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Krill Oil — How to Choose?

Things To Consider When Choosing A Krill Oil Supplement

Krill oil is an increasingly popular form of Omega-3 supplementation.

It’s considered by many to be superior to fish oil as a source for Omega-3’s due to its phospholipid content, which has been shown to increase absorption and utilization of these essential fatty acids.[1]Many consumers also choose krill oil over fish oil because the pills themselves are generally smaller and easier to swallow, and lack some of the unpleasant side effects fish oil is known for such as “fish burps.” This is often attributed to the astaxanthin content of krill oil.

More information on potential Krill Oil Benefits.

When evaluation krill oil supplements, the following considerations should be kept in mind:

Choosing An Effective Dose

Studies have been conducted on krill oil in doses ranging from 300mg per day[2] to 4,000mg per day.[3] It’s best to consult your physician to see what dose is best suited for your individual health needs.

When evaluating krill oil products, however, the most common recommended dose is 1,000mg per day. And many studies have been done using this dose as well. As you read krill oil labels, using a 1,000mg dose enables clearer comparisons of actual nutrient amounts.

Nutrient Amounts

With the main reason one would take krill oil being the Omega-3 content, then the amount of those nutrients are important in choosing a krill oil supplement. Quality krill oil should contain (per 1,000 mg dose):[4]

  • 400mg or more phospholipids
  • 300mg of Omega-3’s
  • 150mg EPA
  • 90mg DHA
  • 1.5mg Astaxanthin

Delivery Method

Some manufacturers have claimed a new type of capsule, called a caplique, provides superior nutrient delivery. However, no evidence to support this claim can be found at this time. There is some concern that the method of sealing capliques (a band is placed around the seam of a capsule and possibly heat-sealed) could actually contribute to oxidation of the krill oil.

Conclusion … capliques are [at best] not superior to traditional softgels, and possibly even inferior.

Extraction Method

As demand for krill oil has grown, manufacturers have experimented with extraction methods that can be used in mass-production processes. Most are now using solvent-based extraction methods, which inevitably leave traces of solvent in the final product. Solvent extraction has also been found to retain fewer nutrients than previously used methods, leading some manufacturers to further alter the natural oil in order to boost desired nutrient levels back up.

Conclusion … evidence would suggest solvent-based extraction to be an inferior method, and supplements using this method less desirable.

Overall Freshness

Some studies have suggested that the nutrient levels in krill oil can deteriorate over time.[5] However, current mass-production methods have led to widespread delays in processing extracted oil. In other words, once extracted krill oil can sit for months before being encapsulated and bottled, creating the potential for oxidation and the loss of valuable nutrients.

Conclusion … fresher krill oil should be chosen whenever possible.

Additive Free

As with any nutritional supplement, preference is given to products with fewer or no additives or chemical changes. The more natural and closer to the original state, the better.

For more information on choosing a krill oil supplement, see our Krill Oil Product Recommendations.

See Also:

  1. ^ Schuchardt, Jan Philipp, et al. “Incorporation of EPA and DHA into plasma phospholipids in response to different omega-3 fatty acid formulations-a comparative bioavailability study of fish oil vs. krill oil.” Lipids in health and disease 10.1 (2011): 1.
  2. ^ Deutsch, Luisa. “Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms.” Journal of the American college of nutrition 26.1 (2007): 39-48.
  3. ^ Berge, Kjetil, et al. “Krill oil supplementation lowers serum triglycerides without increasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in adults with borderline high or high triglyceride levels.” Nutrition Research 34.2 (2014): 126-133.
  4. ^ “Krill oil. Monograph”. Altern Med Rev15 (1): 84–6. 2010. PMID 20359272
  5. ^ Bustos, Rubén, et al. “Oxidative stability of carotenoid pigments and polyunsaturated fatty acids in microparticulate diets containing krill oil for nutrition of marine fish larvae.” Journal of Food Engineering 56.2 (2003): 289-293.