There is a lot of information surrounding krill and fish oils. Most people get confused between the two or assume that they are the same thing and that they contain the same benefits. They also wonder if they are safe to consume due to contamination issues and allergies. Read more below to find out the differences and similarities between these two popular oils.
Krill oil comes from shellfish. It is extracted from a specie of Antarctic krill, which is a small, shrimp-like crustacean found in the Southern Ocean. Situated at the very bottom of the food chain, krill feed primarily on phytoplankton, or microscopic marine algae. Krill oil contains omega-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), phospholipid-derived fatty acids and astaxanthin, a carotenoid revered for its antioxidant properties.
Fish oil is derived from the tissues of oily fish. Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The fish used as sources of the oil do not actually produce omega-3 fatty acids, but rather accumulate them by eating either algae (microalgae in particular), plankton or prey fish. The best source of EPA and DHA are oily fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and tuna.
The benefits of krill oil and fish oil are pretty similar. Both krill oil and fish oil are high in omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, which have been linked to an extensive list of health benefits. These include but are not limited to, reducing inflammation, decreasing risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and diabetes, lowering cholesterol, easing arthritis symptoms, strengthening bones and joints, boosting brain health, and improving skin health. In addition to that, krill oil helps with immune system function and fights free radicals in the body. Fish oil also helps to decrease depression disorder symptoms, reverses age-related eye disorders and has been found effective in treating hypertriglyceridemia.
Krill oil may slow blood clotting and could interfere with certain medications, including blood thinners. If you’re allergic to crustaceans or seafood, you should not take krill oil. Common side effects of krill oil include heartburn, nausea, bad breath, indigestion, stomach discomfort, belching and a fishy aftertaste. Krill oil is believed to have lower levels of mercury and heavy metals than fish oil, because krill eat algae and as a result are less likely to accumulate high amounts of these contaminants.
Fatty predatory fish like sharks, swordfish, tilefish, and albacore tuna may accumulate toxic substances (mercury, dioxin, PCBs and chlordane) through biomagnification due to their position at the top of the food chain. Fish oil make cause belching, fishy aftertaste and bad breath.
Krill oil and fish oil have many of the same benefits including reducing inflammation, improving in cardiovascular, skin and brain health, strengthening bones and joints to name but a few. Krill oil may have lower levels of mercury and heavy metals than fish oil but if you stick to fish oil derived from salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and tuna, there is no eminent danger. Krill may have more side effects in some people and may cause allergies. In any case, it is a good idea to check out reviews on reputable sites like Authority Health and to speak to your doctor before taking any type of supplement containing krill or fish oil.
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