Fish oil has been a mainstay supplement for years. And why not? It’s well known for promoting a healthy heart and fighting high cholesterol, anxiety, macular degeneration and more. But what often gets overlooked is that there’s another, similar supplement out there that may be even more effective: krill oil. Like fish oil krill oil contains EPA and DHA fatty acids. Although in krill oil they take a more bioavailable form. Below are the 10 best krill oil supplements of 2020.
1. MegaRed Omega-3 Krill Oil
MegaRed Omega 3 Krill oil is sourced from sustainable Antarctic krill harvesting grounds and presented here in an easy to digest softgel form. Krill oil is MegaRed’s primary business so they have invested heavily in getting it right. One 350 mg gelcap per day will provide you all the EPA and DHA you need to maintain robust health and there is no fishy smell or aftertaste like you sometimes get with fish oil. No sugar, wheat, yeast or gluten added.
2. Doctor’s Best Enhanced Krill Plus Omega 3s
Doctor’s Best are a physician-driven company that produces supplements of impressive quality and potency. Each capsule of their Enhanced Krill Oil Plus Omega 3s contains 512 mg of DHA and 134 mg of EPA for increased cognitive function, enhanced immune response and a healthier cardiovascular system. Sourced exclusively from Antarctic krill and containing astaxanthin (1) Doctor’s Best Krill Oil is the right supplement for healthy bones, skin, eyes and more.
3. Onnit Krill Oil
Onnit Krill Oil is designed for those who already eat a well balanced diet but may need to top up their EPA and DHA fatty acids. There’s 130 mg EPA and 60 mg DHA in every capsule along with 200 mg astaxanthin to help ensure healthy musculature, healthier skin and better eyesight. Take one or two capsules with every meal depending on your needs. Onnit Krill Oil capsules are gluten free, soy free and 100% free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
4. NOW Neptune Krill Oil Softgels
Because krill oil is more readily available to the system you don’t need as much of it as you would fish oil to reap the benefits. NOW Neptune Krill Oil Softgels each contain 230 mg of omega 3 fatty acids as well as the secret ingredient that puts krill oil over the top, astaxanthin; one of the most powerful antioxidants around. Produced in NOW’s GMP-certified facility and 100% gluten, soy, yeast, wheat and dairy free it’s an all-purpose supplement you can rely on.
5. Bronson Antarctic Krill Oil
Bronson has been around for years and have a well-earned reputation for utilizing the highest quality ingredients in all their supplements. Their Antarctic Krill Oil is sourced from certified Antarctic krill and produced in their GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) facility to the highest standards of purity and potency. Bronson Antarctic Krill Oil is GMO-free and contains plenty of krill’s secret ingredient, astaxanthin, that fights free radicals while promoting healthy muscles, bones, eyes and skin.
6. Dr. Mercola Antarctic Krill Oil
Dr. Mercola Antarctic Krill Oil emphasizes the enhanced bioavailability of krill oil by including 400 mg of phospholipids per capsule to complement the DHA and EPA doses. Phospholipids (2) are essential to the creation of cell membranes that display increased permeability. Increased permeability means your cells are more receptive to the omega 3s in krill oil so you get to enjoy greater benefits from smaller doses. You’ll pay a bit more for Dr. Mercola Krill Oil but you’ll get more in return.
7. Antarctic Krill Oil Softgels
With EPA, DHA, phospholipids and astaxanthin Antarctic Krill Oil Softgels are the only krill oil supplement you need to attain greater overall health for less. Every softgel capsule is sustainably sourced, 100% kosher, free of genetically modified organisms and produced in the company’s GMP-certified plant. This is krill oil of outstanding purity and 1 capsule per day should provide all the benefits you normally expect from twice the daily dose of fish oil.
8. Source Naturals NKO Neptune Krill Oil
Source Naturals Neptune Krill Oil supplement is not revolutionary. It’s just a great example of how to do a simple, high quality supplement the right way. It contains copious amounts of phospholipids that help your cells absorb omega 3s more effectively and astaxanthin which is one of the most potent antioxidants known to science. It also contains no artificial preservatives, flavors, colors or fragrances and is dairy, gluten and soy free.
9. Bulksupplements Pure Krill Oil Softgels
Bulksupplements save on the packaging so they have more money available to invest in the quality of their supplements. Their Pure Krill Oil Softgel capsules are low dosage, high potency 500 mg power packs that provide a scientifically formulated balance of omega 3s and the phospholipids needed to put them to work. There’s never a fishy aftertaste with these krill oil softgels and each batch is subjected to rigorous quality control checks before being allowed to enter the market.
10. Jarrow Formulas Krill Oil Softgels
Rounding out our 10 best krill oil supplements is Jarrow Formulas Krill Oil Softgels. Jarrow is not a household name. Yet. But if they keep hitting it out of the park like they do with their krill oil softgels they will be soon enough. Each capsule contain 650 mg of phospholipids that open up the cell membranes to EPA and DHA and Jarrow’s krill oil softgels are also 100% GMO free. So you’re not opening your cells up to the unknown.
