Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Krill oil is an ideal supplement for those who want to take care of the health of their heart and brain. It is a natural source of Omega-3, which can be taken in the form of oil or capsules. In addition to lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, krill oil is a potent anti-inflammatory.

Although not as popular as other Omega-3 supplements, the properties of krill oil are being talked about all over these days. Who should take krill oil? How is this product different from other fish oils? How is it taken? All these questions will be answered for you within this guide.

Key Facts

  • Krill oil is composed of Omega-3 (EPA and DHA), choline, phospholipids, Vitamin E and astaxanthin (provitamin A).
  • It is obtained from a crustacean called Antarctic krill, whose scientific name is euphausia superba.
  • Krill oil is beneficial to the heart, skin, eyes and joints, but it is a superb supplement for improving and preserving brain health.
  • This super-food is taken in the form of capsules and liquid drops, although the latter is less commonly used.

Our Selection: The Best Krill Oils

Although all krill oil capsules look the same, they are not necessarily so. The concentration of Omega-3, the taste of the capsules, and the price can vary quite a bit. The processing method to extract the krill oil is a strong predictor of final quality. If you want to be sure you make a sensible purchase, we recommend these krill oil products:

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Krill Oil

In addition to being an excellent source of Omega-3, this super-food is rich in other nutrients that play a valuable role in the health of children and adults. If you are interested in knowing more about krill oil, be sure to read this section, in which we will delve into its characteristics, uses and differences with other oils.

Although all krill oil capsules look the same, they are not. The concentration of Omega-3, the taste and the price can be quite varied.
(Source: Elnur Amikishiyev: 68846512/

What exactly is krill oil?

Krill oil is a healthy fat extracted from a small crustacean (it can measure a maximum of 5 to 6 CM) called krill (Euphausia superba), which inhabits the cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Once the krill has been caught, its oil is extracted immediately to avoid spoiling.

What nutrients does krill oil provide?

Although the best known nutritional ingredient of krill oil is Omega-3, it provides other nutrients that have great potential to improve health and prevent disease. Krill oil is rich in Omega-3 and contains small amounts of Omegas-6 and 9. It also contains Vitamins A and E, astanxanthin (responsible for its reddish color), phospholipids and choline.

Expert comment: “It is the synergy of these nutritional components that makes this oil beneficial for health problems as disparate as cramps and irritability associated with premenstrual syndrome, high cholesterol levels or arthritic joint pain.” Dr. Tina Sampalis, Professor of the Department of Experimental Surgery at the University of Montreal.

Javier AizpiriFamous Spanish Neuropsychiatrist
“60% of the brain is fat and 30% is phospholipids (the fats of the neuron membranes) that help neurotransmitters in the brain to function better.”

What are the benefits of krill oil?

Most of the properties of krill oil are attributed to Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and astaxanthin (provitamin A). However, each nutrient present in this oil plays an important role in the body and this translates into its numerous health benefits, among which are:

  • Protects the health of the heart and blood vessels. Omega-3 is lipid-lowering (lowers cholesterol and blood triglycerides), anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic (prevents the formation of clots). It substantially reduces the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Prevents atherosclerosis, that is, the accumulation of fats, cholesterol and other substances (plaques) inside the arteries. This reduces the risk of a heart attack or stroke, since plaque can clog the blood vessels and even cause them to rupture.
  • Decreases total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and blood triglycerides. Thus, it reduces the risk of developing a non-alcoholic fatty liver.
  • It acts as a neuro-protector, since the Omega-3 fatty acids of krill oil, EPA and DHA, are essential for brain development in infants and children. They also protect against neuro-degenerative conditions, for example, Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, EPA and DHA improve memory, concentration and learning.
  • Increase the feeling of well-being, improves mood and is associated with a lower incidence of depression.
  • It can be useful for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Relieves the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. For example, cramps, irritability and breast tenderness.
  • Lowers Inflammation. It is an excellent complementary treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis).
  • Delays Aging. Krill oil’s astaxanthin and Vitamin E are potent antioxidants that counteract oxidative damage. Without adequate doses of antioxidants there is a greater risk of early aging, atherosclerosis, kidney, eye and neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer, among many others.
  • Keeps skin healthy. Astaxanthin protects the skin from solar radiation, prevents sunspots and delays the photoaging of the dermis.
  • It helps to regulate blood pressure.
  • It promotes an adequate development of vision in children and prevents numerous eye diseases in both children and adults. Reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eye syndrome and corneal ulcers. These benefits are due to the Omega-3 called DHA (docosahexanoic acid) and astaxanthin.

