Consumer’s Guide to the 3 Most Popular Best Krill Oil Brands

best krill oil

Krill Oil Soft Gels

Are you looking for the best krill oil supplement?

Krill oil has become one of the fastest growing segments in the nutritional supplement business. The global market size was recently valued at over 204.4 million and its expected to see even more growth.

More and more health-conscious people are becoming aware of the remarkable health benefits of krill oil. But with the growing demand, comes increasing competition with so many products to choose from.

So how do you choose the best krill oil product? Here’s our guide to help you choose the best one….

 

 

Who Makes the Best Krill Oil?

best krill oilSome of the best krill oil manufacturers sell directly to the public or they offer it as an ingredient to other producers of nutritional supplements.

While you’ll find dozens of different products, most of them get their bulk krill oil from only a few producers in the world.

The Top Krill Oil Manufacturers are:

  • Neptune Bioresources – produces Neptune Krill Oil (NKO)
  • Aker Biomarine – makes Superba Krill Oil
  • Enzymotec – makes K-Real Krill Oil
  • RimFrost – makes RimFrost Krill Oil

 

 

How to Choose the Best Krill Oil

All krill oils, no matter which brand, will give you these 3 basic ingredients:

  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids EPA and DHA
  • Phospholipids
  • Astaxanthin (an antioxidant naturally found in krill oil)

When choosing the best krill oil, you should look for:

  • the actual amount of raw ingredients per dosage
  • overall purity
  • how they’re packaged and with what ingredients (soft gel or capsules)
  • how much it costs you per dosage.

 

 

How Much Actual Ingredients per Mg of Krill Oil:

When I compared the amount of ingredients per milligram of oil, I found that almost all brands provided roughly the same amounts:

  • Total Omega 3’s – 23 to 30%
  • EPA – 13 to 14%
  • DHA – 6 to 7%
  • Phospholipids – 33 to 52%
  • Astaxanthin – 0.05 to 0.08%

So no matter how large the soft gel or capsule was, the total amount of omega 3’s ranged from 23 to 30%, EPA was 13 to 14%, DHA was 6 to 7% and Astaxanthin was just under 1%.

The only ingredient where I found the largest difference was the amount of phospholipids per soft gel – this ranged from 33 up to 52%.

NOTE: This is important as studies have shown supplementation of krill oil with high phospholipid content increases the amount of EPA and DHA in blood cells, better than low phospholipid content.

The take-away message here is if you compare 2 different products and one has a lower EPA and DHA (but it has a higher phospholipid content), it may give you increased EPA and DHA blood levels; compared to using a competing product with a higher EPA and DHA, but lower phospholipid levels.

I found that the most popular brands with positive reviews used either Superba or Neptune Krill Oil (NKO). This made sense to me as these are produced by the most dominant producers in the world, Aker Biomarine and Neptune Bioresources.

Unfortunately, some of the products I reviewed didn’t disclose their supplier. Based on this, I looked at the actual amount of ingredients. I also researched the company to find out if they got their supplies from 1 or 2 of the big krill oil suppliers.

Without any further delay, here’s my review of the Most Popular Best krill oil supplements….

 

Sports Research Antarctic Krill Oil Review

 

sports research antarctic krill oil review

 

This is a popular product for many on-line retailers. It’s currently one of the best krill oils bought on Amazon.com.

Sports Research Corporation is a family-owned, nutritional supplement company based in San Pedro, California.

Their oil is made from Aker Biomarine’s Superba2 krill oil. This is an improved version of the original Superba brand that’s marketed to have an improved taste and smell.

The ingredients in Sports Research Antarctic Krill Oil are:

  • Superba2 Krill Oil – 1000 mg
  • Phospholipids – 400mg
  • Omega 3’s – 230 mg
  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) – 128 mg
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) – 60 mg
  • Astaxanthin – 1 mg
  • Soft Gel Ingredients: Kosher gelatin, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Purified water
  • Soft Gel Size: 1000 mg
  • Soft Gels per Bottle: 60 ct
  • Suggested Retail Price: $30
  • Price per Soft Gel: 50 cents
  • Single Dosage a Day Lasts: 60 Days

And here’s what you get Per Milligram of Oil:

  • 23% Omega 3’s
  • 40% Phospholipids
  • 13% EPA
  • 6% DHA
  • 1% Astaxanthin

The soft gels are a bit on the larger size because they’re 1000 mg. If you have difficulty swallowing larger-sized soft gels or pills, you may want to look at a product that comes in a smaller, easier-to-swallow size.

Superba krill oil is made from Antarctic krill and it’s certified as 100% sustainable and traceable by the Marine Steward Council.

