Krill Oil vs Fish Oil – the great debate

Krill Oil vs Fish Oil – the great debate

What’s the difference between fish oil and krill oil?

In a word, absorbability. While fish oil and krill oil both contain omega-3 fatty acids, they exist in different forms.

The omega-3 in krill oil is mainly in the form of phospholipids, while the omega-3 found in fish oil is mainly in the form of triglycerides. The omega-3 in phospholipid form is more easily absorbed by the body. As a result, you may not need to take as much krill oil in order to get the same health benefits. However, this depends upon the type of health issue that you are managing. In certain instances, a smaller amount of fish oil will have greater effect.

The benefits of Fish Oil

Fish oil contains two important omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These are known as essential fatty acids, as the body is unable to produce them on its own and therefore has to obtain them from the diet.

The health benefits of fish oil were first discovered in Greenland in 1971. Researchers observed that Eskimos living in the region had low cholesterol and triglyceride levels, even though they ate a diet high in fats. This was found to be due to the ‘good fat’, omega-3, which was found in large amounts in their staple foods of fish and marine mammals.

Since the initial study in Greenland, a large amount of research has been done on the many positive effects of fish oil. These include benefits for heart health, the brain and mental function, the healthy development of a baby during pregnancy and joint mobility.

The recommended dosage for fish oil is –

  • Joint mobility: 9000mg daily
  • Cardiovascular benefits: 500mg daily

The benefits of Krill Oil

Krill oil naturally contains an ingredient called Astaxanthin, the carotenoid that gives krill its red colour. It works as a powerful antioxidant and helps protect the body against the damaging effects of free radicals that can cause cell damage. This ingredient is not found in fish oil.

Krill oil may also assist in maintaining a healthy heart and cardiovascular system by supporting healthy cholesterol levels within a normal range and by supporting a healthy ratio of ‘good’ cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) to ‘bad’ cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) in healthy individuals.

However, compared to fish oil, a larger dose is recommended for heart health.

The recommended dosage for krill oil is –

  • Joint mobility: 300mg daily
  • Cardiovascular benefits: 1000mg daily

In Summary: Krill Oil vs Fish Oil

So there you have it. For general health and wellbeing, there’s no clear winner. If you are managing joint mobility, krill oil appears to be more efficient. It also provides powerful antioxidant protection. On the other hand, fish oil seems to be more favourable for heart health. For this reason, many people choose a combination of both oils.


Fish and krill are natural resources with key roles to play in our oceans. For example, krill are at the very bottom of the food chain, providing an essential food source for larger marine animals, such as whales. For many people, the sustainability of these resources is an important consideration when choosing a nutritional supplement.

Nature’s Own sources its krill sustainably from Antarctic waters, where the particular species harvested (Euphausia Superba) is found in abundance. Krill fisheries and quotas in the Antarctic are also strictly monitored by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). This ensures that the ecological balance of the area is protected.

The fish used in the manufacture of Nature’s Own fish oil products is naturally sourced from ocean fresh, wild fish which are sustainably harvested to minimise the impact on the environment.

Krill Oil vs Fish Oil – A Quick Comparison

Fish Oil Krill Oil
Omega-3 mainly carried by triglycerides Omega-3 mainly carried by phospholipids
Large number of clinical trials Small number of clinical trials
May not be as easily absorbed compared to krill oil More easily absorbed compared to fish oil
Sustainably sourced Sustainably sourced
Doesn’t contain the anti-oxidant astaxanthin Provides the anti-oxidant astaxanthin
Dosage for joint mobility: 9000mg daily Dosage for joint mobility: 300mg daily
Dosage for cardiovascular benefits: 500mg daily Dosage for cardiovascular benefits: 1000mg daily