Much recent research has focused on the purported health benefits of omega-three fatty acids. The agents within Omega-3′s are known as lipid-regulating agents, as they decrease the liver’s triglyceride level. Good sources of omega-3s include fish oil (the Omega 3 supplement that most commonly comes to mind), algal oil, krill oil, and even flaxseed oil. While there are some meta-analyses that protest the cardiovascular benefit of Omega-3’s, the majority of studies indicate positive effects.
However, the current #1 brand in the US is not in fact a fish oil. That coveted spot goes to Omega-3 Krill Oil. However, most popular Krill Oil supplements carry only 90mg of Omega-3 per softgel, compared to high end fish oil supplements that offer up to 900 mg. How can a product be outselling a competitor that offers 10 times more omega-3 per pill? Below, we break down some of the key differences, as well as some of the misconceptions, that can tip the scales regarding your choice of sea creature supplement.
Ultimately, the strength behind the marketing of Krill oil is that it is better absorbed into the body than fish oil. The company NKO patented a process to gently remove Omega-3 from Krill. According to NKO’s own research, this process allows for the bond between the Omega-3 and phospholipid to remain intact, which allows for more efficient absorption into our cell membranes. Fish oil absorbs too, but the process isn’t as seamless.
- FISHY TASTE
One of the main marketing tactics behind the promotion of krill oil is its lack of fishy aftertaste. On one level, this can be easily explained by the fact that krill are not in fact, fish, but a crustacean! According to omegavia.com, the astaxanthin found in Krill oil does have e potential act as an anti-rancidity (antioxidant) agent, “but only if it is present in very high quantities.” Not all brands are equally protective, and heat can easily break down this protective factor.
As Steve Rosenman of seekingalpha.com puts it, Krill Oil is “ highly volatile and spoils easily; it cannot be standardized consistently to Rx grade requirements; and there is no upper limit safety data.” Also, did you catch how we said that NKO was the only the original krill oil supplier for Mega Red? That’s right, they have since then switched away. And since NKO is currently the only company with the patented gentle removal Omega-3 process, which means you can’t be sure the supplements you’re taking carry the much-touted Krill oil absorption advantage!
- SO…WHY ARE THE KRILL BEATING THE FISH?
If you think about it, it looks like a self-sustaining cycle. The much-higher price of Krill Oil allows for a better advertising budget, which is in turn better able to emphasize the positive aspects of Krill oil!
While all Omega-3s can provide positive effects, it is important to research the differences between them.
As always, feel free to come to ClinEdge with any questions you might have, but remember to consult your primary care physician before starting to take a dietary supplement like fish or krill oil.