What is Krill Oil?
Chances are if you ever heard of krill it was while watching a nature documentary about whales. Krill, it’s long been known, is a favorite food of whales who simply open their mouths and swim through vast swarms of the tiny crustaceans consuming tons at a time. In fact it is thought that one of the reasons species like blue whales (who eat vast amounts of krill) live so long (100+ years is not unusual) is because of the beneficial effects of eating krill.
As far as humans are concerned krill are too small to make an attractive seafood dish. However, when harvested and processed in large amounts krill oil is produced that is then used to create krill oil supplements like those profiled above. Some worry about the effects of harvesting krill for the purposes of creating supplements but the fact is krill are one of the most abundant creatures in the oceans, with estimated populations in the tens of trillions in the Antarctic alone. So as long as the harvesting is done in a responsible way the negative impact is considered negligible.
What are Some of the Benefits of Krill Oil?
As we mentioned krill oil is able to generate many of the same benefits as fish oil. But, because it also contains the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin its benefit package is even more comprehensive. Those benefits include:
- Anti-inflammatory properties – The omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) found in krill oil are known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties (3). The presence of astaxanthin in krill oil is thought to enhance the anti-inflammatory properties of these fatty acids even further in a way unique to krill oil. Inflammatory diseases include all types of arthritis. So anything that will suppress damaging inflammatory behavior by the immune system is considered a good thing in most all cases.
- Improved cardiovascular health – The omega 3 fatty acids in krill oil are known to help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduce instances of blood clotting, reduce or eliminate irregular heartbeats and perhaps reduce the risk of heart failure and/or stroke. That’s a lot to expect from a fatty acid but both EPA and DHA deliver on this promise (4).
- Better overall health – The omega 3s in krill oil are also thought to play an important role in the prevention of a number of other diseases and conditions including heart disease, asthma, depression, ADHD and perhaps even certain types of cancer. While both fish oil and krill oil possess docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) the greater bioavailability of these fatty acids in krill oil make it the safer bet for maintaining optimal health.
- Reduced joint pain – The anti-inflammatory properties of krill oil provide it with the means to significantly reduce pain caused by swollen joints related to osteoarthritis and other conditions. Krill oil may also have a beneficial role to play in speeding up recovery from joint injuries by reducing inflammation and increasing mobility.
- More tolerable PMS – Medical science has been searching for decades for way to mitigate the debilitating effects of Premenstrual Syndrome. Now, studies are beginning to show (5) that omega 3 fatty acids like those found in krill oil may in fact produce a measurable reduction in some of the most odious effects of PMS.
Does Krill Oil Have any Side Effects?
In the vast majority of cases krill oil is considered a safe and effective supplement. However, since krill is a type of crustacean those with an allergy to shellfish should avoid taking krill oil. In addition, it is possible that krill oil may produce a negative interaction with some medications. Therefore, if you are currently taking any medications you should talk to the prescribing physician before you begin to take krill oil supplements.
What Makes a Good Krill Oil Supplement?
Separating the good krill oil supplements from the not so good is not terribly difficult. Essentially you’ll want to check for the EPA and DHA content to make sure it’s within the range your doctor suggests you should be taking. You’ll also want to be sure your krill oil supplement includes the potent antioxidant astaxanthin as well as phospholipids which will help increase bioavailability. If you are concerned about possibly consuming genetically modified organisms make sure your potential supplement says on the label that it is GMO free.
Who Can Benefit from Krill Oil?
- People with arthritis – Because of the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3 fatty acids people suffering from any stage of arthritis should talk to their doctor about taking krill oil. That includes those suffering from osteoarthritis or the more ruthless rheumatoid arthritis (6).
- Athletes – The anti-inflammatory properties of krill oil make it attractive to athletes who regularly put enormous stresses on their muscles and joints. 500 mg of krill oil per day is often enough to significantly reduce inflammation and help athletes recover quicker from strenuous workouts and performances.
- Those with elevated cholesterol levels – High levels of LDL cholesterol can significantly increase a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke. Krill oil is known for its ability to help reduce cholesterol levels (7) which makes it a must for people with a vested interest in reducing their chances of heart failure.
- Women who suffer from PMS – As mentioned above studies have shown that krill oil may have an important role to play in reducing some of the more debilitating effects of premenstrual syndrome. Bloating, mood swings, depression, headaches and more may all be alleviated to some degree by krill oil.
The Bottom Line
For years krill oil has existed in the shadows of its more famous cousin, fish oil. But that has begun to change recently. People the world over are discovering that krill oil not only delivers many of the same benefits as fish oil but does so in a more efficient and effective manner while also providing potent antioxidants that help combat the scourge of free radicals. If you are interested in attaining a higher degree of overall health ask your doctor if a krill oil supplement might be right for you.