Fish oil vs. Krill oil

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Syzygys, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    I have to take fish oil, and recently I ran into Megared, which is krill oil. The reviews on Amazon are phenomenal for the product, one needs to take less, with less taste ,etc. with better results.

    Here is what I don't get: If krill oil is really so much better than fish oil, why is it not more famous, better advertised and more widespread?

    Now since there is science involved, someone pointed out that for Omega 3 the important parts are the EPA and DHA. The problem is that Krill oil contains at least 80% LESS of these than the equivalent of fish oil (per daily dose). So is it really just placebo or false advertisement (lots of positive reviers have just 1 review)

    Here is a possible explanation for the chemistry minded:

    "...Krill Oil is even more potent than the high quality fish oil I was taking, I think due to the Phospholipid structure of the oil and how the EPA and DHA are attached at the molecular level. The trigliceride structure of the fish oil is not as biovalable (the percentage your body actually utilizes) as the Krill Oil in the phospholipid structure."

    This is Chinese to me, but sounds very expertly...

    Here are the numbers for comparison:

    1 pill 300 mg krill oil contains:

    Omega 3 fatty acid 90 mg
    EPA 50 mg
    DHA 24 mg

    1 pill 1200 mg fish oil contains:

    EPA 216 mg
    DHA 144 mg


    Edit: I have found a liquid fish oil. The EPA and DHA together make up the important ingredients and they should be around 1000 mg per day, thus one needs to take at least 2-3 pills. And those pills are BIG.
    With liquid form there is no problem with the size of the pill and the concentration is much higher:

    1 teaspoon 5 ml contains:

    Omega 3 fatty acid: 1600 mg
    EPA 800 mg
    DHA 500 mg
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
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  3. Pinwheel Banned Banned

    I prefer Snake Oil myself.
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  5. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    What's the EPA?

    By the way so far as an answer to my question the best solution was that the body absorb the acids from krill oil directly to the blood system, that's why less is enough to achieve the same result...
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  7. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

    The majority of krill used in these products are Euphausia superba - antartic krill.

    As they are already well adapted to very cold climates, the proteolytic enzymes ithey contain are still active at the temperatures that are normally used to freeze fish - so they continue to break down even when frozen and are therefore difficult to bring to market - specialized ultra low temp freezing processes required for krill processing have only been developed relatively recently, so they have yet to make much of an impact on the markets.
    There are also strict catch controls, and the fishing grounds are relatively inaccessible and only viable during certain times of the year.
    then of course you have the ethical/ecological concerns of the large scale removal of a keystone species within the antartic ecosystem.
  8. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    They say krill is the biggest biomass on Earth. Supposedly there is only one Canadian company that owns the technology/right to make the krill oil, so no matter what brand one buys, it is eventually all comes from the same source, only the packaging is different.

    I guess people using fish oil eventually will wisen up and switch to krill, if the price stays low enough and the results keep getting at least the same or better....
  9. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    My Mother lived for 95 years without ever taking any supliments or vitamins. She died of old age as well, not any disease. So whatever you ingest during your life doesn't seem to matter when it comes to any extra things , just eat a good diet of foods and there's a good life ahead.
  10. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Last night I had French fries with mayo for dinner.

    NOW, do you see why I need suppliments???

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    P.S.: Fries with mayo = good life
  11. John99 Banned Banned

    Sounds pretty bad to me. I put vinegar on french fries but hardly ever eat them.

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  12. eddanco Registered Senior Member

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids in your Diet

    Hello All,

    First off, I honestly have never heard of Krill oil until I saw syzygys' post so pardon my ignorance of this topic.

    Now, unsaturated fatty acids (fatty acids with double bonds) can be divided into many classes depending on the double bond arrangement within the molecule. Most unsaturated fatty acids found in foods can be divided into three classes: omega-9, omega-6 and omega-3. Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids found in foods are of the 18-C variety. Omega-3 fatty acids have a higher carbon number. Anything from 20 to 22 (such as EPA and DHA). I believe the omega-3 fatty acid found in vegetable oil (alpha-linolenic acid) is of the 18-carbon variety. Omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids are found predominantly in vegetable oils --- canola, soy, etc. Oils high in omega-9 fatty acids (the high-oleic varieties) are considered "better" by food manufacturers because they are less likely to go rancid, ie more stable. Omega-6 fatty acids are of medium stability while omega-3 fatty acids are the WORST in terms of stability. They literally go bad overnight.

