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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

My Krill Oil Mistake

written by Vin Kutty

comments 11 comments

krill oil vs fish oil

Why I returned my Krill Oil pills back to the store

Guest blog by: Kathy Mankofsky, RD, LD.

I was out at Walgreens when my husband called to say he heard that krill oil is so much better than fish oil.

He said that I should buy krill oil instead of fish oil. I told him that I would check it out.

Just when I was looking at the the krill oil bottle, my cell phone rang and I got distracted by the call.

I glanced at the bottle and I saw what I thought was 900 mg of Omega-3.
krill oil supplement facts
Since I thought krill oil was sooo good, I must have imagined an extra zero on the end of the Omega-3 on the label.

I thought that I saw 900 mg of Omega-3 on the krill oil label. So I bought it and took it home.

When I got home, I looked at the label more carefully. I saw that I had misread it.

That bottle didn’t have 900 mg of Omega 3 per pill. It had only 90 mg Omega-3 per pill.

Big difference!

So if I wanted to get the 900 mg that I thought I was getting, I’d have to take 10 of the krill oil pills.

That’s nuts! I can’t take that many pills!

What’s The Big Deal About Krill Oil?

One study showed that people who took krill oil had 1.5 times more Omega 3 in their cell membranes than those who took fish oil. Source: Is Krill Oil 48 X Better Than Fish Oil?

According to that study, 90 mg Omega-3 in krill oil compares to 135 mg of Omega-3 in fish oil. (90 mg per krill oil pill x 1.5 = 135 mg Omega-3.)

Now, using this conversion formula, we can compare apples to apples.

The fish oil that I was taking at that time had 720 mg of Omega-3 per pill.

Did I want to switch from 720 mg Omega-3 down to 135 mg Omega-3 per pill?

Absolutely Not!

The krill oil would have to be 8 x more absorbed to have the same amount of Omega-3 as the fish oil I was taking (90 mg x 8 =720 mg Omega-3).

Granted krill oil has some antioxidants in it, I’m mostly interested in the benefits of Omega-3.

Let’s Compare Krill Oil To The Lowest Strength Fish Oil

Even the cheapest (lowest strength) fish oil has twice as much Omega-3 as krill oil! (Cheap fish oil=300 mg Omega-3 per pill vs 135 mg Omega-3 per pill in common brands of krill oil)

Krill Oil is Dramatically More Expensive Than Fish Oil

Krill Oil National Brand

Nature Made Double Strength

Retail Price $27.99 $17.99
Pills/Bottle 60 120
Amount of Omega-3 Per Pill 90 mg 720 mg
Cost of 1,000 mg Omega-3 (effective dose) $4.84 $0.30
# of Pills to get 1000 mg Omega-3 about 11 about 2

I knew it was more expensive, so I should get more for my money.

So I assumed that krill oil would be more concentrated in Omega-3.

Actually, I got less, way less, for more money.

You have to pay between 7 and 11 times more for the same amount of Omega-3 from krill oil.

What To Look For When Buying An Omega-3 Product

You want to look at the 3 most important things:

  1. How much Omega-3 are you getting per pill?
  2. What is it going to cost you? (Cost per 1000 mg Omega-3)
  3. Is it independently certified for quality?

After comparing the the first two points above in krill oil vs fish oil, I went right back to the store and exchanged it for my regular fish oil!


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Join the conversation

  1. Thanks for your comment,. Actually, we’ve done a lot of research on this topic (krill oilsustainability), which you can read about elsewhere on the site. It appears that we are less in danger of running out of krill than we are of the other marine sources of omega-3s.The krillfishery is among the best and most carefully managed fisheries in the world, and other marine sources of omega-3s that Dr. Weil mentions, such as sardines and herring, are showing clear signs of declining populations. This year’s catch of these species in Peruvian waters (the source for most of the fish oil supplements) is down nearly 50 percent.

  2. I just bought the same thing at Wallgreens, Duped like you, 85 mg omega 3 in krill oil sold as 1000mg oil, What do you recomend?
    Thanks for the info


  3. isn’t the phospholypids also omega 3’s ? i think it could be if I’m not mistaken

    Quote from website :

    “The omega-3 in krill oil is mainly in the omega-3 phospholipid form, which research suggests is a preferred dietary supplement when compared to omega-3 in triglyceride form”

    • Hi Von – don’t mean to get too technical, but in krill, about half of the Omega-3 is attached to phospholpids. The rest of the Omega-3 is found as free fatty acids and/or triglyceride form. Omega-3s are NOT phospholipids.

  4. I’m on krill oil now, no doubt good fish oil is more economical. I’ll be switching soon, but just because you take fish oil doesn’t make you can’t take krill oil too. 🙂 You can space it out and take it occasionally if you like it.

  5. Omega-3 is just part, or even an unimportant part, of what we need from krill oil. How about the other benefit of krlii oil? Is that worthwhile for what we are paying?

    • Hi Xue – I agree that Omega-3 is not a major part of krill oil. The only reason, in my opinion, to take krill oil is for the phospholipids…but eggs are a much better and healthier source of phospholipids and a heck of a lot cheaper too!

  6. Krill oil is absorbed much quicker than fish oil and purity is better. You just can’t buy your supplements from Walgreen’s lol, you’ll find much higher potency and quality online or at GNC. You can find them in up to 1000 mg of omega-3. They also have higher EPA and DHA. Try one bottle and I bet you’ll never go back.

    • Hi Tara – krill oil is slightly better absorbed than fish oil. How fast it is absorbed is irrelevant as the Omega-3s stay in your body from two weeks to two years.

      Krill oil is 1.6 times better absorbed than fish oil. Proof:

      A gram of Omega-3 from Krill oil costs almost 10X more than a gram of Omega-3 from fish oil. Proof:

      If you find a krill oil product with 1000 mg Omega-3 per pill, it is adulterated with fish oil. The most potent krill oils have about 250 to 300 mg Omega-3 per pill.

      The best (and in my opinion) and only reason to take krill oil is that it contains a lot of brain-boosting phospholipids.

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