Pros:

  • I like that it’s been 3rd party-tested for ingredients and purity by the International Krill Oil Standards (IKOS). This is another division of the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS), who regularly analyzes and verifies fish oil products.
  • I found the pills had a very slight ‘fishy’ scent, but this is pretty common with all krill supplements. I didn’t experience any fishy after-taste after ingesting them.
  • Another thing I like is that the soft gels are made a plant-based glycerine and a Kosher gelatin. They claim the kosher gelatin isn’t plant-based, so I’m assuming it’s an animal-based product, which means it could be made from either beef or pork collagen.

All Superba2 krill oils are Non-GMO, gluten-free and Sports Research Corp claims to offer a Money-Back Guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

The reviews for this product are pretty good and it’s a popular product for many on-line retailers. At press time, Sport Research Krill Oil reviews had over 2973 reviews on Amazon.com with 77% of customers giving it 5 out of 5 stars.

Most people claimed to like the higher dosage for a single soft gel (1000 mg), minimal fishy-burps and noticeable health benefits. Some of the negative reviews focused on difficulty swallowing the larger-sized soft gel and a fishy odor from the bottle when opening it.

Overall, I think this is one of the best krill oil products because you’re getting genuine Superba krill oil, which was made by one of the largest krill oil producers in the world . And at 50 cents per soft gel, it’s a great bargain for the purity and quality.

 

Search for more Sports Research Antarctic Krill Oil at Amazon.com:

 

 

Viva Naturals Krill Oil Review

 

viva naturals krill oil review

 

At press time, this was the most popular and best krill oil on Amazon.com with over 3352 reviews.

Viva Naturals is a ‘healthy-lifestyle’ brand started in Canada by Husayn Remtulla in 2011.  They operate on a direct-to-consumer model (to keep prices low) so you can order directly from their company website.  They’re currently only in the USA, but are expanding to Canada and Asia.

This product was originally called Everest Nutrition Krill Oil and then they changed the name to Viva Labs Krill Oil in 2013. The company then re-named it Viva Natural Krill Oil, but the original ingredients are the same.

 

Viva Naturals Krill Oil uses Caplique Capsules:

What sets this product apart from some others is that they’re packaged in special capsules called Capliques.  These are basically a clear capsule made from Tilapia fish gelatin and it’s sealed around the seam with a heat-treated band.

caplique capsule krill oil

Caplique Krill Oil

Capliques are made by a company called Alcrea Health for the pharmaceutical industry.

They claim Capliques capsules contain less fillers and binders than traditional soft gels and tablets. 

They also claim the capsules promote better absorption and can disintegrate in less than 10 minutes. Another benefit is you can see the actual oil inside the capsule.

I found that many of the Caplique capsules aren’t completely filled and this is considered normal.  The company claims that each capsule contains exactly 625 mg, as stated on the ingredient label.

 They claim the extra air space is flushed out and filled with nitrogen. The nitrogen prevents the fatty acids from becoming rancid from air exposure. Ingesting rancid oils is one of the biggest causes of fish oil side effects such as gas, burping and indigestion.

 

Viva Natural Krill Oil Ingredients (based on a recommended 2 capsules serving size):

  • Krill Oil – 1250mg (Per soft gel – 625 mg)
  • Phospholipids – 500 mg (250 mg per soft gel)
  • Omega 3’s – 300 mg (150 mg per soft gel)
  • EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) – 165 mg (82.5 mg per soft gel)
  • DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) – 95 mg (47.5 mg per soft gel)
  • Astaxanthin – 1.5 mg (0.75 mg per soft gel)
  • Soft Gel Ingredients: Caplique Capsule made from Tilapia Fish Gelatin
  • Soft Gel Size: 625 mg
  • Soft Gels per Bottle: 60 ct
  • Suggested Retail Price: $29.95
  • Price per Soft Gel: 50 cents
  • Single Dosage a Day Lasts: 30 Days

And here’s what you get Per Milligram of Oil:

  • 23% Omega 3’s
  • 40% Phospholipids
  • 13% EPA
  • 8% DHA
  • 1.2% Astaxanthin

If you look at the amount of ingredients, it’s almost the same as the Sports Research Antarctic Krill Oil I reviewed above.

I couldn’t find any information on the bottle or the company website on where they get their krill oil from. When I contacted the company and their reply was that it was “…considered proprietary information, and cannot be disclosed to the public….”

They claim to follow sustainable/environmentally-friendly krill harvesting and state that they’re Certified by Friend of the Sea, a non-profit organization concerned about conserving marine life.

However, when I did a License Search on the Friend of the Sea website, it showed that their License Status was “Suspended” and their Certificate Expired 2017-06-22.

This product is also certified under the IKOS, just like Sports Research Krill Oil, and here’s the actual IKOS Consumer Report.

