Krill Oil vs Cod Liver Oil – A Complete Comparison Guide
The body needs omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) to function properly. And since the body cannot make omega-3s by itself, it is essential to include food items rich in omega in our diet. While eating sustainable seafood at least twice a week should help you get adequate supplies, you may not always meet your the daily recommended dosage. That is why it is advisable to take an omega-3s supplement. Both Krill oil and Cod liver oil are reliable sources of omega-3s. They contain two types of omega-3s including EPA and DHA which support healthy cognitive function, cardiovascular health, and joint health. So which is better for you, krill oil or fish/cod liver oil? Keep reading to find out.
What is Krill Oil?
Krill oil is an oil that is derived from tiny crustacean creatures, known as krill that are commonly used as a means to feed fish. It is available in three different forms including liquid, capsule and chewable form. The oil contains Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) fatty acids.
Nevertheless, a bigger portion of the DHA and EPA in the oil is in the form of phospholipids, with a phosphate group attached to the end of the fatty acid. As a result, krill oil has a higher bioavailability compared to cod liver oil. However, the same effects of cod liver oil can be observed with Krill oil but at a lower dosage. It also contains astaxanthin, a potent natural antioxidant, which gives it the reddish color.
Usage and Dosage
Listen: there is no standard dosage of krill oil or any other omega-3 supplements. A standard dose of krill oil is 1 to 3 grams daily for adults, but it is always advisable to consult with your doctor for the right dosage. However, the American Heart Association recommends taking one gram of DHA + EPA daily. But since krill oil is easily absorbed by the body, you can take less. On the other hand, if you have shellfish or fish allergy, you should not use krill oil.
Pros and Cons
Boasts greater bioavailability
Krill is likely to contain fewer toxins
Its astaxanthin antioxidant is effective at neutralizing free radicals
Includes the two fatty acids said to underlie the benefits of cod liver oil
It has been proven to improve one’s memory and learning
Leads to improved cardiovascular health and decrease in inflammation
It contains fewer levels of omega-3 fatty acids
Can increase your bleeding risk and impact blood sugar levels
What is Cod Liver Oil?
Cod liver oil is a common term used to refer to Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) fatty acids. These fatty acids are precursors of certain eicosanoids that are proven to minimize inflammation in the body. It is the cheapest and most common source of omega-3 fats. It is not uncommon to hear doctors recommending the frequent use of cod liver – why? – because of the rich omega-3 fat deposits, it comes with.
And another thing, the DHA and EPA fatty acids in fish oil/cod liver oil are typically bound to triglycerides instead of phospholipids. As a result, they have to undergo additional processing so they can be absorbed easily.
You know what else? Cod liver oil is FDA approved to lower the levels of triglycerides in the blood for people with high triglyceride levels. High levels of triglycerides can cause heart disease, coronary artery disease, and stroke, It can also be used to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as preventing heart diseases, blood clots, clogged arteries and chest pain.
Usage and Dosage
So how do you know how much cod liver oil to take? First off, there is no FDA recommended dosage. However, FDA recommends a healthy person aged 5 years and above should not take more than 3000mg of cod liver oil per day. It’s advisable to start with a lower dose to see how your body reacts with the oil. For instance, 450 to 500mg per day of cod liver oil is a good place to start.
In case you are not sure how much to take, just take the oil as prescribed by the doctor or as directed on the label. The important thing is not to take it in larger amounts or for a prolonged period than recommended. If taking cod liver oil in capsules form, ensure you don’t open or puncture the capsule. In addition, cod liver oil works best when taken together with a healthy diet.
Pros and Cons
It has a stimulatory effect thereby increasing brain activity
It can be taken throughout the day
Readily available hence a little bit cheaper
Contains the two essential omega-fatty acids in greater amounts
Takes a long time to decompose when left at room temperature (around 48 to 72 hours)
Backed by scientific research to aid in lowering cardiovascular diseases and maintaining cognitive function
DHA and EPA have anti-inflammatory effects and play a big role in oxidative stress
Most of the cod liver oil effects take a couple of days or weeks to manifest themselves
It can increase cholesterol in people with high triglyceride levels
Has those disgusting fish burps taste
Krill Oil vs Cod Liver Oil- Any Notable Differences?
To begin with, in Krill oil, its omega-3 fatty acids are attached to phospholipids hence the body easily absorbs the oil. With cod liver oil, the omega-3s are instead bound to triglycerides, which have to be broken down first before the oil can be absorbed into the body.
Secondly, Krill oil contains astaxanthin, a very potent antioxidant that inhibits free radicals and other dangerous oxidative enemies. Cod liver oil, on the other hand, is very low in antioxidants, which is why it is very prone to oxidation if left out in the sun or in heat.
Another notable difference between the two is potency level. Studies have shown that krill oil is more potent compared to cod liver oil. This is because of its ease of absorption into the bloodstream. As a result, you need a less dose of krill oil than cod liver oil.
Last but not least, krill oil decomposes rapidly. It decomposes between two to three hours, which is less time compared to that of cod liver oil 48 to 72 hours. This means that there is little time to derive the health benefits from krill oil.
Here is the real deal!
Both Krill Oil and Cod Liver Oil make for excellent omega-3 fatty acid sources. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with trying either of the two. However, if we were to choose between the two, we would definitely go with krill oil. C’mon, its high potency level, and bioavailability is definitely a big deal. Not to mention the sheer amount of antioxidant it has.