The most popular supplemental source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish oil, but many people are concerned that these supplements are contaminated with PCB and mercury. In order to avoid this possible contamination, another great source of omega-3 is krill oil supplements. Krill are small crustaceans that are found in the ocean, and krill oil is extracted directly from them.
In addition to having a lower chance of contamination, krill are also more sustainable than most sources of fish oil, and some would argue they are a more ethical source as well. However, this all depends on exactly how the particular oil in question is harvested.
Krill oil also provides a benefit that fish oils do not, which is the ability to provide a compound known as phospholipids that can help to improve your overall health. Phospholipids are a part of the lipid family and are used by the body to create and strengthen cell membranes.
As with any supplement, the actual benefits you will receive depend largely on the actual quality of the product you choose to use. To help you in this endeavor, we have reviewed many of the top-ranked krill oil supplement currently on the market to help you select the right one for your needs.
Top 10 Best Omega 3 Krill Oil Supplements
Our research team did the work and compared the best krill oil supplements you can buy in 2020, combining expert analysis of krill oil supplements with frequently asked krill oil supplements to paint a full picture of what krill oils can offer consumers.
- 1 Top 10 Best Omega 3 Krill Oil Supplements
- 2 Krill Oil Benefits And Side Effects
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions About Krill Oil
- 3.1 Q: What is krill oil?
- 3.2 Q: Where does the word ‘krill’ come from?
- 3.3 Q: What are krill oil supplements?
- 3.4 Q: What are the benefits of krill oil?
- 3.5 Q: How does krill oil work?
- 3.6 Q: What are the side effects of krill oil?
- 3.7 Q: What is the best krill oil on the market?
- 3.8 Q: What krill oil is good for?
- 3.9 Q: Is it good to take krill oil?
- 3.10 Q: Is krill oil better than fish oil?
- 3.11 Q: Is krill oil bad for your liver?
- 3.12 Q: How long does it take for krill oil to work?
- 3.13 Q: What is the best time to take krill oil?
- 3.14 Q: Should you take krill oil everyday?
- 3.15 Q: Is 1000 mg of krill oil too much?
- 3.16 Q: Does fish oil help sexually?
- 3.17 Q: When should you take omega 3 in the morning or night?
- 3.18 Q: Is krill oil good for high blood pressure?
- 3.19 Q: What drink is best for high blood pressure?
- 3.20 Q: Is krill oil good for arthritis?
- 3.21 Q: What is the best time of day to take krill oil?
- 3.22 Q: How long should you take krill oil?
- 3.23 Q: Is it safe to take krill oil everyday?
- 3.24 Q: Can I take krill oil on an empty stomach?
- 3.25 Q: Does krill oil help you lose weight?
- 3.26 Q: Is krill oil good for your eyes?
- 3.27 Q: Is krill oil good for the hair?
- 3.28 Q: Is krill oil good for your skin?
- 3.29 Q: Do krill oil capsules smell bad?
- 3.30 Q: What types of omega-3 fatty acids are there?
- 3.31 Q: Is krill oil vegan?
- 3.32 Q: Can you take krill oil while pregnant?
- 3.33 Q: What’s the big deal with Antarctic krill oil?
- 3.34 Q: What is the daily recommended dose for krill oil?
- 3.35 Q: What is astaxanthin?
- 3.36 Q: Can krill oil support brain health?
- 4 Top 10 Krill Oil Supplements 2020 Final Thoughts
Nature Made Krill Oil
Nature made is a very well-known brand, and the products it creates seem to be available everywhere. Unfortunately, their krill oil supplement isn’t up to par when it comes to overall quality. It only provides a 300 mg dose of krill oil in each serving, and it also contains very low doses of DHA and EPA.
Phospholipids, which are krill oils primary unique offering, are also very sparse. A good krill oil supplement should also provide astaxanthin, which is a powerful antioxidant found in krill and other marine plant and animal life, but this product contains just a trace level of it that it isn’t even mentioned on the label.
Schiff MegaRed Krill Oil
MegaRed is a popular krill oil supplement, and it provides a respectable level of both DHA and EPA. These levels are actually pretty high compared to the amount of actually krill oil that is in the supplement, but this is partially because that amount is disappointingly low. Every capsule of MegaRad offers 350 mg of krill oil and only about 17 micrograms of astaxanthin.
Bronson Antarctic Krill Oil
Bronson Antarctic Krill Oil has a much better does of actual krill oil at about 500 mg per serving. It also provides a good level of astaxanthin, EPA, and DHA. There are other competitors that provide more per serving in all of these areas, but this is a decent dose and the product is straightforward.
