What Is Krill Oil? 6 Surprising Benefits

by Melissa Chichester

In a sea of fish oil supplements (no pun intended!), you might find yourself wondering: what is krill oil? Is it the same as fish oil? Is it better than fish oil? 

Let’s start with the basics. Krill are small, shrimp-like animals that many marine animals eat. Krill is a dietary staple for blue whales, penguins, seals, whale sharks, squid, and even salmon. Krill are very small – they range between less than 1cm in length up to 6cm. Giant blue whales almost exclusively rely on krill in their diet.

So we know krill oil is an essential part of the diet of the largest mammal in the world, but what can it do for people?

Krill oil health benefits

Krill oil’s health benefits are similar to fish oil from salmon, cod, and other marine life. Krill oil contains two types of omega-3 fatty acids: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Omega-3 fatty acids are considered good fats. In the body, they help balance out the bad fats in your diet. These fatty acids are essential for maintaining good health and wellness throughout your lifetime.

Here are some of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids: 

  1. Heart health

Omega-3 fatty acids are also known for supporting heart, joint and metabolic health.**

Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. For more information regarding dosage of omega-3 fatty acids, see the supplements facts panel on your product label. 

  1. Skin and joint health 

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for normal skin function, helping to keep skin looking healthy and supports joint health.** 

  1. Pregnancy support 

During times of pregnancy and breastfeeding, DHA helps support the baby’s brain and eye development.** A dose of at least 200 mg per day of DHA can help support moms before, during, and after pregnancy.**

  1. Eye health 

Have dry eyes or spend a lot of time in front of a computer? At least 1200 milligrams per day of EPA and DHA may help with occasional dry eyes.**

  1. Circulation and triglycerides 

At least 900 mg per day of EPA and DHA help maintain triglyceride levels already within a normal range.** EPA and DHA also support healthy circulation.**

  1. Cell health

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for cellular health.** They play a key structural role in the membranes of every cell in your body needed for normal cell growth.**

>>An Introductory Guide to Fish Oil

Increasing your intake 

The best way to increase omega-3 fatty acids is to consume more seafood. However, many people have a hard time consuming seafood because they don’t have access to it or they simply don’t like how it tastes. If this is the case, supplements such as krill oil can help. Omega-3 fatty acids need to be consumed from your diet because your body cannot make them.

 
Krill oil is a great choice if you are looking to incorporate fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. A big perk of krill oil supplements compared to other fish oil supplements is that they lack the fishy smell and aftertaste that some fish oil supplements may have. So if you’re sensitive to the scent and taste of fish oil, give krill oil a try!