For years doctors have recommended fish oil as the prime source of omega-3, and now krill oil is becoming increasingly popular as a supplement. Both oils have great health benefits, but they are not the same. If we take a closer look at both types of omega-3 supplement, one of them might turn out to be the best when faced against each other in an omega challenge.
The Importance of Omega-3
Eiconsapentaenoic acid, also known as EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, known as DHA, are the two most important omega-3 fatty acids. Although these are both essential for good health, the human body is not capable of producing them and can only absorb them through digestion.
Omega-3 fatty acids help to maintain a healthy heart, develop nerve function, reduce inflammation and prevent blood clots. Lack of omega-3 in the diet can result in depression. Omega-3 supplements can help to reduce depression and can also slow down the processes of aging.
Fish oil and krill oil are both natural sources of omega-3.
What is Krill Oil?
Krill are tiny crustaceans, which feed on phytoplankton. Krill exist in massive numbers in the world’s oceans. They are the main food source for certain types of whale, fish and bird species. Krill are so tiny that as many as sixty thousand can live in one cubic metre of seawater.
Krill contain concentrated nutrients from the food they consume. Phytoplankton are natural providers of omega-3, and oil extracted from krill is an excellent source of these beneficial fatty acids. The reddish colour of it comes from an antioxidant called astaxanthin. It is this that gives crustaceans their pink or red colouring.
It is slightly higher in EPA than fish oil.
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is extracted from what we know as “oily fish”. Unlike other types of fish, the oily species provide us with the two most important omega-3 fatty acids. Concentration of DHA can be higher in some types of fish oil than in oil extracted from krill.
It can come from a number of species, including the New Zealand hoki. Other types of oily fish include anchovies, mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna, rainbow trout, striped bass, halibut, menhaden and bluefish.
Benefits of Krill Oil
Medical research shows that krill oil is effective in reducing levels of cholesterol in healthy people. It also reduces triglycerides, a form of fat stored in the blood, too much of which is a major cause of heart disease. The natural fatty acid content of it is known to reduce the risk of blood clotting and therefore it is helpful in preventing heart disease and stroke.
It’s also very beneficial to women who regularly suffer from painful menstrual cramps or premenstrual syndrome. These women experience a lot less pain and more relief from their symptoms when taking the supplement.
It has proved to be highly effective in helping people who suffer with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It relives joint pain by reducing the amount of stiffness and swelling. The powerful antioxidant in krill, astaxanthin, also helps to repair cell damage caused by toxins and by aging.
Krill are harvested from unpolluted waters, so there is no need for any purification process when extracting the oil.
Benefits of Fish Oil
It is recommended for general health and wellbeing, particular for anyone whose diet does not contain oily fish. It contains the same two important omega-3 fatty acids as krill oil, and there are slightly higher quantities of DPA present in some fish species. Both of these essential fatty acids allow the brain, eyes and nerves to keep functioning well. They also have cardiovascular benefits in decreasing cholesterol levels and protecting against blood clots.
Fish oil also reduces inflammation and helps to ease swollen or painful joints.
Which Omega Oil is the Best?
Medical studies of krill oil continue, but it has already proved to be more effective in the treatment of many medical conditions. It is slightly more beneficial in the reduction of inflammation and for managing symptoms of arthritic conditions. It also works well in reducing severe period pains and for women suffering premenstrual tension.
Fish oil can cause bad breath and nausea. There is no fishiness in the oil extracted from krill. It’s also more easily absorbed by the human body. The omega-3 from krill comes in a form that’s ready to enter the bloodstream. Krill contains a powerful antioxidant and the oil does seem to be more potent. While fish oil is well known for its benefits to health, it does look as if omega-3 oil from krill will turn out to be the winner.