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Krill Oil Supplements - Better than Fish Oil!

Updated on October 17, 2011

Antarctic krill oil

When I was younger, I used to scoff at people who took a lot of vitamins and supplements, but now that I’ve just passed 50 and realize that I’m not invincible, I take supplements, too. I’m always researching information about dietary supplements that actually provide benefits. The latest that’s caught my attention is krill oil. Antarctic krill oil, to be specific.

What’s Antarctic krill oil?

Antarctic krill oil is oil that comes from krill. Okay, so what’s krill? Krill are tiny crustaceans that resemble shrimp. You’d never be able to make a cocktail out of these little critters, however, as many are only one centimeter in length. But what they lack in size, they make up for in sheer numbers and volume. In fact, they make up the largest animal biomass on Earth, and most krill are found in the Antarctic. Hence the name, Antarctic krill oil.

Krill are what baleen whales feed on. They take huge gulps of seawater and filter the krill through their whisker-like baleen.

Why are krill oil supplements beneficial?

Krill oil supplements are beneficial to humans for several reasons. For one thing, oil from krill contains the healthy omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA). These healthy fats can have a powerful positive impact on the cardiovascular system, reducing harmful LDL cholesterol and increasing healthy HDL cholesterol. Krill oil can also lower blood pressure and triglycerides, and because it makes platelets in the blood less likely to stick together, it decreases the chance of blood clots.

Krill oil supplements can also reduce the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, menstrual cramps, and muscle strain. The oil from krill has also been shown to help control the symptoms of PMS and to treat ADHD in adults.

Because oil from krill also contains vitamins A, D, and E, it’s also a powerful antioxidant that might help reduce the risk of some cancers. Krill oil also contains a substance called astaxanthin, which protects the skin from UV damage. For sun worshippers like me, this is important. If krill oil will help me avoid wrinkles, I’m all for it!

Astaxanthin is a very special antioxidant. It’s a carotenoid, an organic pigment that gives the pink or reddish hue to shrimp, salmon, lobster, crayfish, algae, and krill. Research shows that astaxanthin may be beneficial in the prevention and in the treatment of diseases of the immune system and the cardiovascular system and also provide benefits to those suffering from neurodegenerative and inflammatory conditions.

Especially important is astaxanthin’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, unlike most other antioxidants, making it available to the brain, the central nervous system, and the eye. This could be paramount to treating conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma.

Are krill oil supplements better than fish oil?

Krill oil supplements are superior to fish oil substances for several reasons. The main reason krill oil supplements are better lies in the way the EPA and DHA are absorbed by the body. Fish oil is carried by triglycerides, so the cells have a more difficult time utilizing the healthy fatty acids. Krill oil, on the other hand, is in the form of phospholipids. Cell membranes are made of phospholipids, too, so human cells can readily recognize and utilize the EPA and DHA of krill oil supplements.

Also, traditional fish oil supplements lack the powerful antioxidants contained in krill oil supplements. Another benefit of krill oil supplements is that they have no fishy aftertaste or odor, and the softgel capsules are much smaller than most fish oil capsules, so they’re easier to swallow. Plus, with all the krill oil supplements I’ve checked out, you only need to take one of these small capsules a day.

Why Antarctic krill oil?

With Antarctic krill oil, you won’t have to worry about toxins like mercury or other heavy metals. Because the region is far removed geographically from factories and other sources of pollution and contaminants, Antarctic krill oil is safe.

Antarctic krill oil is also abundant, and the population of krill is easily sustained in the Antarctic, where the annual krill harvest is far below international guidelines.

Is the production of Antarctic krill oil environmentally friendly?

Most of the companies that harvest krill and produce Antarctic krill oil use specially designed nets to catch the krill. These nets are able to single out whales, penguins, seals, and fish so that they can be released safely back into the sea.

Do krill oil supplements have any adverse side effects?

Very few negative side effects have been reported with krill oil supplements. A few people have experienced mild diarrhea, nausea, and/or indigestion. Also, people with bleeding disorders should consult their doctor before taking krill oil supplements. If you’re undergoing a surgery, stop taking krill oil supplements at least two weeks ahead of time.

Those who are allergic to shrimp and other forms of seafood might also be allergic to krill and krill oil.

