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Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil: Which is Better for You?

Updated on September 30, 2010

Krill: Supplement Facts

Serving Size: 1.00 Softgel

Servings per container: 60.00

Amount Per Serving % Daily Value

Calories 5.00

Calories from Fat 5.00

Total Fat 0.50 g 1%

Vitamin A 50.00 IU 1%

Vitamin E 0.25 IU 1%

Vitamin B6 2.00 mg 100%

Folic Acid 400.00 mcg 100%

Vitamin B12 6.00 mcg 100%

NKO Neptune Krill Oil 500.00 mg *

Omega-3 EPA 75.00 mg *

Omega-3 DHA 45.00 mg *

Omega-6 Fatty Acids 10.00 mg *

Omega-9 Fatty Acids 42.50 mg *

Esterified Astaxanthin 750.00 mcg *

Phospholipids 200.00 mg *

*Daily value not established.

Other ingredients: Gelatin, Glycerin, Water.

*information obtained from

People have been consuming fish oil for quite some time now because of the health benefits that it is said to contain. But there are many different kinds of fish which can end up in the production of fish oil and we're coming to find out as time goes on that there may be certain kinds which are better for the body than others. Specifically, what might be better than fish oil is actually krill oil, derived from the shrimp-like animals of the same name.

The debate about whether krill oil is actually better than fish oil is ongoing and hasn't yet been satisfied by research.

Here are the reasons that many people are on the side of the debate which supports going with krill:

  • Krill contains the same omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish but without the high concentrations of things like heavy metals which are more harmful to the body than the good that the acids can do.

  • Krill oil contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin which isn't found in fish oil. Adding an antioxidant to the existing benefits of fish oil is generally considered a positive difference.

  • Krill also has Vitamin D and Vitamin A which can't be found in fish oil.

Here are the reasons that many people are on the side of the debate which supports sticking with fish oil:

  • Krill oil is considerably more expensive than fish oil at the current time which means that you would be spending more money without yet knowing if the benefits are substantial.

  • Krill is rapidly becoming extinct so consuming it for its oil isn't good for the environment.

  • Fish oil contains higher levels of the important omega-3 fatty acids and therefore is more likely to have the desired effects.

Looking at the above reasons for either side of the debate, what we can see is that krill oil may or may not be healthier for humans than fish oil but that many people think that, until that research has proven the facts one way or the other, it makes more financial and ecological sense to stick with krill.


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  • Tongkat Ali profile image

    Tongkat Ali 2 months ago

    Krill oil is the most superior fish oil I have ever tried.

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    Gerry 5 years ago

    The argument clearly indicates sticking with Fish Oil, not Krill.

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    orlam 6 years ago

    I've been taking krill oil for the past month and just got my vit d checked cause I'm pregnant and they were perfect.the doc hasn't seen that in ages.coincidence maybe

  • profile image

    orlam 6 years ago

    I've been taking krill oil for the past month and just got my vit d checked cause I'm pregnant and they were perfect.the doc hasn't seen that in ages.coincidence maybe

  • profile image

    Luke 6 years ago

    Yeah that's what i though maria!

  • profile image

    Marika 6 years ago

    Didn't you mean "stick with fish oil" in your last sentence?

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    Laura 6 years ago

    Dave, I've heard there are only 2 companies that harvest krill. I've never heard that it is farmed. Where did you get that? I really want to know! I know synthetic astaxanthin is added to farmed salmon to make it look like salmon should (since their diet isn't natural).

    Also, I would think whales are high in mercury because they are large animals living in an ocean filled with mercury. Krill are tiny and don't have time to absorb so much mercury (just like the tiny fish we eat because they're safer~sardines, herring, etc.). Right? Am I crazy?

    Anyway, I want sources please. Thanks.

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    Jackson Jordan 6 years ago

    Krill Oil, found in deep pure waters of Antarctic is a new generation of Omega-3's that literally beats the pants off fish oil. My dietician recommended me to use Krill Doctor

    Professional brand and so far, it has been working very well. Very much satisfied with the quality of the product.

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    Matt 6 years ago

    Please make sure you buy your Krill Oil from company that harvests it from a sustainable source, its very important for the environment as Krill seems to be getting ever more a popular supplement. We dont want it to get endangered like our cod.

    I buy this Krill Plus 500 it is approved by the Marine stewardship council-

  • profile image

    Grant 7 years ago

    I googled "foods high in vitamin d" trying to find what foods I may already be eating contain D. This is one of the first few links which shows that the highest concentration of vitamin D *is* in fact fish and cod liver oil. Is it just flatly wrong?

    In your krill supplement facts above, vitamin d isn't even mentioned? Why not? Exactly how many IU of D does krill oil contian in a single softgel?

  • profile image

    Denise 7 years ago

    Krill is not anywhere near becoming extinct, and is not moving in that direction. A very small % of the krill currently harvested is turned into human food/supplements, 98% of it is used for animals. If this oil is such a drain, we really ought to look at that 98% (which no one is doing because there are huge amounts of krill).

