Have you heard of fish oil capsules? You probably have, because these have been around for decades, and much of the time our mothers or fathers forced us to take them because they were considered to be very beneficial for our health. Can you remember those times?
The truth is that fish oil is indeed very beneficial, but it comes at a price – the capsules taste rather fishy and aren’t really that pleasant.
There is however some good news around the corner, because there is an alternative to fish oil, and it doesn’t have that aftertaste that everyone is so keen to avoid. Enter krill oil.
What is Krill Oil?
Krill oil is the oil of krill, as you would expect. Krill is a very small crustacean and lives in the Antarctic oceans. Krill are the food of choice of huge sea mammals, such as whales, but also penguins and seals. Don’t worry however, krill are certainly abundant, and aren’t going to run out any time soon.
Krill has many of the same benefits as fish oil, including:
- A great source of healthy fats
- Improvement in heart health (source)
- May lower cholesterol levels (source)
- May reduce PMS symptoms in women (source)
- May help to reduce weight when taken in conjunction with a healthy diet
- Could reduce joint pain and inflammation in arthritis sufferers (source)
- Helps with focus and concentration
This is all down to the fact that fish oil and krill oil are both very healthy sources of omega 3 fatty acids. The most common, and most important, of these are called EPA and DHA.
It is important to get a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids in your regular diet, but many people find this difficult, especially if they are not the world’s biggest fans of fish.
Oily fish sources, such as mackerel and salmon, are very naturally high in omega 3 fatty acids, but if you don’t like these fish, there are very few other options.
Soy beans are high in omega 3s and nuts, but in order to make sure that you get enough, taking a supplement is the best bet. The problem? Regular fish oil has that rather horrible after taste, and that is why so many people are choosing to opt for krill oil instead.
Whilst fish oil is still far easier to find than krill oil, e.g. it is available in most supermarkets and health stores, you can find krill oil very easily online.
The problem is that the price is higher, simply because it is harder to harvest krill, compared to the regular types of oily fish which are used to make fish oil capsules. What you need to weigh up therefore are the pros and cons.
Here are three benefits of krill oil supplements, which make them stand out over regular fish oil.
1. No Aftertaste and Easier to Take
Krill oil does not have that fishy aftertaste that is so famously attached to the reputation of fish oil. There is literally no taste when you swallow a krill oil supplement, which makes is a much better option for anyone who really doesn’t like fish at all! Sometimes a hint of a fishy taste can be enough to put someone off.
Regular fish oil capsules are usually much larger also, and as a result they can be more difficult to swallow for someone who doesn’t enjoy taking tablets. You can’t chew these, which can be a problem for some. In this case, krill oil betters fish oil because the supplement capsules are smaller, making them easier to swallow whole.
You don’t have to endure the fishy aftertaste, or the fishy ‘burps’ which fish oil is so famous for, and you don’t have issues swallowing it either. This is probably the single biggest reason why so many people opt for krill oil supplements over regular fish oil choices.
2. Contains a Powerful Antioxidant Naturally
Krill oil naturally contains a powerful antioxidant within it, called astaxanthin. Regular fish oil does not. Antioxidants such as this give the immune system a boost, but they have many other health benefits attached to them.
For instance, astaxanthin is known to help reduce joint pain in those who suffer regularly, can help with skin conditions and give a healthier glow to the complexion, and they are also ideal for helping to boost heart health.
There is a suggestion that there might be a link with cancer treatment also, however this is something which needs further studies, in order to ascertain the degree of benefit for certain.
Basically, when you take krill oil, you’re not just getting the regular omega 3 fatty acid benefits, you’re getting the benefits of astaxanthin also, and it’s all naturally occuring.
3. Krill Oil is Absorbed by The Body Quicker And Easier
The biological makeup of fish oil is via a triglyceride, but krill oil is a phospholipid.
This might not mean much right now, but it is thought that phospholipids are easier for the body to absorb, and therefore you receive the benefits faster and easier as a result.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t get benefits from fish oil, it could just be that it takes longer for the benefis to be evident, versus a faster reaction with krill oil.
These three benefits of krill oil over fish oil are the main reasons why people tend to choose the newer version over the old. While it can be more difficult to find krill oil compared to regular fish oil, it isn’t impossible, and it’s simply a case of shopping around and finding affordable and easy to reach alternatives.
As krill oil becomes more popular and more people learn about the benefits, its thought that it will become easier to find in health stores, although the price will usually be higher as a result of the slightly more complicated harvesting process.
Whether you choose fish oil or krill oil is a personal decision, but having some form of omega 3 supplementation in your diet is a great idea if you want to grab the major associated health benefits. If you’re looking for a quality krill oil supplement, check out our review of 1MD’s Krill Oil.
Josh is a qualified personal trainer based in Sydney Australia. He is passionate about helping people reach their health and fitness goals through proper nutrition choices. Josh also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Juris Doctor from The University of Melbourne.
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