Natrogix Antarctic Krill Oil
Natrogix provides a krill oil supplement that is neither the best nor the worst on our list. The product provides a moderate 500 mg serving of krill oil and a decent level of astaxanthin. One good thing about this product is that it doesn’t include extraneous ingredients and is a simple and pure option. If you’re a purist, then this might be the most appealing choice for you, but otherwise, there are better alternatives out there that are less run-of-the-mill.
NutraBlast Krill Oil
NutraBlast Krill Oil is one of the best options for those who have specifically selected krill oil over fish oil due to fear of contamination. While its 500 mg dose of krill oil isn’t setting any records, it is one of the only options that is marketed as being in line with California’s Proposition 65.
Its label declares this, which means that it follows a strict guideline on purity levels and must be strictly tested for PCBs. PCBs are a type of chemical that is synthetically made and they have been connected to certain cancers. They are also known to be found in certain marine wildlife. If you are extremely concerned with making sure your omega-3 supplements are free of this particular chemical class, this may be the right product for you.
Renew Naturals Antarctic Krill Oil
Renew Naturals provides yet another product that includes a moderate amount of krill oil at 500 mg per serving. However, it does have a relatively high dose of DHA and EPA. If your primary goal for taking krill oil is to get a decent daily dose of the primary omega-3 ingredients (which, for most people, it is) then this product isn’t a bad choice.
The total krill oil content could be better, but overall it’s not bad. This product also contains a decent amount of astaxanthin, but not the highest available n the market.
Jarrow Formulas Krill Oil
Jarrow Formulas provides the highest dose of krill oil per serving so far. Each capsule contains 600 mg, and the suggested serving is actually 2 capsules per day. This provides a whopping 1,200 mg of krill oil.
While this is a pretty big dose of krill oil, it only contains about 0.11 mg of astaxanthin. If the inclusion of astaxanthin is an important benefit for you, then there are other products that contain higher doses.
Viva Naturals Krill Oil
Viva Naturals is another krill oil supplement that provides great levels of all the major ingredients more users are looking for. Each dose contains 165 mg of EPA, 95 mg of DHA, and a massive 1,250 mg of krill oil.
The only real downside to this product is the fact that this dose is divided among 2 soft gel capsules. If you hate taking pills and want to minimize the number you have to swallow, you may not love this offering.
Neptune Krill Oil
Neptune Krill Oil is in a unique situation because the company that makes it has spent a significant amount of money actually researching krill oil to determine its benefits, downsides, and proper dosages. Many of the tests and studies which have discovered the benefits and uses of krill oil are performed using this exact product.
The product provides a 1,000 mg dose of krill oil with equally respectable doses of astaxanthin, EPA, and DHA. If you want to get the best results that are as close as possible to the benefits found in most studies, the best way to do it is to use the same product that was given to the participants.
Antarctic Krill Oil
Antarctic Krill Oil provides a great 1,000 mg dose of krill oil, and it’s probably the best available if you want to make sure you get plenty of phospholipids. The product provides a whopping 400 mg of phospholipids, along with 60 mg of DHA and 128 mg of EPA. A full 1 mg of astaxanthin is also included, which provides great antioxidant qualities and is a pretty high dose compared to most other krill oil supplements.
Krill Oil Benefits And Side Effects
Krill oil is becoming very popular as an alternative to fish oil as a supplemental source of omega-3. It provides phospholipids to increase cell health and astaxanthin as a powerful antioxidant, which you can’t find in most fish oil available on the market.
The use of krill oil is relatively new and there isn’t a ton of research available, but all of the current research suggests that krill oil can be legitimately considered to offer all of the benefits of fish oil with a few added bonuses.
The benefits that users have come to expect from fish oil can also be expected from krill oil since these benefits in both cases are derived from the provision of omega-3 fatty acids. The benefits of omega-3 are well-known and have been proven by a variety of conclusive studies, and they can positively affect a variety of different health concerns.
Omega-3 fatty acids, and specifically DHA and EPA, have been proven to lower the risks of heart disease and increase heart health overall. This was most notably proven by a study that was published by the American Heart Association in 2003. They have also been proven to be beneficial to your mental health.
A review that was published in 2006 on the Journal of Clinical Psychology examined the benefits of omega-3 for preventing and treating depression, and it has also been linked to a decrease in cognitive impairment and decline among the elderly.
There are all well-documented benefits of omega-3, and they can be seen by those using either fish oil or krill oil. The question here is a bit more specific: Does krill oil offer any specific benefits that cannot be achieved with the use of fish oil? Luckily for us, there have been a few studies that have asked this exact question with promising results.
