The message was: Krill oil is definitely better than fish oil, but only a little bit.
An unpublished study presented by Neptune Krill Oil (NKO) in 2009 showed that Krill oil was about 30 to 40% better at getting Omega-3 incorporated into your body.
A New Clinical Study: Same Results
Now, a new study was just published by Aker BioMarine, the makers of Superba krill oil. The study titled Metabolic Effects of Krill Oil are Essentially Similar to Those of Fish Oil but at Lower Dose of EPA and DHA, in Healthy Volunteers was published in the Nov. 2010 issue of Lipids Journal.
In this paper, we once again, get confirmation that krill oil is better than fish oil. But again, only by a little bit.
Here is the result in a nutshell:
The health benefits of 1000 mg of fish oil Omega-3 can be had with about 650 mg of Krill oil Omega-3.
In other words, Krill oil is 1.5X better than Fish Oil.
Practical Example: MegaRed Krill Oil has 90 mg of Omega-3 from Superba Krill Oil. Based on this new research, you will need 7 to 8 MegaRed pills to equal 1000 mg of Omega-3 from fish oil.
At $0.49 per pill, that’s $3.92 per day (Walgreens price).
Patients in this study took the equivalent of 7 MegaRed pills a day, and yet, there was no reduction in triglycerides or cholesterol.
MegaRed packaging and marketing materials suggest a dosage of just one small pill per day.
Krill Oil vs Fish Oil: Study Conclusions
- There is no difference in how much Omega-3 is absorbed into your body
- No difference in the reduction of cholesterol
- No difference in the reduction of triglycerides
- No difference between HDL cholesterol
- No difference in markers of oxidative stress (F2-isoprostane)
- No difference in markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein)
Krill Oil’s Little Surprise!
For the most part, this paper says that krill oil is better than fish oil.
But there was a nasty little surprise hidden in there!
Unlike fish oil, Krill oil increases the level of Arachidonic acid (AA) in your body.
AA is a nasty little Omega-6 that causes a lot of health problems if its levels are too high.
Dr. Barry Sears calls AA “possibly the most dangerous fat known. If you inject AA into rabbits, they will die within 3 minutes.”
Your body needs tiny little amounts of AA, but get a little more than you need…and you have the perfect ingredient to create pain and inflammation.
Got arthritis? AA will make it worse.
Got gum disease? AA will make it worse.
If you’re perfectly healthy, a little bit of AA won’t hurt you, but if you have any inflammatory disease, even a little extra AA will make your life miserable.
Bottom-line – Krill oil vs Fish oil:
Based on this study (read the study here),
- Krill oil is still better than fish oil.
- Krill oil is 1.5X times better than fish oil.
- Krill oil increases pain-causing Arachidonic Acid
- There is no difference between Krill oil and Fish oil when it comes to blood lipids like cholesterol, triglycerides, etc.
But Krill oil is 10X more expensive than fish oil (on an Omega-3 basis.)
Why consumers continue to buy and pay 10X more for a product that provides only 1.5X more benefit will continue to astound me.
The authors of the study did not do this, but I suspect that if they had compared Krill oil vs Fish Oil in EHTYL ESTER form, Krill may have performed even better. Possibly 2X better? But still, in my opinion, 2X better does not justify a 10X premium in price.
Zucker Diabetic Fatty
No, that’s not an insult.
It’s a kind of an obese rat used in clinical research.
An unpublished report from the good folks at Neptune compares their krill oil with Lovaza in rats. They found that their new pharmaceutical grade krill oil called CaPre reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol significantly in rats while Lovaza (prescription fish oil) did not. They also noticed a significant reduction in triglycerides with their krill oil.
Of course, this preclinical study was performed on rats. It looks good for their future clinical studies on humans.
So the last word on Krill oil is far from written.
|DISCLAIMER: The contents of this blog do not constitute medical advice. This is merely an open discussion of the science behind health and nutrition. Please consult your physician for medical advice.|
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.