Are krill oil supplements better than fish oil capsules?

Just wondering if Krill Oil supplements are any better than fish oil capsules. Do you have any suggestions on the best way to get the benefits of fish without actually eating it?

yummy / Originally posted on DDT in Fish Oil Supplements


The longest study I could find done on krill oil was only 3 months in duration, so long-term effectiveness and safety is unknown, but recent short-term studies suggest that krill oil would have comparable bioavailability and metabolic effects.

Krill are lower on the food chain and would be expected to have lower levels of accumulated pollutants, though an upcoming paper in Environmental Pollution suggests that they do take up DDT metabolites and previous work suggests they bioaccumulate pesticides from the seawater.

When it comes to industrial toxins, always seek as low as you can go on the food chain, in this case algae that produce bioequivalent long-chain omega-3′s. Check out videos like Algae-Based DHA vs. Flax and The Problem with Organic Salmon.

As an aside, you never know what you’re going to run into in the medical literature. In looking up krill oil for you I stumbled across a paper in the Journal of Plankton Research published this year (with pictures!) entitled: Ocean-bottom krill sex.

Image Credit: Telemetry9 / Flickr

  • polarbear7

    what do you have to say for extra virgin olive oil?

  • Thank you for your work. There is no reason for us humans to continue to remove organisms from the marine food web to feed ourselves when so many other sustainable sources available.

  • KatieLoss

    What about a vegan source for EPA omega-3? Is it important to take or is DHA sufficient?

    • Toxins

      Although not necessary to supplement omega 3, one can take algae based omega 3 which is bio equivalent to fish oil and toxin free.

    • Darryl

      Every microalgae DHA supplement I’ve seen also includes about half as much EPA, as the 20 carbon EPA is an intermediate in 22 carbon DHA biosynthesis.

      Despite the variety of brands, all consumer microalgal DHA/EPA in the past was ultimately produced by just two companies, DSM Nutritional Products/Martek Biosciences, and Lonza/Nutrinova. The capsules and packaging may differ, but the content is all the same.

      That might shake up in the near future with a number of startups like AlgaeBIo, Aurora Algae, and Bioprocess Algae, though another interpretation is these represent some of the many short lived algal biodiesel companies from that 2008 bubble.

      • Leslie

        Do you currently supplement with vegan-based EPA/DHA? How often, if so? Thanks.

    • Nihi Swannn

      Flax seeds.. that’s all you’ll ever need

  • Lidia

    we need the ALA, and our body will know how to use it. we should get it from Chia or from Sage or green leavs, not from fish or any other poor marine life. we destroy the balance in the ocean!!!