Wellness Blog

Crustacean Comes First: Why Krill Oil is Better than Fish Oil as an Omega-3 Source

Posted by Ian D. Ravensdale

September 26, 2017 at 10:55 AM

Mothers have been forcing cod liver oil on their far-from-receptive children for generations now. While the taste is never going to be agreeable for anyone of any age, we usually come to bear it once we come to understand how fish liver oil is especially good for our health. The DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) omega-3 fatty acids are just what your brain needs to ensure nicely fluid and flexible neural network connections and efficient firing of your synapses.

Most will probably will relate to me when I say that Cod Liver Oil was the only brain booster available in the cabinet at my parents’ place, and a viable alternative was nowhere to be found. So while I got my fill of brain-boosting fats, I didn’t get them from a source that has no fishy aftertaste, has more EPA and DHA fats that are more bioavailable, is more pure, and also comes with a powerful antioxidant for even further-reaching health benefits.

fisherman-449280__340.jpgIn other words, I didn’t get them from Krill Oil.

Krill Oil is good for:

Cardiovascular (heart) health
Reducing inflammation and preventing arthritis
Bettering neurological development in newborns
Reducing PMS symptoms for women
Reducing depression symptoms
Improving gastric health

But so does cod liver oil. So let’s now dig into what makes Krill oil a better choice for you.

The Superior Seafood Source

While the more agreeable taste is definitely a benefit, it’s the greater numbers of the omega fats and – perhaps more importantly – the fact they have greater bioavailability to them that is most significant in determining why krill oil is better than cod liver oil.

As a simpler definition, better bioavailability means your body absorbs the substance more readily and thoroughly. The extent to which these omega-3 fatty acids are absorbed correlates directly with how much of their benefits you experience. As is always the case with anything related to mental functioning, the varying degrees of effectiveness are quite easily distinguished by the individual.

Cod liver oil is wildly inconsistent with its bioavailability, and in many instances as much as 90% of the potential benefits from it may be lost due to poor absorption.

The difference with while both oils contain the all-valuable omega-3s, those in krill oil are attached to phospholipids while those in fish liver oil are attached to triglycerides. By being attached to phospholipids in krill oil, the omegas are much more thoroughly absorbed by the body. You get more of them by consuming less of the product, and again when you add the fishy-taste unpleasantness of cod liver oil it becomes a fairly easy decision to make.

Purity Another Plus

It’s very regrettable, but the levels of mercury and other contaminants found in the flesh of fish has been increasing every year for many decades now. Our pollution of the ocean is another matter altogether, but what needs to be identified here is the fact that many of the cod fishes from which fish liver oil is derived are higher up on the food chain of the seas, meaning they ingest contaminants both on their own and from the smaller fish and organisms that make up their diet.

On the other hand, krill are pretty much right at the bottom of that food chain, feeding on phytoplankton and other single-cell microorganisms that don’t have the fleshy tissues required to store toxins. Further, krill comes from the cleanest area of the ocean remaining on earth – the Antarctic ocean – and between each of those factors it’s no debate that krill oil is also much more pure than cod liver oil.

Add an Antioxidant

Antioxidant support is increasingly important for humans these days, as it’s not only the fish who are exposed to ever-greater quantities of toxins and other harmful substances via foods, household items and cleaners, and sadly even the air we breathe much of the day. It’s not possible to 100% ensure you age being free of disease and chronic debilitating conditions, but you can increase your chances by eating foods with antioxidant properties (deeply coloured organic fruits and vegetables are always no. 1 here) and taking an antioxidant supplement.

Well, if you were to be getting your omega-3s from Krill oil you’d be taking care of the second part of that equation too. Krill oil contains a powerful antioxidant called Astaxanthin that protects cells, organs, and body tissues from free radicals. It also works to preventing the oil from spoiling in your medicine cabinet like fish liver oil will if left untouched for too long, and it also serves to make the liquid much more agreeable to your stomach once it arrives.

For the record, Astaxanthin can be taken on its own for anyone who needs added antioxidant support, and it comes particularly highly recommended for anyone needing defense against free radical damage to the eyes (glaucoma) and central nervous system (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc.)

Sustainability: The Eco-Responsible Choice Too

Krill are actually the largest biomass in the world (at any given time there’s about 500 million tonnes of them in the sea). If you’ve got any doubts about that check out how much krill a blue whale will eat in a standard day and it should put it well into perspective.

8,000 lbs – every day!

Consider that, and then add the fact that less than 1% of the krill that live in the ocean are harvested by humans each year and they still maintain such an enormous population out there and it’s very easy to see that Krill oil is a much more sustainable choice than fish liver oil too.

Further, the Antarctic krill population is closely monitored by The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, plus other organizations certify that vessels comply with strict krill sustainability criteria to ensure the krill stock is not overfished.

Every brain – young or old – will be tuned for maximum performance with EPA and DHA omega-3 fats. But if you’re looking for more assured benefits and a broader spectrum of them, no unpleasant taste, and a more ocean-wise choice then Krill oil is ready to replace fish liver oil in your collection of health supplements.

Topics: Vitamins and Minerals, Nutrition, Body, Cardiovascular Health, supplementation

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