One study was performed on mice in 2010, in which researchers gave the test subjects a case of rheumatoid arthritis. They then divided these mice into 3 different groups. One group was given no treatment, another group was given fish oil supplements, and the third group was given krill oil supplements.
They concluded that the krill oil supplement was the most effective at treating and curing rheumatoid arthritis. This is because the krill oil was able to significantly reduce the inflammation that rheumatoid arthritis causes down to the cellular level. This caused the researchers to determine that krill oil could be an effective treatment for many different types of inflammation.
Additional studies tested this theory among human participants. One randomized trial that was conducted for a period of 2 weeks was able to deliver significant results and was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. This study was conducted by collecting subjects who had either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis and giving them either 300 mg of krill oil a day or a placebo.
When the blood of each participant was tested at the end of 2 weeks, those who were given krill oil showed a significant reduction in the levels of inflammatory chemicals in their blood. This study was very short, and a much longer study is needed to determine the long-term effects of this treatment. However, these results are very promising and are sufficient to show that krill oil could be an effective treatment for the inflammation that causes joint pain and arthritis.
Another unique benefit of krill oil is that is has been shown to help with the severity of premenstrual syndrome. One company that manufactures and sells krill oil supplements conducted a study which followed women who were taking krill oil supplements for 3 months. The study found that these women reported having fewer symptoms and they had to take fewer medications that are designed to help deal with the pain, bloating, and other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome during those 3 months than they had previously.
We already know that both fish oil and krill oil can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, but it is now thought that krill oil might actually be more effective at this than its fish oil alternatives.
A study that was published in the medical journal Alternative Medicine Reviews is 2004 separated participants into 4 groups, and each group was given a placebo, fish oil, a low dose of krill oil, or a high dose of krill oil. Each subject was followed for 90 days, and their cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood triglycerides were all closely observed.
Any of these 3 having high levels can be a sign of an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The study concluded that when fish oil and krill oil were given in equal doses, krill oil was more effective at reducing triglycerides and cholesterol than fish oil was.
Not every study on krill oil has resoundingly proclaimed its virtues. Stine Ulven and other scientists at the Norwegian Akershus University College performed a study on the comparable effects of krill oil and fish oil in human subjects, and they found that there wasn’t very much difference in the results between the two. Neither product caused metabolic activity to increase significantly, and both products caused a very similar level increase in the omega-3 found in the blood.
It is worth noting, however, that the levels of DHA and EPA in the krill oil were only about two-thirds as high as the levels in the fish oil that was used, but they both achieved the same results. It is possible that this means that the omega-3 found in krill oil is more bioavailable than that in fish oil, so your body can absorb more of it.
Krill oil supplements are very gentle on the body, much like their fish oil alternatives. The only minor side effect that is commonly reported is that a small number of users may experience a slightly upset stomach. There are also some products that can leave a slightly fishy taste in your mouth.
One of the primary reasons that many people chose krill oil over fish oil is that there is a significantly lower likelihood of mercury or PCB contamination. The krill that most krill oil supplements are made from are harvested from Antarctic waters that are extremely cold and are not often traveled by humans.
This means that the water in these regions is not nearly as contaminated as the waters that most fish used in fish oil supplements are sourced from. Many krill oil supplement manufacturers are aware of this concern, and it is not hard to find supplements that are tested for both mercury and PCB levels.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid Recommended Dosage
The majority of krill oil research that is currently available has been funded by krill oil manufacturers, so the dosages used in these studies directly reflect that dosage of the products these companies make. This means that the dosages we have data on are fairly arbitrary, but we do have more to go on than we would if there were no studies available at all.
Keeping this in mind, most studies indicate that you should be using at least 300 mg of krill oil a day to see the desired benefits. Most studies utilize a higher dose than this, though, especially those that include fish oil. When we pair this knowledge with the relative lack of dangerous side effects of krill oil, it’s perfectly safe to keep your dosage closer to 800 mg or 1,200 mg of krill oil each day. This amount gives you a better chance of fully taking advantage of the product’s health benefits.
Most krill oil supplements, especially those of higher quality, come in doses that easily fit within the optimal range. Alternatively, you could also take a smaller dose supplement at multiple times throughout the day.
Frequently Asked Questions About Krill Oil
Krill oil presents itself as an alternative to fish oil, which already sets the substance up to be subject to a number of questions. This section will answer the most commonly asked questions about krill oil and krill oil companies.
Q: What is krill oil?
A: Krill oil is an extract from a tiny, shrimp-like animal. Krill oil has been found to have a number of exciting benefits; it has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, and regular use of krill oil supplements can help contribute to better nutrition, wellness, and even happiness in consumers.