Why is krill oil is a better protector of brain health than other sources of Omega-3?

Because it contains phospholipids, Omega-3 fatty acids of the EPA (eicosapentanoic) and DHA (docosahexanoic) type of high bioavailability, that is, they are easily assimilated. These Omegas present in krill oil are essential for children to have correct cognitive development and to prolong the loss of memory and concentration during old age.

Why is krill oil so effective in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides?

Krill oil, unlike other sources of Omega-3, contains phospholipids that envelop EPA and DHA (Omega-3) and make its absorption much more efficient and faster. As a result, in a short time and at low doses, krill oil significantly lowers cholesterol and triglycerides.

Surprisingly, krill is the most abundant animal on planet Earth, a school having a weight of about 2 million tons.
(Source: Dmytro Pylypenko: 30693794/

Who can benefit from taking krill oil?

Krill oil can have a positive impact on the health of people of all ages and who suffer from various ailments because it not only provides Omega-3, but also astaxatin, Vitamin E and phospholipids. Although its cardioprotective benefits are the most well-known, this dietary supplement is helpful in cases of:

  • Existing heart disease or family history of heart problems.
  • History of age-related macular degeneration.
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Atherosclerosis (atheromas plaques inside the arteries).
  • Difficulties in concentration or decreased memory.
  • People who want to keep their skin healthy, smooth and avoid age spots.
  • Arthritis, osteoarthritis and sports injuries that occur with inflammation.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease).
  • Arterial hypertension.
  • Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or certain learning difficulties.

What types of krill oil supplements exist and which one is right for me?

Krill oil is usually consumed in the form of soft capsules called gelcaps or softgels. Some commercial brands have developed liquid krill oil with various flavours to improve their taste, but these products are generally intended for children. The characteristics of each type of krill oil supplement are:

  • Krill oil capsules: Gelatin capsules that contain pure krill oil inside, whose concentration varies from 500 to 1000 milligrams. Its flavour is mild and manufacturers have managed to avoid  it having a fishy taste. Some capsules have an added artificial flavoring (vanilla, strawberry). It is recommended to take 1 to 2 units a day.
  • Liquid krill oil: The natural flavour of pure krill oil is very intense and unpleasant, in addition to producing fishy and belching taste. Therefore, most liquid krill oils have an orange, strawberry or lemon flavour. The recommended daily dose is 1 teaspoon.
Advantages Disadvantages
Its Omega-3 is associated with phospholipids and this greatly improves its assimilation. It is not suitable for vegans.
It is a source of EPA and DHA, fatty acids
Omega-3 essential for brain and visual health.
It cannot be consumed by people allergic to crustaceans.
It has a high effectiveness. In a short time it produces very significant effects . Its price is higher than that of other Omega-3 supplements, for example, chia or cod liver oil.
It is an excellent supplement to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce
inflammation, beautify the skin, improve mood, relieve premenstrual syndrome and stimulate cognitive function.
They are easy to drink. Simply consume 1 to 3 capsules daily or take 1 teaspoon of liquid krill oil.
It is a safe product for health. Its adverse effects are virtually nil.
They can be consumed by children, adults and the elderly.

What differences exist between the Omega-3 in krill oil and the Omega-3 in chia and flax?

Chia and flax oils are excellent sources of Omega-3, but do not contain EPA and DHA. Chia and flax Omega-3 is alpha-linolenic fatty acid, which does not provide the brain, vision and skin care benefits offered by EPA and DHA. In addition, the Omega-3 of these seeds does not occur together with phospholipids that improve their absorption.

What are the advantages of krill oil over cod liver oil?

Krill oil has a greater bio-availability than fish oils (including cod liver oil) thanks to the presence of phospholipids that facilitate its assimilation in the body. In this way, its anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and lipid lowering effects are more potent.

On the other hand, the astaxanthin of krill oil makes it the ideal supplement for eye and skin care. Also, unlike fish oil, krill oil is used to combat skin photo-aging (due to sun damage), characterised by premature appearance of spots, wrinkles and expression lines.

Characteristic Krill oil Fish oil Chia oil
Type of majority Omega-3 EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA. Alpha-linolenic.
Assimilation Rapid and Efficient. Moderate. Moderate.
Flavor Almost neutral, It leaves no fishy aftertaste and has very good tolerance. It can generate a fishy aftertaste. Neutral, it has excellent tolerance.
Is it appropriate for vegans No. No. Yes.
Does it provide astaxanthin? Yes. No. No.
Does it Contain Vitamin E? Yes. Yes. Yes.
Does it provide Vitamin A? Yes. Yes. especially cod liver oil. No.