If you’re pregnant or are breast feeding, it’s best not to take krill oil supplements. There simply hasn’t been enough research in this area.

Drug interactions

Because krill oil and krill oil supplements can affect the blood’s ability to clot, people taking blood thinners or medications that thin the blood as a side effect should be careful about taking krill oil. Such medications include aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, heparin, Lovenox, Fragmin, Cataflam, Voltaren, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, and Naprosyn.

If you’re taking Xenacal or Alli, the absorption of krill oil will be reduced. Take the krill oil two hours before the Xenacal or Alli, or take krill oil supplements two hours after.

Who makes the best krill oil supplements?

Several reputable companies make good quality krill oil supplements. One of the most popular is Source Naturals krill oil, which is pure Antarctic krill oil. Source Naturals krill oil and some other pure antarctic krill oil is also called NKO krill oil, which stands for Neptune krill oil.

To purchase Source Naturals krill oil or NKO krill oil online, check out the deals below. Other popular brands of krill oil supplements are also offered.

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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Moby says... "mmmmmm.... krill...."

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Wow, habee, that is some information. Thank you for a very comprehensive hub. I certainly try this one. It sounds great.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      nicomp, I like my krill steamed with a little horseradish! lol

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, HH! I take krill oil every day! Just bought a new bottle of supplements last night.

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 7 years ago from Texas, USA

      I heard this being advertised on radio; thanks for the additional information.

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 7 years ago

      Very interesting article. I have taken fish oil supplements but never knew the difference between krill oil and fish oil supplements. I definitely will consider this one. Thanks for the information.

      Sage

    • Teresa Laurente profile image

      Maria Teresa Rodriguez - Laurente 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

      I heard about this at Dr. Oz show. Thank you for the re-enforcement. Much needed detail and information. More power habee.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 7 years ago from Delaware

      Very interesting as Krill's ability to cross the blood-brain barrier is also useful for MS. Thanks for the info!

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 7 years ago

      Fascinating............ I hadn't heard of this before. Thank you for the information!

      Kaie

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      Great information Habee. I do appreciate the listing of the drugs it can negatively interact with.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Habee, This is an excellent hub as you included all the things we need to know including side effect with other medicines. I didn't know about Krill oil but I think I will get some. It sounds excellent. Very good hub.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      I know I have heard of Krill oil before but it didn't really stick in my head. Somehow I think your hub, habee, will! Good job!

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      I am sold! Let me at them :-)

    • profile image

      mtsi1098 7 years ago

      this is worth a try...thanks

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      Very interesting. Being a vegan...obviously I can't take these but I imagine they have some wonderful benefits.

    • entertianmentplus profile image

      entertianmentplus 7 years ago from United States

      Interesting and informative hub.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Interesting hub. I heard that krill oil was so much better.

    • profile image

      quildon 7 years ago

      Interesting hub, habee. Never heard of krill before.

    • rls8994 profile image

      rls8994 7 years ago from Mississippi

      Habee, another great hub! I never knew about Krill oil. I will have to give it a try!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Thanks for the info - I actually take fish oil and did not know about krill.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      You're welcome, Coolmon!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Sage, I now take krill oil supplements AND flax oil. I don't like the fish oil!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Sage, I now take krill oil supplements AND flax oil. I don't like the fish oil!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Great, Tereasa! I love Dr. Oz.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Jen, I hadn't thought about krill oil supplements and MS!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      You're welcome, Kaie!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Veronica! Good to see ya!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      thanks, Pam - I take krill oil every day

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      Hi habee, never heard of this oil before, but after reading this hub I'm going to go out and buy some. I'll Stumble this one. Oh yeah, thumbs up.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I'll cross my fingers, Ann!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, deGreek! Good to see you!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Mtsi, right - that's what I thought!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Herbi, you can take flax oil instead of krill oil!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      Great info - I did not know about krill oil. I'll have to check it out although I'm getting a bit miffed at adding 'one more thing' - is this what we have to look forward to? I guess it always beats the alternative, eh?