    In nutrition, omega-3 fatty acids (with the exception of alpha-linolenic) are what we call essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are necessary for normal bodily functioning --- nervous system function and inflammatory responses mainly. The debate is (and has always been) whether or not we get enough essential omega-3 fatty acids. There was a train of thought not too long ago that consuming vegetable oils rich in alpha-linolenic can fulfill our requirements for omega-3 fatty acids. The idea was that the body can modify alpha-linolenic acid to form EPA and DHA. Yes, this is possible BUT it occurs at such a slow rate and in such an inefficient manner that it hardly meets our omega-3 acid requirement. Chickens, however, can do this relatively efficiently and this is how we get omega-3 eggs.

    A lack of omega-3 fatty acids is considered BAD. Major mental illnesses like depression, psychosis, etc. are linked to a lack of omega-3. In addition, high consumption of omega-3 can increase the lifespan of a human being. This is perhaps one reason why East Asian cultures tend to have a higher life expectancy ... because their intake of omega-3 is so high because of all the fish they eat.

    Other than omega-3 eggs, the main source of essential omega-3 acids are marine oils. The theory is that marine oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids because the foods fish and krill eat (algae and plankton) are high in essential omega-3 acids. In fact, there is a research drive to make single-cell oils ... oils made from algae that are supposedly very good for you.

    Now, with regards to fish oil vs krill oil, I am inclined to think there really is no difference (i.e. one isn't better than the other) as long as the amounts of EPA and DHA match pound per pound. With regards to the phospholipid structure, that is a sham. Oils, when extracted from whatever source, typically have their phospholipids removed. The phospholipids have a tendency to form "micelles" (basically microscopic balls) that tend to thicken the oil. This is undesirable in processing and is often removed.

    However, the nutrition industry does employ encapsulation technologies. Encapsulation protects omega-3 fatty acids from degradation by oxygen as well as doing other funky things like improving bioavailability, reducing fishy taste, etc. Phospholipids, because they can form micelles that can be engineered, are great encapsulating agents. The big question is whether or not they are actually employed. In pills, they are likely to be. In "fish oils" (which you can get from a pharmacy), they are not likely to be.

    I think cosmictraveler put it best --- just eat a balanced diet of foods. Hit up your local sushi bar (which I am about to do in an hour) --- raw fish is the BEST source of omega-3 acids. Cooking/processing tends to destroy omega-3 acids.

    If you do have to take omega-3 supplements, I think it's best to take fish oil omega-3. My reason? Because, it's the one that's supported by the most scientific evidence. Yes, one day, someone will probably prove beyond a doubt that krill oil is good for you, but until that day comes, we can't be sure and it's best to stick to what is known and trusted. Don't experiment with your health.

    There is a good book out there called "Oils and Fats in the Food Industry" ... a short easy-to-read 160-page book written by one of the preeminent experts on this field ... (Gunstone). Try looking it up in a university library. If you're interested in obtaining a copy, pm me.

    P.S. Fries with mayo sounds great although I prefer fries with ketchup.
  13. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps there is an element of economic (AKA profit) involved here:
    Follow the money... :shrug:
  14. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Just get algae oil, that where fish and krill get there Omega-3s from anyways.
  15. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    > In fact it is over 5 times more expensive to buy DHA in Krill oil form that it is as fish oil.

    I already mentioned this, but it is really not a problem, if the statement about the "phospholipid structure" is true. The monthly dosage costs the same for both fish and krill oil, about $8-10. Not exactly a huge amount.

    Now I just don't get why the krill oil industry would want to lie about it. Sure they can get a short term gain, but if it is not true, eventually users will wisen up and go back to fish oil. So far the reviews described the same or very similar results.

    So again, if krill oil costs the same as fish oil with the same results but:

    -smaller pill, easier to take
    -less needed, thus 1 pill instead of 2-3
    -no fish smell or taste, no burping

    Then krill oil is the clear winner and should take over fish oil pretty soon. Maybe the truth is somewhere in between, it is easier to take, but not as effective as fish oil.

    I mentioned earlier that the easiest to take at least 1 gramm of EPA and DHA is in liquid form (in pill form you need at least 2, sometimes 3), but I am not sure how long the liquid stays stable.
    As about eating raw fish, hell, I would rather burp fishy smell... Not to mention eating too much fish can be dangerous because of the mercury levels...

    >we can't be sure and it's best to stick to what is known and trusted. Don't experiment with your health.

