Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil – Which Is Better For Your Health?

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By Leslie Waterson

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil

Fish oil and krill oil both contain omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA – two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are widely known for their benefit on our heart and brain health.

However, although both oils contain omega 3 fatty acids, some claim that krill oil may be better than fish oil in terms of absorption and other benefits. While krill oil comes from Antarctic krill, fish oil comes from different types of fatty fish, making them a great source of omega. This fact alone is what sets the oils apart when it comes to benefits.

In this article, we are going to briefly take a look at the differences between krill vs. fish oil and see which is better between the two. While both contain omega 3s it’s important to know the difference in quality and benefits so you can decide which has what you need.

Without further ado, let’s get started with this guide to Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil!

What Is Krill Oil?

Krill oil comes from a small, shrimp-like animal, Antarctic krill. Krill is a popular diet among mantas, Baleen whales, and whale sharks. The word “krill” means “whale food” in Norwegian.

Thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids, krill oil is used for heart problems, eye problems like dry eye disease, high levels of triglycerides, and high levels of cholesterol. However, more research is needed to see the effectiveness of krill oil against these diseases and conditions.

Aside from containing omega-3 fatty acids, krill oil also contains considerable amounts of antioxidants called astaxanthin. This antioxidant is responsible for the krill oil’s reddish color.

Krill Oil

Benefits Of Krill Oil

In terms of health benefits, these omega 3 supplements can deliver mostly the same health benefits because both are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. However, krill oil is said to have different properties which make it better than fish oil. Krill oil may be better than fish oil, but we will dive into the facts below.

1. Better Absorption

There are many effects of krill oil, so we will focus on the top studied. Some human studies suggest that our body can better absorb krill oil because the fatty acids found in krill oil comes in the form of phospholipids, which according to many experts, make krill oil more absorbable compared to fish oil, wherein its fatty acids come in triglycerides form.

For instance, in one study, participants were asked to either take fish oil and krill oil, but the krill oil in question have lower doses compared to the fish oil. Interestingly, despite having lower doses, both krill oil and fish oil gave the same amount of DHA and EPA to the participants.

However, although there are studies made regarding the absorption of krill oil in our body, many experts believe that more study is needed to conclude that krill oil is indeed better absorbed by our body compared to fish oil.

2. Greater Antioxidants

Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that can be found in krill oil. Aside from giving krill oil its reddish color, research suggests that astaxanthin can provide heart health benefits as well as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to our body.

In one example, according to one study, astaxanthin can lower triglycerides levels and raise HDL or “good” cholesterol. However, more astaxanthin is used in this study compared to the amount of astaxanthin that you can get from typical krill oil.

Nevertheless, getting antioxidants is still good because it protects your body from inflammation by fighting off free radicals, a major factor in the development of inflammation.

Inflammation, especially when occurring over a long period, can contribute to major diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

What Is Fish Oil?

Fish oil is an oil that comes from fishes, especially fatty fishes. Like krill oil, fish oil is also widely known for its omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, in terms of rich sources of omega-3, it’s is more popular than krill.

As mentioned above, fish oil can be obtained from fish. So, if you are fond of eating fish, then you are likely getting good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Specifically, fish oil can be found in fatty fishes like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and herring. Aside from eating fish, you can also get this oil through dietary supplements.

Fish oil is known for its benefit for things like heart disease and brain health, thanks to its omega-3’s. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even approved some fish products like prescription medicines to lower triglycerides levels in our bodies.

However, these supplements are different from fish oil products used as prescription medicines – these supplements contain fewer amounts of fish oil compared to their prescription medicine counterpart, so you cannot use the supplement for medication purposes.

Fish Oil

Benefits Of Fish Oil: The “Fatty Fish”

Apparently, like krill oil, fish oil provides the same health benefits because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA and EPA, which are both known for their benefits for the heart and mental health. But can this oil be any better than krill?

1. More Accessible

Although fish oil may be less absorbable by our body than krill oil, the main benefit comes in its accessibility.

Fish oils are more accessible and cheaper when compared to its counterpart. To begin with, you can get this oil just by eating fatty fish alone like tuna, mackerel, and salmon. If you are fond of eating these fishes, you are already getting good amounts of fish oil and the omega-3 fatty acids that come with it.

