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8 Best Krill Oil Supplements (2022) Reviewed and Compared

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The popularity of krill oil has exploded over the last several years. I’m sure you’re here because you’ve heard a thing or two about this powerful alternative to get in your omega-3 fatty acids.

In this article, we will take a deep dive into what krill oil is, how it differs from its very popular cousin, regular fish oil, and give you the top krill oil supplement recommendations on the market today.

What is Krill Oil?

Krill oil is made up of teeny tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that primarily serve as whale food (think Finding Nemo) and are found worldwide in the ocean.

These small but mighty organisms play an essential role in the marine ecosystem. The specific krill that are used to make our supplements is typically found in Antarctica.

Just like its fish oil counterpart, krill oil is super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids – an essential nutrient. However, the fatty acids in krill oil are slightly different than those found in fish oil and as such, could influence the way that the body uses them. (1)

Benefits of Krill Oil

Cardiovascular Support

One study found that krill oil was very effective for the management of hyperlipidemia. They also found that at equal or lower doses, krill oil proved to be significantly more effective than it’s fish oil counterpart for the reduction of glucose, triglycerides and LDL levels. (2) Elevated LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides are two markers that are directly correlated with cardiovascular disease.

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is our body’s natural response to infection or injury. Chronic inflammation generally causes a whole host of health problems. Studies have consistently shown the connection between higher omega-3 intake and a reduction in inflammation (34).

In fact, many studies are showing the effectiveness of omega-3s on rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. One study found that compared to ibuprofen, omega-3s demonstrated an equal effect in reducing arthritic pain (5).

Supports Brain Health

Krill oil may also support cognition and brain health. Most neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s show some signs of ongoing inflammation in the brain. Krill oil has shown promising anti-inflammatory effects both body-wide and specifically on the brain. (6) Krill oil also contains astaxanthin naturally which is an antioxidant capable of reducing possibly excessive inflammation and oxidative stress within the brain. (7)

Fish Oil vs. Krill Oil: What’s the Difference?

Okay, I know you’re starting to understand the power of krill oil. But one burning question you may be asking yourself is, is there really a difference?

The answer is yes.

Krill oil is a fish oil with a few unique benefits. The omega-3’s in krill oil are easier to absorb because they’re bonded to phospholipids (only two fatty acids) compared to most fish oils which are bonded to triglycerides (three fatty acids). Sparing a biology lesson, this means the omega 3’s in krill oil will be absorbed better.

Krill oil is also loaded with a carotenoid called astaxanthin, which has many antioxidant properties like fighting free radicals.

Finally, because krill is low on the food chain and mostly harvested in some of the world’s cleanest waters, it typically has much fewer toxins and mercury than most fish oils.

Krill oil is more bioavailable than fish oil. The omega-3’s in krill oil are easier to absorb because they’re bonded to phospholipids (only two fatty acids) compared to most fish oils which are bonded to triglycerides (three fatty acids). Sparing a biology lesson, this means the omega 3’s in krill oil will be absorbed better. (5)

Phospholipids are both water and fat soluble, and are part of our cell membranes. Because krill oil is in this form, the body is better able to pass the krill oil molecules through the intestinal wall for them to be directly used in the cell membranes.

This means better absorption, greater benefits, and more effectiveness.

One study gave one group fish oil and another krill oil, but two thirds the amount. Both of the treatment groups experienced increased levels of DHA and EPA in the blood, but the krill oil group achieved the same results at a lower dosage. (6)

Krill Oil Has the Antioxidant Astaxanthin

Krill oil is also loaded with a carotenoid called astaxanthin, which has many antioxidant properties like fighting free radicals. Astaxanthin is so popular, it’s even taken as a standalone supplement. For more on that, you can check out our guide on astaxanthin supplementation.

Fewer Toxins, Lower on The Food Chain

Finally, because krill is low on the food chain and mostly harvested in some of the world’s cleanest waters, it typically has much fewer toxins and mercury than most fish oils.

This also makes krill oil generally a more environmentally friendly option.

Now that we have all of that out of the way, here are the top krill oil supplements currently on the market.

*Note: We have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you buy from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.

1) NatureMyst Krill Oil

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NatureMyst is a small company but their Krill oil packs a punch and has landed at the top of our list because of it. The market is very saturated with hundreds of krill oil products and NatureMyst stands out in many ways.

This is the highest potency omega-3 per 1000mg of Krill Oil on the market. Per serving, you get an extra 100mg of omega-3s, more phospholipids, and more Astaxanthin.

NatureMyst has gone above and beyond in their creation of the product as the krill is wild caught in deep ocean water, and is 100% natural. The krill is sustainably harvested to ensure no additional damage is being done to the environment, so you can feel good about supporting this company.

If those standout features weren’t enough…

This product is made in the USA, in an FDA-inspected facility using a specific CO2 extraction and state-of-the-art molecular distillation to guarantee you are getting the purest and most potent supplement.

NatureMyst also rigorously tests their krill oil through a third party to further ensure purity, potency, and label accuracy with every bottle being sent out.

There are no GMOs, artificial ingredients, binders, fillers, or preservatives AND they are free of soy, milk, sugar, egg, gluten, corn, wheat, and peanuts. Wow.

