Fish oil. It’s the magic bullet that I hear being thrown around non-stop by those with ideas on reducing inflammation.
Since, I’m all about finding ways to make my body feel better (especially as I return to running post knee surgery) I’ve looked in to all kinds of things.
Unfortunately for me, every time I tried fish oil my stomach started to hurt and I never once enjoyed that drop in inflammation. And YES I was buying the highest of high quality! Months and months of shelling out cash with no results.
Conversely, two things did help me:
“Krill oil is one of those supplements that has proven to not only boost your overall health, but allow you to feel better overall.” – 5 minute reviews
Since you’ve probably heard about turmeric by now, I thought I’d dive in to the lesser talked about krill oil.
What Is Krill Oil?
Krill are deep water shrimp containing omega 3 essential fatty acids in the form of phospholipid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and it is more easily absorbed by your body than other Omega 3 supplements.
Too scientific? I know, let’s simplify.
They’re ugly little shrimp looking creatures that have a type of lipid which makes the oil more readily absorbed by us. Omega 3’s are naturally found in fish, shellfish, flax seeds and grass fed beef, but most of us don’t get enough on a daily basis to see the benefits.
“Krill oil contains Astaxanthin, which helps reduce soreness and decrease lactic acid, aiding endurance.” – Men’s Running
Omega 3’s Matter!
Omega 3 fatty acids are incredibly important and essential for proper functioning of the heart, brain, and body. So not only do supplements high in omega-3’s like krill oil help those achy joints, they also support your body in ways that fish oil or other supplements wouldn’t.
The most important and well-studied long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
I dove in to Omega 3’s previously with a round up of my favorite fish recipes, so I won’t overload you again here. My main problem was I couldn’t eat enough fish consistently to make just whole food my main source of Omega 3’s and needed to find another way to get them in because I knew science said they would help (and soon I saw it too, see below!).Instead, let’s answer your next question, which is better for you fish oil or krill oil??
Honestly, I don’t think any of of the studies truly prove one over the other. It really comes down to testing out things and seeing what works for you.
Those who prefer krill oil often point to the fact that it is more bioavailable, more sustainable, and less likely to be contaminated by mercury or heavy metals. Which all helps in the long run (pun intended!).
What Are The Health Benefits of Krill Oil?
Not only is krill oil extremely high in omega-3’s but there are plenty of other reasons why it is so effective.
- Good Cholesterol raised (shown up to 10x more than fish oil!)
- Bad cholesterol dropped
- Improved glucose metabolism to help with weight loss
- Prevention of blood clots
- Decreased joint pain
- Heart health support
- Improves mood and relieves PMS symptom
- Rapid relief
- Superior at projecting joint cartilage from inflammatory damage
- Added endurance
None of this is to say that fish oil doesn’t work, just that in my personal experience the krill oil quiet frankly blew the fish oil out of the water. A number of scientific studies have now been completed which show that our body is better able to use the available omega 3’s from Krill oil than fish oil which could partially explain why I noticed a difference so rapidly.
The other reason I believe is because of the quality of krill oil I was taking (notes on this below).Now as always, I think it’s 100% IMPORTANT to talk about not just relying on a supplement to fix things. But rather to add it to all the other things you’re doing like eating fish, drinking green smoothies, making turmeric lattes and what not!
My Personal Experience
When the idea of trying Krill Oil was brought up, which I personally had not heard of or read about at that time, I figured it couldn’t hurt since the fish oil didn’t seem to be working at all.
To be sure that the krill oil was the thing having an effect on my achy joints, I stopped taking all other multivitamins and supplements during this trial. I really wanted to pinpoint what was working or not working during this test in 2014.
If you are able to test anything out this way, I recommend it!
Within 2 weeks of taking the krill oil my knees stopped hurting, my IT band felt amazing. I ran the entire Houston Marathon without a single ache in either of my normal spots! It was truly surprising that the krill oil worked this effectively, this quickly. Even in the days after the race there was no ache in my joints.I can tell you that I was off of it for a week and my ITB started hurting again without any change in my activity…so you guessed it I ordered up some more! As I started taking it again, the ITB calmed down and is feeling better.
Pay Attention to Krill Oil Quality
There is a huge variance in the quality of vitamins you can find at many of your local stores. I’ve learned through trying many different vitamins over the years that quality matters to get results!!
Please don’t just buy the first one you see on the shelf or with the best marketing.
If you listen to trainers like Jillian Michaels – and I do – she talks about how you need vitamins that are bioavailabe – meaning you want things that your body can process because they are natural. Because of the natural composition – bioavailable krill oil also means it’s more effective; and it allows the body to absorb more of the omega-3’s while taking lower doses of EPA and DHA that are typically required for fish oil pills.
Grabbing the store brand that is filled with chemicals might make you mentally feel better for taking action, but your body is probably not getting the benefits that you hoped. So pay attention.
AND it’s important that you’re purchasing a krill oil that is not expired or has been subject to oxidation. Oils past their due date are rancid and cause inflammation.
Also look for brands that provide at least 60% omega-3 fatty acid concentrations per gram of krill oil.
Viva Naturals is the one that I would currently recommend.
I fully believe we are all an experiment of one! It’s why some people thrive on a vegan diet, others feel great on fasting and others manage to stay healthy til their 100 with a daily shot of whiskey. But now you have my take and tips, so I hope it helps you figure out what’s best fo ryou!
Have you tried fish oil or krill oil?
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