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Krill Oil Q& A

By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD, CSCS

Q) I’ve noticed that krill oil has much less EPA and DHA than fish oil. How much krill oil do I have to take to get the same amount of these essential omega-3s that are found in fish oil products? 


A) It’s true: Gram for gram, Prograde krill oil does contain less of the essential long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA than fish oil. However, it doesn’t mean you have to take more.

In fact, the EPA and DHA in krill oil appears to be more potent than those in fish. This is attributed to the fact that these fats are attached to a phospholipid molecule rather than a triglyceride - like they are in fish oil. This phospholipid form increases absorbability of the essential fatty acids we need in our diets.

To prove this point, Finish scientists recently compared the effects of krill and fish oil supplementation on blood plasma levels of EPA and DHA.

76 men and women were given either 2 g of krill or fish oil each day for 4 weeks. The krill oil provided 216 mg of EPA and 90 mg of DHA, while the fish oil delivered 212 mg EPA and 178 mg DHA.

Despite similar levels of EPA in the two oils, plasma levels of EPA rose more with krill oil (an increase of 178 µmol/L) than fish oil (an increase of 131 µmol/L).

Also, even though krill provided half the amount of DHA as fish oil, plasma levels of DHA were the same for both groups at the end of the study (476 µmol/L for the krill group and 478 for the fish group).

As you can see here, this small crustacean packs a big punch; for less EPA and DHA you get the same improvements in blood fatty acid composition as you do with fish oil.

Remember: the recommended intake of EPA and DHA is just 1 gram per day to see reduced risks for heart disease and improvements in glucose handling. Excessively high intakes of these unique fatty acids may not be better for your health since polyunsaturated fats are more susceptible to lipid oxidation than other fats.  So, choose your fats wisely and know that with JayLab Pro OMEGA ICON, less is more.

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K.C. Maki, M.S. Reeves, M. Farmer, M. Griinari, K. Berge, H. Vik, R. Hubacher, T.M. Rains. Krill oil supplementation increases plasma concentrations of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in overweight and obese men and women.  Nutrition Research Vol 29, Issue 9: 609-615