  • profile image

    Hugo 7 years ago

    @Dave(people food guy)-->Astaxanthin is the natural carotinoid pigment in krill. Astaxanthin also occurs in sockeye salmon and various other fish but the concentration in krill--ironically, most of it in the eyes--is unusually high.


    Regarding fish allergies and fish oil, almost all of these dietary allergies are caused by the proteins and peptides in the flesh. Allergy to fish oil would only be expected if the oil contained traces of protein and peptides derived from the fish. With properly processed (i.e. cleaned) fish oil any impurities in the pure triglyceride oil should be negligible.

  • profile image

    Jay Dees 7 years ago

    Your statement about sticking with people food and not whale food is really stupid. I could just as easily say I won't eat fish because I would rather eat people food than bear food. It all depends on your perspective doesn't it.

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    John 7 years ago

    I have a fish allergy and really have no other choice other than flax oil. Just started taking Krill oil so I guess I'll see what happens

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    Dave 7 years ago

    I have been taking fish oil for years. My best cholesterol test showed ldl of about 110, hdl of 40, and triglycerides of 200 to 230. Over the past 5 months I changed to Krill, all other factors are the same, and my ldl dropped to 85, hdl increased to 50, and triglycerides dropped to 120.

    I will stick with Krill regardless of price.

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    Nicorette Gum 8 years ago

    One thing that is worth mentioning, krill oil is not only a good product but also a source that is a lot easier to replenish compared to fish oil, which is in high demand due to its high consumption.

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    dave 8 years ago

    More on krill being better than fish oil

    The company that makes Mega Red krill was censured for inaccurate advertising stating krill was healthier for your heart. The council for Responsible advertising found no evidence to support this and the company stopped that campaign although others, namely internet based doctors that sell krill continue to use it in their advertising.

    Next the dosage of Omega 3 in krill is far below what is needed to impact the health of many people since most have far too low an Omega 3 level to begin with.

    Astraxanthan is added to kill it is not naturally occuring and it can easily be added to fish oil.

    The increasing use of krill is strictly based on the popularity of fish oil as its sales were poor by comparison until fish oil "hit big"

    Using krill will not harm the arctic ecosystem as most of it comes from farmed sources in South America

    There are approximately 30 studies on krill in human health most coming out of the University of Guelph Ontario and most sponsored by one of the major manufacturers of the product.

    The scarcity of fish in the world is a subject of debate as well: the most recent "scarcity" paper was based on fish farming in Argentina and Peru and reflects more the impact of farming quality standards that actual fish counts. The World Fish council says that fish harvests have been steady for many years now. Who you believe is up to you but the recent "climate gate" issues cast a jaundiced eye on the entire "going green" movement, not in principle but in fact.

    Some comment of fish oil purity. Even the worst brands are pure out to parts per million in terms of heavy metals etc, and pharmaceutical grade brands are pure out to parts per trillion. There are also some ‘weapons grade” fish oils out there that even test for radiation!

    I have seen no published purity tests on krill but whale meet is notorious for its contamination with mercury to the point where its consumption is generally banned in many countries. The whales get their mercury by ingestion of their food source. I will let you fill in the blank as to what that food source is.

    I have personally assayed a number of brands of fish oil and have found an average of 40 IU of Vitamin D per Capsule. In additiion there is Vitamin A as well and some companies remove that to avoid potential toxicity ( it is fat soluble) and replace it with water solube Beta Carotene and there are many that use Vegan capsuels although its a moot point since it is FISH oil. Not sure what brand you tested in you comments here

    Even traditional medical organizations have come out in support of fish oil including the American college of Cardiology, The American Heart Association, and the American Cancer and the American Diabetes Association. These organizations are primarily drug company funded so for them to come out in support of ANY supplement is a huge statement.

    None of them support krill

    Finally there are over 10,000 human studies supporting the benefit of fish oil. These include several huge studies from around the world including Italy like GISSI PREVENZZIO that prove the benefits of fish oil. There are studies on arthritis cancer Alzheimer’s all using fish oil, none using krill. So your statement that “until that research has proven the facts one way or the other, it makes more financial and ecological sense to stick with krill" borders on nonsense and is clearly biased to me.. No major researcher has supported the benefits of krill over fish oil Google Barry Sears PHD and Artemis Simopoulis MD and you will find a wealth of credible info on fish oil and nothing on krill.

    There are major population based studies using fish oil consumption as a marker for heart disease prostate cancer and breast cancer. Until people begin to adopt whale food as a mainstay of their diet’s we will never see such study on krill Finally as a vitamin store owners have been telling me for some time now, you couldn't give krill away until fish oil hit it big.

    I understand the public’s need for something “new” and I applaud the krill marketers for taking advantage of what will probably be their only opportunity to sell a “me too supplement”, but there is very little science behind this choice and far more marketing.

    I will stick with people food not whale food.

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    Robubba 8 years ago

    What irks me is that people will bend over backwards to claim that we are stealing food from the whales. Lol. A Single whale will eat more krill than the entire human population. Plus krill multiplies like fruit flies.

  • expectus profile image

    expectus 8 years ago from Land Downunder

    holy moly imagine how many krill you need for a single capsule