For the most bio-available, pure, and powerful krill oil supplement NatureMyst Superior Red Krill Oil, is our #1 pick.

2) 1MD Krill MD

 

Amazon.com: 1MD Nutrition KrillMD - Antarctic Krill Oil Omega 3 Supplement with Astaxanthin, EPA, DHA | 2X More Effective Than Fish Oil | 60 Softgels : Health & Household

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1MD Krill MD is a very close runner-up. This krill oil supplement actually has more krill oil per serving but slightly less omega-3 than NatureMyst. Still coming in at a very high 320mg per 2 softgel serving.

With no fishy aftertaste, and in fact a pleasant lemon-coated softgel, you will get all your krill oil benefits from this supplement. KrillMD is made from sustainably-sourced antarctic krill in a GMP-certified facility so there is no doubt in your mind about the purity of your softgels.

Dairy, peanut, wheat free, and non-GMO, this is a fantastic option.

3) Viva Naturals Antarctic Krill Oil

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Another very highly potent formula, Viva Naturals Antarctic krill oil is a really great choice for a very reasonable price point. Per serving you get 255mg of DHA and EPA, 575mg of phospholipids, and 1.6mg of Astaxanthin.

This krill oil is encapsulated in the innovative Caplique capsules, limiting the infamous “fishy burps” that can come from taking a fish or krill oil.

4) California Gold Nutrition Antarctic Krill

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California Gold has an Antarctic krill oil that’s sourced from the Pristine Southern Ocean. They have strict testing, and are probably the best overall value on our list.

5) NOW Foods Neptune Krill 1000

NOW Foods, Neptune Krill 1000, Double Strength, 1,000 mg, 60 Softgels

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NOW Foods Neptune Krill Oil uses a patented, pure from of krill oil. It’s manufactured under strict quality control standards and is tested for any potentially harmful contaminants.

Per serving, you get a solid 250mg of total omega-3s which is a great starting point for anyone looking to bring krill oil into their daily routine.

6) Onnit Krill Oil

Onnit Krill Oil

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This soy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, krill oil has a very simple formulation with the inclusion of ethyl vanillin for flavor. You get a good amount of sustainably harvested krill oil per serving and a really good astaxanthin kick to help the antioxidant fight.

Onnit also has an independent Informed Sport certification seal meaning that each batch is specifically tested for banned substances. If you are an athlete, this could be a great choice for you.

7) Sports Research Antarctic Krill Oil

Sports Research Krill Oil

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Sports Research uses Superba2 Krill Oil, which is a newer formula said to increase omega-3 levels in the body.

Each serving is 1 capsule that will give you 500mg of krill oil and 115mg of omegas. You can easily double up the dosage to get similar dosages to competing brands, however you will go through the bottle quicker

8) Transparent Labs Krill Oil

Krill Oil Benefits Compared to Fish Oil – Transparent Labs

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Transparent Labs is another very reputable company with tons of really great products. Their Krill oil uses high-quality ingredients, but it’s on the lower end for dosages.

How we ranked

Here are some key factors that helped us narrow down our list.

Third Party Testing

The FDA does not regulate the production of health food supplements. As such, it’s extremely important for us to always recommend products that have been tested by a third party. This ensures that you are only given the option to chose from safe and effective products.

Omega 3 Content

Effective dosing for daily omega-3 is at least 250mg-500mg per day. We wanted to be sure that the products on this list were hitting the minimum requirements.

It was also important to have a solid amount of phospholipids and astaxanthin as both of these ingredients help to boost the effects of the krill oil.

Quality Ingredients

Purity is a very important thing when it comes to supplements. It’s important to us that you know we are only recommending products that are safe for you to take and that stand up to any quality testing that could be out there.

FAQs

How often should I take krill oil?

You can take krill oil daily. Follow the recommended serving on the nutrition label of the product you purchased for exact serving sizes.

It’s best to take your krill oil supplement with a meal or snack that has some fat. This can help increase the absorption of the omega-3s and decrease the possible gastrointestinal side effects. (7)

Are there side effects to taking krill oil?

Krill oil is considered a safe supplement and isn’t associated with any side effects.

Taking krill oil in high doses could cause some issues with blood clotting however many studies have proven that those who are on blood thinning medications did not see any side effects. (8)

Sometimes, like adding anything new to your dietary regime, you may experience some digestive symptoms like loose stools, nausea, and gas. These are normal and may be resolved by taking the supplement every other day to build up a tolerance or start with a lower dose one and work your way up.

How much krill oil should I be taking per day?

Like fish oils, the recommended dosage for krill oil depends on the EPA and DHA content found in the supplement.

Dietary recommendations for EPA and DHA for adults are 250-500 mg/day. (9) However, some studies have shown that much higher doses of DHA and EPA, up to 4g, can be safe and may be necessary for some people. (10) Always consult with your healthcare team before deciding to supplement with higher dosages.

More on Omega-3s

Krill oil definitely isn’t the only great source of omega-3s out there. For more you can check out our list of the best plant-based omega-3 supplements.

About the Author

Stephanie is a fitness coach and lifelong learner of all things health and fitness. She graduated with her honors specialization in Kinesiology and has worked with hundreds of individuals to reach their physique goals. In her free time, you can catch her on the hiking trails or with her puppy Zoe.

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