Fish oil capsules are a popular supplement well known for their ability to reduce inflammation, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve overall cardiovascular health due to their content of omega-3 fatty acids.
One source of omega-3 that is so far less known but growing in popularity is krill oil.
Many sources will tell you that krill oil is a better source of omega-3 fatty acids than fish oil, but why is this?
Krill oil is also usually more expensive on a gram-for-gram basis than fish oil, so let’s see if the extra cost is worthwhile and if krill oil is actually the better option.
Why is Krill Oil Better than Fish Oil?
Both krill oil and fish oil contain the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, both of which offer superior absorption rates to the ALA found in plant-based sources of omega-3 such as flaxseed.
The main difference in the EPA and DHA content of krill oil and fish oil is the form in which it is found.
The omega-3 found in fish oil comes in the form of triglycerides whereas in krill oil it is in a form known as phospholipids, directly mimicking the EPA and DHA present within the cell mitochondria of the human body.
This allows for greater absorption and utilization, but the superior benefits of krill oil don’t stop there.
The EPA in krill oil also comes bound with the antioxidant astaxanthin, as well as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. This means that the antioxidant capacity of krill oil is more than forty times that of fish oil.
Simply put, krill oil is not only more readily absorbed and utilized within the body; it also offers greater health benefits overall.
Although krill oil supplements are typically more expensive than their fishy counterparts, they offer higher levels of EPA and DHA at a lower overall dose, meaning that you can receive the same amount of omega-3 (or more) while taking less.
Is Krill Oil Safe for Everyday Use?
Cheaper brands of fish oil supplements have become notorious for their pollutant content, and although krill oil doesn’t necessarily offer a higher degree of purity there is the factor of shelf life to consider.
Omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats in general are highly unstable and can be very easily oxidized by light, heat, and oxygen. This makes their shelf life highly unpredictable.
To make matters worse, there is often no way of finding out the transit methods of the company you are buying your supplements for, and your product may have been sitting in a hot shipping container for days or even weeks before purchase.
Fortunately, the far greater antioxidant content of krill oil essentially acts as a preservative.
There is no conclusive data showing that this directly affects the shelf life of krill oil, but antioxidants are commonly used in food products for their preservation qualities, so this definitely tends to suggest yet another benefit they possess over fish oil