What functions does astaxanthin play in the body?

Astaxanthin comes from an algae that constitutes one of the main food sources of krill in Antarctica. It is a potent antioxidant, ideal for delaying skin aging and maintaining its elasticity. Astaxanthin also prevents age-related ocular diseases and protects skin cells from oxidative damage.

Expert comment: “Astaxanthin is a powerful natural antioxidant that fights oxidative stress and has great benefits to the skin, eyesight and the cardiovascular system. It is 10 times more potent than Vitamin C; 14 times more potent than Vitamin E; and 54 times more potent than any other beta carotene.” Virtues Ruíz, surgeon and expert in aesthetic medicine.

Can krill oil cause any adverse reactions?

An excess of krill oil could produce digestive disorders (diarrhoea, stomach ache, nausea, belching, flatulence) and insomnia. In any case, the doses recommended by the manufacturer must be respected, since Vitamin E can accumulate in the liver and produce toxicity, which is usually manifested by coagulation problems.

Although the best known nutritional principle of krill oil is Omega-3, it provides other nutrients that have great potential to improve health and prevent disease.
(Source: Vgstudio: 43738034/

What contraindications does krill oil have?

Krill oil is a product approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), so it is safe for health. It is only contraindicated in some very specific and specific situations, as you can see below in the following list:

  • Seafood allergies.
  • Coagulation disorders because it could cause bleeding.
  • Presence of chronic diseases (heart, kidney, liver, endocrine).These patients should consult their physicians before starting to take krill oil.
  • Pregnant or nursing women and children under 5 years of age.There is not enough evidence that krill oil is safe during these biological stages.
  • Consumption of Orlistat.This drug inhibits the absorption of fats and, as a consequence, krill oil would be eliminated without being absorbed.

Sometimes drops of krill oil are used for the topical treatment of dry eye syndrome, but this is an ophthalmic product for external use. As a last warning, vegans should not consume krill oil supplements because they are animal products.

Shopping Criteria

There are factors that you should evaluate to choose the best krill oil and that go beyond buying the capsules with a less fishy flavour. Some certifications are very important because they relate to the final quality of the supplement or to the company’s environmental commitment. The basic criteria to buy an excellent krill oil are:

Flavour and Aroma

Although pure krill oil may have an extremely unpleasant taste, the capsules are tasteless and, in certain commercial brands, only a mild fishy aroma can be perceived. Some manufacturers add flavourings to capsule covers to improve their tolerance on the part of consumers.

The liquid krill oil, in its pure state, is always artificially flavoured because its natural flavour would hinder its consumption. In addition, the intense taste can cause belching, reflux and nausea. Capsules and liquid oil come in several flavours: lemon, orange, strawberry and vanilla.

Did you know that krill oil provides the body with a source of highly bio-available fatty acids and nutrients?

Method of Oil Extraction

The oils extracted by cold pressure are those of better quality. NKO (Neptune Krill Oil) oil is a guarantee of excellence, since by cold extraction they prevent the krill’s nutrients from being destroyed. This oil is the only one approved by the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration).

Certifications of Sustainable Development

Although Antarctic krill is not a species at risk of extinction, it is important to look for certain certifications on the oil label that reflect the manufacturers’ environmental commitment. If the product is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council MSC) it means that it has been obtained through sustainable fishing.

In addition to being an excellent source of Omega-3, this superfood is rich in other nutrients that play a valuable role in the health of children and adults.
(Sustainable: Aleksan: 29954015/

Added Vitamin D

Many krill oil supplements are enriched with Vitamin D. This nutrient is essential for bone development and proper bone mineralisation. If krill oil is to be consumed by children or by women of menopausal or postmenopausal age, it is advisable to buy a product that contains Vitamin D.


Krill oil is a wonderful super-food to take care of the entire body because it not only represents one of the best natural sources of Omega-3, but also provides some other very valuable nutrients. It is beneficial for the heart, brain, liver, skin, eyesight, joints and even for the pains associated with premenstrual syndrome.

Another benefit of krill oil is that it has very few contraindications and its adverse effects are almost non-existent. In addition, it is a natural supplement, effective and easy to take. However, not all products are the same and buying krill oil of the highest quality is essential to achieve the desired effects.

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(Source of Featured Image: Wongcheronkit: 26503171/