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Omega-3: Krill Oil, or Fish Oil?

It seems like at this stage we’ve all come to an agreement that it’s essential to have a diet that’s rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s. The problem is, when it comes to supplementation, there seems to be much confusion on which form is best. Among those people consider: krill, algae, and fish. In today’s video, I’ll explain why I suggest fish oil as the optimal choice.

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  • TechnoTriticale

    Krill oil is hopelessly uneconomic today, even if the consumer falls for claims of increased potency (which are largely if not entirely false). Just run the numbers on how much 3000mg of DHA+EPA (of which at least 1000 is DHA) will cost. As David points out, “fixing” this economy problem is probably highly unwise from a sustainability standpoint.

    If someone insists on Krill, then they really need to be tested for Omega 3 Index (10%) and Omega 6:3 Ratio (under 2:1). If the Index is low, and the Ratio high, that tells the tale.

    Actual fish is a great source on these n3s, but only if the buyer is CERTAIN that it’s actual wild fish. Too much off-shore farmed fish is sold as “wild caught”, and it’s both low in n3, and high in n6 linoleic acid PUFA, due to being provisioned with CAFO junk grain feed.

  • Ronna Berezin

    I’m not clear on what supplement of oil I should use to get the req. Omega 3’s if that is what I should be getting. Ronna Berezin

  • Nick

    Thank you, Dr Perlmutter, for this interesting post. I take cod liver oil daily but I don’t get as much DHA from it as you recommend because I’m a bit concerned about overdosing on Vitamin D. This particular oil contains 472mg DHA in 5ml, so to get 1000-1200mg I would need about 11ml oil.

    However, the oil also contains 6.32µg Vitamin D RE in 5ml oil, which the label says is 127% of the NRV (nutritional reference value). So to get your recommended DHA from the oil, I would also be taking 280% of the NRV for Vit D, plus of course any other Vitamin D in my diet and whatever I get from the sun. (Not so much here in the UK I suppose!)

    I know a Vitamin D deficiency is much more common than an excess, but Is getting too much Vitamin D a potential problem with cod liver oil?

    • TechnoTriticale

      re: I take cod liver oil daily but I don’t get as much DHA from it as you
      recommend because I’m a bit concerned about overdosing on Vitamin D.

      Did you mean OD on Vitamin A?
      Hypervitaminosis A is a risk when using CLO to get to 3g DHA+EPA per day. Mercury is also a risk, because cod are higher in the food chain.

      • Nick Winter

        Thanks, TechnoTriticale: yes, I meant to include both A and D but forgot the A! Excess A is more likely to be a problem, I suspect. So do you know if there a fish oil other than cod or krill that gives you the DHA Dr Perlmutter recommends without the high levels of Vits A and D?

        • TechnoTriticale

          re: …if there a fish oil other than cod or krill that gives you the DHA Dr
          Perlmutter recommends without the high levels of Vits A and D?

          Ascenta Sea and Nordic Naturals brands offer suitable products. Even the Sam’s Club caps seem to be fine, but stick with those that are just fish oil, or n3+D, and skip the n3-6-9 product. To avoid excess D, take the n3+D in the AM, and the n3-only later in the day.

          Anyone serious about their supps also needs to have a subscription to consumerlab dot com.

          • Nick Winter

            Thanks for your help, TechnoTriticale. I’ll have a look at consumer lab too.

  • Chuck Bieber

    Isn’t there a higher possibility that krill is contaminated with BMAA from toxic algae?

  • Chuck Bieber
  • Osteoporotic

    So are flax and chia seeds insufficient for those of us who are plant based? Especially if one avoids Omega 6’s. Can’t believe that wild caught fish is sustainable over time

    • TechnoTriticale

      re: So are flax and chia seeds insufficient for those of us who are plant
      based?

      That’s my understanding. Those are great sources of n3 ALA, but nil DHA & EPA. Humans can convert some ALA to DHA&EPA, but not enough. When you see an advocacy site and/or product promoting “Omega 3” without qualification, presume ALA.

      If you insist on staying veggie, you can get the DHA&EPA from the same place the fish get it: marine algae: not cheap, and mind the DHA/EPA ratio. Yeast-derived is another source, but is even more challenged on ratio.

      re: Especially if one avoids Omega 6’s.

      We need to be avoiding added n6 linoleic acid entirely, and as much stealth n6LA as possible.

      re: Can’t believe that wild
      caught fish is sustainable over time

      The home of the future may include a largish marine aquarium.

  • whitk227

    I take krill daily for anti-inflammatory properties (give it to my dogs as well). I’ve been concerned for quite awhile about what’s actually in the capsules, as well as the cost. Any recommendations on a good fish oil to take the place of krill?

  • Zzzz

    I would like to see recommendations specifically for diabetics. I don’t understand why these that are such great anti-inflammatories will raise my glucose levels by 20-30 points. Do supplements raise glucose in diabetics but not wild caught fish?

  • Pacem

    It is so good to hear Dr Perlmutter stating the obvious environmental argument against krill oil. It’s not always about H.sapiens.

  • Strick

    Waiting for the best of the best when it comes to EPA Omega 3…Vascepa . Pretty amazing this has never been mentioned given all the data about you covered in the DVDs and written recap of on the on line seminar you hosted. Particularly concerned as most of the OTC fish oil is crap and unregulated please do your DD on Vascepa and let’s hear from you

  • Jutta Fulford

    Please, tell Dr. Mercola, who is pushing Krill Oil and has for years. He may listen to you.

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