Q: Where does the word ‘krill’ come from?
A: ‘Krill’ means ‘whale food’ in Norwegian. Baleen whales primarily eat krill. Krill isn't dangerous for humans to eat; the substance is benign and comes with a number of benefits to humans who use the oil regularly.
Q: What are krill oil supplements?
A: Manufacturers extract oil from krill, place it in capsules, then use it for medicine. The extraction process can vary based on the company, which means that users should conduct their own research to make sure that the extraction process is quality and results in a pure finished product.
Q: What are the benefits of krill oil?
A: Krill oil supplements are linked to reduced blood fat (triglyceride levels) and lower cholesterol levels, among other benefits. Users with serious health issues should consult their physician to address these problems, but krill oil can provide a potential alternative to some traditional medical treatments for select issues.
Q: How does krill oil work?
A: Krill oil contains fatty acids similar to fish oil. These fats are “good fats”. They decrease swelling, lower cholesterol, and make blood platelets less sticky. This means your blood platelets are less likely to form clots, which can help to minimize both traditional clots and resulting blood pressure issues. Reducing blood pressure and clots, in turn, prevents diseases like health disease.
Q: What are the side effects of krill oil?
A: The most common side effects of krill oil are digestive issues, including stomach discomfort, diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, bloating, and gas. Some people also experience decreased appetite and fishy burps. If you experience serious or persistent side effects after using krill oil, we recommend you immediately consult your physician.
Q: What is the best krill oil on the market?
A: There are all types of leading krill oils on the market today. Amazon’s best selling krill oil supplements include Antarctic krill oil from Bronson, Viva Naturals, and Sports Research. However, 'best' is a relative term. Users should look for the krill oils that best fit their own needs and offer benefits they most need.
Q: What krill oil is good for?
A: Krill oil may help manage cholesterol, lowering the levels of bad fats in your blood. The omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil may also benefit brain health, eye health, and joint health. Additional benefits offered by krill oil can be found listed on specific product pages and instructions for use.
Q: Is it good to take krill oil?
A: Krill oil is linked to certain benefits, including better cholesterol, brain, eye, and joint health. However, you should talk to your doctor before taking krill oil or any supplement. Allergic reactions can occur, and krill oil could potentially interfere with existing medication or treatment plans decided by your doctor.
Q: Is krill oil better than fish oil?
A: Fish oil and krill oil are both rich in EPA and DHA, the two types of omega-3 fatty acids. Both fish oil and krill oil are reliable sources of omega-3s, although krill oil seems to have a slight edge over fish oil because of its superior bioavailability. However, krill oil is also more expensive and is less-studied than fish oil. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference for most consumers.
Q: Is krill oil bad for your liver?
A: Krill oil does not seem to damage the liver when taken by healthy adults in normal dosages. In fact, several studies on krill oil have found that krill oil can reverse the negative effects of a high-fat diet by restoring a proper mitochondrial energetic metabolism. However, studies are relatively limited on krill oil, so users should research heavily before beginning use of krill oil.
Q: How long does it take for krill oil to work?
A: Krill oil gets to work immediately after entering your body. However, omega-3 fatty acid supplements like krill oil are meant to be taken every day to support health. It can take up to three months to saturate your cells with omega-3 fatty acids, so persistence and consistency is key.
Q: What is the best time to take krill oil?
A: Krill oil can be taken at any time of the day, although supplement manufacturers and health experts generally recommend taking it in the morning with breakfast. Using the product at the same time every day is important to ensure the best results.
Q: Should you take krill oil everyday?
A: It’s generally recommended that you take krill oil daily to support targeted benefits.
Q: Is 1000 mg of krill oil too much?
A: The average fish oil or krill oil supplement contains about 1,000mg of formula. We recommend following the recommended dosage instructions on your krill oil supplement, which can vary based on the amount and concentration of krill oil in the supplement.
Q: Does fish oil help sexually?
A: Krill oil can improve cardiovascular health and raise dopamine production, according to certain studies, all of which can raise your libido. People with better cardiovascular health generally have better sexual function.
Q: When should you take omega 3 in the morning or night?
A: Omega-3 supplements, including krill oil, can be taken in the morning or night. Experts generally recommend eating omega-3 supplements with food (ideally a high-fat food). Most people take omega-3 supplements with breakfast.
Q: Is krill oil good for high blood pressure?
A: Krill oil is used for heart disease, high levels of certain blood fats, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular symptoms. Krill oil may reduce blood pressure, according to multiple studies.
Q: What drink is best for high blood pressure?
