Krill oil is used by many nowadays as a supplement. It is very similar to any omega-3 fish oil, but some claim it has better health benefits. But does it?
At first it seems like a pretty known and uninteresting supplement. We have been using fish oils with omega-3 fatty acids, etc. for years and their benefits as well as side effects are well studied and known. The difference with Krill oil is that it is produced by small shrimp like animals, that whales eat. It is supposed to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.
Studies are consistent with those claims, showing that indeed Krill is a great source of protein, with low fat content, high omega-3 fatty acid content and lots of antioxidants compared to fish. Therefore it may be a very good alternative for people that maybe have issues digesting other fish. It is abundant in nature and not that hard to catch. Now, whether it’s production or hunting in the long term is sustainable is another question. For now though, small quantities used in pills as supplements are probably fine in terms of ecosystem sustainability.
In terms of human health, studies show that Krill oil is very similar to other fish oils. While Krill oil contains more antioxidants, it doesn’t seem to have a huge effect on health according to studies from 2010. There are health benefits of course. But identical to those of common fish oil. Therefore Krill oil appears to be just a very good alternative source.
More recent studies from 2018, show that Krill oil has some advantages over regular fish oil in terms of inflammation. Increased antioxidant activity was found after Krill oil supplementation compared to regular fish oil. Meaning that indeed there is a difference in the quality of the supplement defined by its origin. Krill having more health benefits is therefore confirmed. But on the other hand those benefits won’t lead to better overall health in any significant way. But they will certainly help.
So, this seems like a great supplement, but are there any side effects? Not really. If you are diabetic you may need to keep in mind it may cause hypoglycemia. If you have a blood clotting issue you may need to take this into account as it may affect blood clotting too. But those two things are not affected in a major way and they don’t appear to be huge issues.
Overall it looks like a good but not great supplement. It does improve health, and it is better than regular fish oils but not very much. If you have the choice go for it, but if you can’t find it, the difference isn’t that big.
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