    Well, someone has to try, and it really looks rather harmless, with no dangerous sideeffects...
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  16. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Well, I googled "fish oil krill oil", and found this explanation with almost 400 responses:

    "Krill oil, like fish oil, contains both of the omega-3 fats eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), but hooked together in a different form. In fish oil these omega-3 fatty acids are found in the triglyceride form whereas in krill oil they are hooked up in a double chain phospholipid structure. (The fats in our own cell walls are in the phospholipid form.) Attached to the EPA leg of the phospholipid is a molecule of astaxanthin, an extremely potent anti-oxidant. The phospholipid structure of the EPA and DHA in krill oil makes them much more absorbable and allows for a much easier entrance into the mitochondria and the cellular nucleus. In addition to EPA and DHA krill oil contains a complex phospholipid profile including phosphatidylcholine, a potent source of reductive-stress-reducing choline, which also acts as a natural emulsifier.

    Krill oil contains vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D and canthaxanthin, which is, like astaxanthin, a potent anti-oxidant. The anti-oxidant potency of krill oil is such that when compared to fish oil in tems of ORAC (Oxygen radical absorptance capacity) values it was found to be 48 times more potent than fish oil.

    The astaxanthin found in krill oil provides excellent protection against ultravoilet light and UV-induced skin damage. It was for this reason that I started taking krill oil to begin with–I only discovered its other virtues later on.

    A number of studies have shown that krill oil is tremendously effective in reducing LDL-cholesterol, raising HDL-cholesterol, and lowering blood sugar. It has been shown to be effective in treating the pain and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis and aches and pains in general. One large study showed that krill oil has tremendous benefits in terms of symptom reduction in PMS and dysmenorrhea. And it has been shown to be effective in the treatment of adult ADHD. In all these studies krill oil was tested against fish oil and not simply a placebo.

    Due to the rapid absorption of krill oil and the high anti-oxidant content there is virtually never the fishy burping and aftertaste sometimes experienced with fish oil."


    Somebody at the above website mentioned that the local health store used to sell krill oil, but it never caught on, thus they stick with the fish oil. So the answer to my original question is that maybe it is just ignorance and lack of education for the public...

    Another good site:
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  17. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

    When you ingest something, your body breaks it down into the basic blocks, then rebuilds what it needs with those. No macromolecules get absorbed into the body and used by cells as a whole, I don't think.

    So the point that krill oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids in a configuration more closely resembling our own is not really relevant. They still get digested first, just like everything else. Fish oil will be better because it contains a larger amount of the subunit molecules DHA and EPA.
  18. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Not an expert on it, but more than 1 doctor or chemist said that faster absorption rate does matter. I have been reading users's feedback on at least 2 sites and they do report cholesterol level dropping by 40-50 points, that is good enough for me...

    Mine was 240, if it comes down to 200, I will be a happy camper, and have a giant portion of fries with mayo...
  19. JDT Registered Member

    Science of phospholipids

    I am privileged to have access with some scientists who are on the cutting edge of phospholipid research, especially as it pertains to krill oil, and I think the superior health benefits of krill oil will become clear very soon in the peer-reviewed literature. Numerous clinical studies are underway around the world.

    The above discussion about micelles, too, is right on. You are going to start seeing more about the unique encapsulation ability of phospholipids, and how this may overcome many of the low bioavailability issues surrounding nutrients such as resveratrol and glutathione.

    You can read a lot more about the various aspects of krill oil on the nonprofit, science-based Website WellWise, under the 'featured nutrient' section.
  20. fionab Registered Member

    I'm quite torn between fish oil and krill oil myself. I've been taking fish oil for some time now, but I've recently heard some good things about krill oil. Here's a video I found about krill oil benefits youtube [dot] com/watch?v=lj-ZnG3NoZY Can anyone confirm/deny these claims?

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  21. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Well, one solution is to take both. Just keep the fish oil pills to a minimum, which is 1. Then you get a little of this and that...

    Generally when I take suppliments or vitamins, the rule is: if something works, don't change anything. So if you are happy with the result of your fish oil taking, (unless there is another reason like price or sideeffects) don't change anything. Stick to what works.
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I eat a can of sardines for lunch every day. Everything I've read says that I'm getting all of these things--and no Hg--from that. Is this correct?
  23. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    There are both arsenic and mercury in canned sardines:

    Of course it is the dosage, that counts and there are no international guidelines. Still, it sounds a lots of sardines to me...

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