New data from the journal Lipids in Health and Disease suggests that krill oil could be better than other marine oils for improving individuals’ omega-3 index.

Researchers from Canada’s Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, the University of Winnipeg and Enzymotec Ltd. of Migdal HaEmeq, Israel, conducted the study with 24 healthy volunteers. The placebo-controlled crossover study had three month-long arms involving krill oil (six capsules of 500 mg each daily as K-Real from Enzymotec), fish oil (Omevital TG 18/12 from Napro Pharma, Norway) or a placebo. Each arm was separated by a two-month washout period. Daily doses of both krill and fish oil treatments provided 600 mg of omega-3s.

Blood samples taken after a 12-hour fast at baseline and after each phase revealed that while both marine oils increased blood serum levels of EPA and DHA, krill oil had a greater effect. EPA had the greatest difference whereby krill oil increased blood levels by an average of 1.17 versus 0.71 for fish oil; the placebo caused a reduction of –0.06. The omega-3 index (the sum of EPA/DHA in red blood cell membranes) was two times higher with krill oil (1.04%) than fish oil (0.47%).

The authors state that fish oil’s higher omega-6 content could have played a role in these findings.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, February 2013 (online 12/18/13)