Also, these supplements are cheaper compared to krill oil supplements. While krill is more absorbable compared to fish, it is expensive compared to the latter. Budget-wise, fish oil is more sustainable in the long run compared to krill oil.

In short, although fish oils are less potent in terms of their properties relative to krill oil, you can get most of it through its accessibility and affordable supplements.

Does Krill Oil Or Fish Oil Contain Omega 3?

The main benefits of krill and fish oil come from the omega 3s it contains. Omega-3sare made up of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While EPA and DHA are more popular, making sure ALA is present as well is crucial for maximum health benefits.

These omega 3’s can be found in the original source as well as the supplement source. This means getting the benefits from fatty fish is helpful as taking the supplement or vitamin is.

Krill oil and fill oil

Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil: Which Is Better?

Krill oil vs fish oil, which is more beneficial to you? Although krill and fish oil have significant differences, when it comes to health benefits, they remain the same – both are rich in omega-3s, and hence, both can provide aid to heart disease and brain health benefits for your body. That being said, whether you’ll choose fish oils or krill oil will depend on your personal preference.

You may opt to explore the benefits of krill oil and see if it will work better for you compared to fish oil. However, krill oil comes at a relatively high cost, and it may not be good for your budget in the long run.

On the other hand, fish oil may not have the perks that krill oil can give you, but its accessibility and affordable price meant that you can also get sustainable amounts of omega-3 from it – well, if you are fond of eating fish like tuna and salmon, you’re already getting good amounts of it!

Recommended Fish Oil And Krill Oil Brands

The good thing about these supplements is that they tend to have minimal side effects. When looking for a supplement to take, make sure that you buy one that is high quality. Typically products that boast crazy benefits like “will prevent you from a heart attack,” are ones to stay away from. The more high quality the brand, the saner the benefits will sound. Stick to these brands over the highly marketed ones.

If you want to try either omega 3 supplements and you’re not sure which brand to use or try, the following are some of our recommendations. These are supplements that have been tested and tried by both the brand and outside sources, making them a great option to take.

Nature Made Fish Oil 1200mg Vitamin D 1000IU 

Nature Made Fish Oil

Aside from providing EPA and DHA, this oil supplement also provides a good amount of vitamin D, which is important because we only get vitamin D from very few food sources. This is one of the most popular fish oil supplements on the market and for good reason. It’s high quality and from a great brand.


Life Extension Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA

Life Extension Super Omega-3 EPA:DHA

 Fish oils are a great way to improve your energy. Life Extension offers 1200mg of EPA and DHA into every serving, hence the name “Super Omega-3”! Simply put, you’re getting more EPA and DHA from this supplement, which makes it one of the top fish oil supplements.


Viva Naturals Antarctic Krill Oil 

Viva Naturals Antarctic Krill Oil 

Unlike typical krill oil capsules, Viva Naturals contain high doses of krill oil and astaxanthin. This can make the supplement more effective compared to a regular krill oil supplement.


Sports Research Antarctic Krill Oil 

Sports Research Antarctic Krill Oil 

This Sports Research supplement does not contain any filler and soy. Aside from that, this supplement is only made up of three ingredients in addition to the krill oil itself.


Should You Give Krill Oil Or Fish Oil A Try?

It should be no surprise that these supplements are great for your body, as oily fish and fatty fish, in general, is awesome for preventing heart attacks and providing humans with a source of omega.

If you are trying to increase your daily intake of omega 3s, supplementing with these oils can be beneficial. The three omega fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have a variety of benefits that can help increase your well-being. EPA and DHA are more well-known than ALA but all three are beneficial. EPA and DHA can be found in fish and other seafood, but all three can be found in krill in particular.

Omega 3 supplements can help with a variety of health issues, from easing depression and anxiety to improving metabolic health to increasing heart health, and more. One of the most common reasons omega 3 supplements are taken is to improve heart disease or even prevent heart disease.

It’s always important to do your own research on the health information of supplements before you try them out. Make sure to ignore media websites when doing your research, and stick to either medical or nutritional websites.

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Leslie Waterson

Leslie has been passionately involved in the health and fitness industries for over a decade. She is constantly reviewing the latest scientific research and studies in order to take a research-backed approach to lifestyle optimization. Her main areas of interest include nutrition and supplementation. Leslie shares her findings on Fitness Clone to help other health enthusiasts choose the products and routines that will help them achieve their goals.