Studies have shown that oils containing Omega-3 fatty acids provide a variety of health benefits including both brain and heart support, and while there are numerous products available that provide Omega-3’s, the choice for most people comes down to krill oil vs. fish oil.
In order to make an informed decision, it is important to understand both the similarities and differences between these two oils. Any comparison of krill oil vs. fish oil has to start with the question, “If they both contain Omega 3’s, why does it matter which one I choose?”
The answer to this question is, in a word, absorption. The methods by which Omega-3’s are delivered to the body in krill oil vs. fish oil are quite different. In fish oil, Omega-3’s are attached to triglycerides. While the human body is able to absorb some of the Omega-3’s in this form, they are not as readily absorbed as those found in krill oil.
The Omega-3’s in krill oil are attached to phospholipids which allows for better overall absorption and increased bioavailability. In this case, the advantage is with krill oil (vs. fish oil.)
But are there other reasons to choose one over the other? Aside from the issue of absorption, antioxidants and oxidation are important to consider. It is well known and documented that fish oils oxidize in the body and therefore either need to be taken with a separate antioxidant (such as vitamin E,) or an antioxidant needs to be added to the oil.
In other words, additional processing may be needed in order to ensure the stability of fish oils. Without an antioxidant, fish oils oxidize and contribute to oxidant stress in the body. Krill oil, on the other hand, contains antioxidants naturally. In this case, the benefit of krill oil vs. fish oil is clear.