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Krill, the "other" fish oil

Krill are shrimp-like crustaceans eaten by blue whales & are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. Krill is the largest Biomass in the world, with most found in Antarctica, weighing more than any other population of animals and humans on earth. Krill harvesting is one of the most sustainable practices on the planet & it is strictly regulated. According to Neptune Krill Oil Company (NKO), krill harvested for human consumption does not pose an environmental threat or depletion of the natural food chain, so reports of its numbers decreasing may be false. With fish oil, over-fishing IS an issue with fishing quotas 15-30% higher than those recommended as safe by scientists. Krill harvesting seems to not pose this threat.

The main producer of Krill products is NKO (Neptune Krill Oil). Many of the products on the shelves will say ‘NKO’ signifying the trademarked product. In comparing Krill to fish oil, there are many differences, such as:

  •          ORAC Value (Oxidative Radical Absorption Capability / antioxidant capacity) - krill has a 48x higher ORAC value of standard fish oil
  • Fish Oil has a higher percentage of EPA & DHA but krill has the added benefit of astaxanthin, vitamins A & D, and possibly other nutrients (such as small amounts of phospholipids)
  • The phospholipids in NKO krill have the highest concentration of omega 3’s found in any product. They are double chain phospholipid structures which makes them more absorbable than the omega 3’s in fish oil.
  • Krill’s antioxidant power is 300 times more potent than vitamin A & E, 47 times more than Lutein, and 34 times more than CoQ10
  • In a cholesterol study, Krill reduced LDL levels by 34% and increased HDL levels by 43.5% where as regular fish oil only 4.6% and 4.2% respectively. Krill also lowered triglycerides in this study.
    • Krill has similar benefits to a statin drug except it does not strip the body of CoQ10.
  • It is noted that miniscule amounts of shellfish residues could be present in some krill products therefore krill should be avoided by those with shellfish allergies.


The antioxidant power found in krill prevents it from going rancid and has anti-aging properties, specifically astaxanthin, which is found in the algae that krill feed on. Astaxanthin is a unique marine-source Flavonoid can be metabolized entirely by our bodies yielding the maximum benefit. It does this by creating a special bond with the EPA/DHA which allows direct metabolism of antioxidants making them more bioavailable. Astaxanthin prevents the oxidation of LDL and the body therefore calls for less cholesterol. It also is showing “promising” results in children with ADD and dyslexia. It also provides protection against ultraviolet light and UV induced skin damage


Krill may alleviate problems associated with PMS due to Omega 3’s natural anti-inflammatory properties.

While the Krill ‘industry’ has some beneficial research, more research is needed before determining the role of krill in disease and health related conditions and its advantages over fish oil. Until more studies are conducted “it would be premature to claim that krill oil is better than fish oil or vice versa”.

Similar to fish oil, krill has been shown to be beneficial for a range of health issues including Cognitive, memory, and learning support, Blood sugar health, Joint support, Anti-aging, Protection of cell membranes, Cholesterol and other blood lipid health, Healthy liver function, Normal PMS symptom relief, Immune boosting, Mood support & Skin health. In one 2007 study, assessing Krill’s effectiveness for inflammation & the treatment of arthritic symptoms, after 7 days of treatment, 300 mg of krill reduced inflammation by 19% and 30% after 14 days.

Total Health stocks ‘NKO Krill Oil’ from Jarrow Formulas; with 60 gels @ 400 mg for $33.95 (30 gels are $17.95). Each gel consists of 400 mg Phospholipid Complex (‘PhosphOmega’) yielding 75 mg EPA & 45 mg DHA. Suggested dosing is 2 gels with am meal for 30 days & then 1 gel with am meal as maintenance. Most all Krill Oil products are sourced from NKO (Neptune Krill Oil Company), so direct cost comparisons can be easily made.



To order or for additional information, call Jeff at (919) 781-9994 or jeff@totalhealthnutritioncenter.com


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned above are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.