this.
Fish oil is not a cholesterol-reducer like Lipitor. It is a triglyceride-reducer. Triglyceride is a blood fat that many scientists feel is more telling of your heart health.
The most important thing is that you take the pills with a good-sized meal. Do not take on an empty stomach because less Omega-3 will be absorbed with an empty stomach. The bigger the meal and more fat there is in the meal, the better the Omega-3 absorption. You may take all your fish oil pills at once or throughout the day – it does not appear to make much of a difference.
Three OmegaVia a day is a good dosage for reducing triglycerides. If you are interested in information about this, the left side of this blog has a field where you can sign up to get a free report on how to reduce triglycerides. Many of our readers find this very helpful.
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About the Author: Vin Kutty is OmegaVia’s Scientific Advisor and Chief Blogger. He is a nutritionist, author, and Omega-3 expert with over 20 years of experience. Email him.