    • Madison22 profile image

      Madison 7 years ago from NYC

      WOW, habee!! Great info on this hub. It seems like a good supplement, one I never heard of but, now I am totally going to look into it. Thanks a bunch:-)

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading, Entertainment!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Sandy, from all I can find, krill oil supplements are better!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Quildon, good to see you!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Rls, I take the krill oil with my flax oil.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Billy, I switched from fish oil to krill oil!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      FF, thanks a bunch! I'm headed over to your place!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Audrey, I didn't add another supplement - I exchanged fish oil for krill oil!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Madison, I like the krill oil supplements because they're so small and easy to swallow!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      I'm so glad I read this - First time I've heard of it. I love the fact that it has no Mercury Factors and no odour. I'm guessing these are only available from US...

      I will check if Holland and Barratt have it in UK.

      Thanks. xx

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Hope you find some, Lady E!

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      habee, I've heard amazing things from friends and family about this. I love Source Naturals Products and use them myself. Thanks and Peace :)

    • Anath profile image

      Anath 7 years ago

      I had heard about krill before but I didn't know about krill oil supplements and its benefits. Thanks for the information, like you I am a sun worshipper so it is interesting to know that krill oil suplements protect your skin from sun damage.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Katie, I like their products, too!

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Great hub. I've been taking krill oil for the past month or so, in addition to fish oil, which I've been taking for years. Now I have your hub to for easy links to stock up! :-)

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, LL! I take krill oil supplements and flax seed oil. I never liked the fish oil.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Well, Anath, maybe the krill oil will save us both!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Hi Habee. I liked this a lot. I take fish oil right now. I'll consider this krill oil though! Thank you!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I like the krill oil much better, Micky!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Never heard of krill oil as a supplement before, but useful to know, thanks.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      you're welcome, Tony!

    • mulberry1 profile image

      mulberry1 7 years ago

      Interesting information. I had heard of Krill Oil but didn't know what it's uses were or much of anything. I've also recently learned of Red Yeast Rice as another natural supplement to reduce cholesterol. It's nice to see options rather than just pharmaceuticals!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I'll have to check out the red yeast rice! Thanks!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is so good to know. Often if I take fish oil capsules I end up burping them for much of the day. We get our fish oil capsules at Costco. Will have to see if they also sell the krill oil. Thanks for this very informative article.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      thanks for the info habee, dont know about this before, definitely good, Maita

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      You won't have to worry about that with krill oil, Peggy!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Maita!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

      Glad I caught this I have fish oil on a list I am about out of and if this is better than fish oil which I have taken for years I definitely will try it. Great info! Polly

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      I take it every day, Polly!

    • elf_cash profile image

      elf_cash 6 years ago

      I've been reading about krill oil. Thanks!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      I take krill oil every day, Elf!

    • muscledouble profile image

      muscledouble 5 years ago from United States

      I was well aware of fish oil but I wasn't aware of krill oil. I stumbled upon this hub. Thanks habee!

      I like this part the most:

      "With Antarctic krill oil, you won’t have to worry about toxins like mercury or other heavy metals. Because the region is far removed geographically from factories and other sources of pollution and contaminants, Antarctic krill oil is safe."

      Mercury levels on fish is scary. Cheers Habee!

    • Matt107 profile image

      Matt107 5 years ago

      I'm a Krill Convert!

      krill plus 500 -

      http://www.worldabs.com/products/krill-oil-500-veg...

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

      This is a well research article. I've been doing my own research and like krill oil as well. Although I still take fish oil in addition. I especially like that krill oil contain astaxanthin which is one of the more potent anti-oxidants out there which many people have never heard of. Which is why I wrote about astaxanthin here: https://hubpages.com/health/Astaxanthin-Health-Ben...

    • profile image

      Myth 5 years ago

      Krill oil is being studied as a natural remedy for high cholesterol. My parents used Krill oil and reduced LDL (commonly referred to as "bad") cholesterol by 34% and increased HDL ("good") cholesterol by 43.5%. Krill Doctor Professional has really great results.

    • profile image

      Phil M 5 years ago

      Neptune Krill Oil is truly amazing!

      It is at the cutting edge of science and will health most people with lowering cholestrol and improving on cognitive health!

    • TycoonSam profile image

      TycoonSam 4 years ago from Washington, MI

      Great information. I take the NKO brand myself.

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