A: Apple cider vinegar, beet juice, lemon water, low-fat or non-fat milk, hibiscus tea, and pomegranate juice may all lower blood pressure. However, serious blood pressure problems should be negated through a treatment plan or medication regimen discussed with your doctor.
Q: Is krill oil good for arthritis?
A: Several studies on krill oil have analyzed the effects of krill oil on arthritis. Krill oil seems to help reduce inflammation. It may also improve arthritis symptoms and joint pain, which can result from inflammation. Krill oils' arthritis-fighting benefits have been witnessed in multiple studies so far, although these studies are relatively limited in number and scope.
Q: What is the best time of day to take krill oil?
A: Experts generally recommend taking krill oil supplements with breakfast. However, krill oil can be taken at any time of day, and it seems to work particularly well when taken with high-fat meals.
Q: How long should you take krill oil?
A: Some people take krill oil daily to support health and wellness. Generally, experts recommend taking krill oil for a minimum of three months to see noticeable benefits.
Q: Is it safe to take krill oil everyday?
A: Krill oil is generally safe for healthy adults to take. Follow the recommended dosing on your krill oil supplement.
Q: Can I take krill oil on an empty stomach?
A: Krill oil on an empty stomach can cause some people to feel nauseous. Generally, it’s recommended that you take krill oil and other omega-3 fatty acid supplements with a meal – ideally, a high-fat meal.
Q: Does krill oil help you lose weight?
A: Krill oil supplements can reduce bad cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health, both of which can improve the health of overweight people. However, krill oil has not been specifically connected to weight loss in any major studies.
Q: Is krill oil good for your eyes?
A: Krill oil contains EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, including an antioxidant called astaxanthin that seems to be particularly beneficial for eyes. Certain research suggests that krill oil can also reduce eye dryness. Overall, however, more research is necessary to verify that krill oil is good for your eyes.
Q: Is krill oil good for the hair?
A: Krill oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which could make hair thicker and fuller. Krill oil should usually be combined with additional hair-care routines to provide maximum benefits for the hair.
Q: Is krill oil good for your skin?
A: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy skin. Krill oil also contains vitamins A and E to improve overall skin appearance. Vitamins A and E act as antioxidants, protecting your skin against the harmful effects of free radicals and other skin tissue substances.
Q: Do krill oil capsules smell bad?
A: Some argue that krill oil doesn’t have the same fishy aftertaste as fish oil capsules. However, many krill oil capsules can still give you fishy burps, which turns some users away from the supplement.
Q: What types of omega-3 fatty acids are there?
A: There are three omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are mostly found in marine oils (like krill and fish oil), while ALA is commonly found in plant oils.
Q: Is krill oil vegan?
A: Krill oil is not vegan. It’s a fish product.
Q: Can you take krill oil while pregnant?
A: Krill oil is generally safe to take while pregnant. However, we recommend talking to your doctor before taking krill oil, especially considering the low number of studies available on krill oil and pregnancy.
Q: What’s the big deal with Antarctic krill oil?
A: A significant amount of krill oil comes from Antarctic krill. Antarctic krill oil supplement manufacturers argue that krill from Antarctica is free from mercury, heavy metals, and other toxins, especially because of how far from polluting humans Antarctica is.
Q: What is the daily recommended dose for krill oil?
A: Specific krill oil dosages vary. However, most supplements recommend taking between 1,200mg and 3,000mg of krill oil per day for the first three months, then dropping to 600mg to 1,200mg per day during a maintenance phase.
Q: What is astaxanthin?
A: Astaxanthin is a carotenoid with antioxidant properties. It comes from a unique microalgae. Krill eat this algae, and astaxanthin ends up in krill.
Q: Can krill oil support brain health?
A: EPA and DHA, the two essential fatty acids found in krill oil, may support brain and cardiovascular health. Studies are relatively few on this connection, though, so users should manage their expectations about krill oil and brain health optimization.
Top 10 Krill Oil Supplements 2020 Final Thoughts
Krill oil is a fairly new supplement in terms of being widely accepted, and it is slowly overtaking fish oil as the general user’s primary supplement for omega-3 fatty acids. It can also help you fight off inflammation, improve your heart health, and even decrease premenstrual symptoms in women. While it’s still not definitively proven whether or not krill oil is vastly superior to fish oil, it does definitely provide some unique benefits that fish oil cannot give you.
There is still not enough independent research regarding the uses and benefits of krill oil, and more studies will need to be conducted to definitively conclude its long-term benefits, but we already know enough to know that if you’re taking a fish oil supplement now, switching to krill oil is almost certainly an upgrade.