Pros:

  • smaller Caplique capsule may be easier to swallow
  • less additives used to create capsule
  • IKOS certified

Cons:

  • have to take double amount of capsules to get equivalent dosages compared to some other brands
  • some capsules broken in bottle
  • certification for sustainable krill harvesting is currently suspend

 

The reviews for this product are mostly positive. Many people claimed the Caplique capsules were easier to swallow, there was no fishy after-taste and many experienced some improvement in certain health conditions.

A very small minority of people claimed to have opened their bottles to find broken capsules.  Some people claimed the dosage per capsule was lower than other brands.

I wouldn’t consider this the best krill oil, but it is a popular product with many on-line retailers and it’s currently the biggest seller on Amazon.com. Viva Naturals Krill Oil reviews show over 3352 product reviews with 71% of customers giving it 5 Stars.

While very popular, I didn’t like that I would have to take twice the number of soft gels to equal the 1000 mg dosage I could get from using the Sports Research Antarctic Krill Oil. However, if you prefer swallowing a smaller-sized soft gel, then these may be the better choice.

 

Search for more Viva Naturals Krill Oil at Amazon.com:

 

 

Schiff MegaRed Krill Oil Review

 

 

This one made the Top 3 Best Krill Oil Sellers on Amazon.com with over 1036 reviews.

Schiff Nutrition is a company based in Salt Lake City, Utah that makes dietary supplements. The company was originally called Weider Nutrition, and it was considered the first sports nutrition company in the USA.

I did some research and found that Aker Biomarine was supplying krill oil for Schiff up until 2016. I couldn’t find any more recent info if they renewed this contract.

The big selling point for this product is they claim it’s more pure than regular krill oil, easily absorbed and no fishy after-taste.  It also comes in a smaller serving size. These are all hallmarks of the Superba brand. So even though they don’t show this on the label, I’ll go out on a limb and assume they’re still using Aker Biomarine’s Superba for their oil.

This product comes in a soft gel form as 3 different dosages: 350 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg and 1000 mg.

 

Ingredients in 350 mg Softgel

schiff megared krill oil 350mg ingredient label

350 mg Label

  • Soft Gel Ingredients: gelatin, glycerine, water, ethyl vanillin, sorbitol
  • Soft Gels per Bottle: 30, 60 and 120

Suggested Retail Price:

  • 30 soft gels is $10.95 @ 37 cents per soft gel
  • 60 soft gels is $17.95 @ 30 cents per soft gel
  • 120 soft gels is $28.95 @ 24 cents per soft gel

Here’s what you get per milligram of oil:

  • Omega 3’s – 26%
  • EPA – 14%
  • DHA – 7%
  • Phospholipids – 37%
  • Astaxanthin – 0.05%

 

 

Ingredients in 500 mg Size

Schiff MegaRed Krill Oil 500 mg Ingredient Label

500 mg Label

  • Soft Gel Ingredients: same as above
  • Soft Gels per Bottle: 40 and 80

Suggested Retail Price:

  • 40 count is $18.95 @ 47 cents per soft gel
  • 80 count is $21.95 @ 27 cents per soft gel

Here’s what you get per milligram of oil:

  • Omega 3’s – 23%
  • EPA – 13%
  • DHA – 6%
  • Phospholipids – 33%
  • Astaxanthin – 0.05%

 

 

Ingredients in 750 mg Size

schiff megared krill oil 750 mg ingredient label

750 mg Label

  • Soft Gel Ingredients: same as above
  • Soft Gels per Bottle: 40

Suggested Retail Price:

  • 40 count is $19.95 @ 50 cents per soft gel

Here’s what you get per milligram of oil:

  • Omega 3’s – 30%
  • EPA & DHA – 24%
  • Phospholipids – 52%
  • Astaxanthin – 0.08%

 

 

Ingredients in 1000 mg Size

schiff megared krill oil 1000mg ingredient label

1000 mg Label

  • Soft Gel Ingredients: same as above
  • Soft Gels per Bottle: 30

Suggested Retail Price:

  • 30 count is $27.95 @ 93 cents per soft gel

Here’s what you get per milligram of oil:

  • Omega 3’s – 23%
  • EPA – 13%
  • DHA – 6%
  • Phospholipids – 33%
  • Astaxanthin – 0.05

Which is the Best Size?

While it’s common sense that you’ll get more total ingredients with a larger-sized soft gel, I wanted to see which was the best krill oil size by comparing the % of ingredients per soft gel.

In other words, if I buy the 1000 mg size, will I actually get more ingredients per milligram, compared to buying the smaller 350 mg size?

When you compare all 4 sizes, you’ll see that the only difference was the amount of phospholipids and omega 3’s.

The percentage of Astaxanthin was the same for all sizes (just under 1%).

*NOTE: The 750 mg size provides the most phospholipids (390 mg or 52% per soft gel) and the highest % of omega 3’s (225 mg or 30% per soft gel)

As I had mentioned above, studies indicated that higher phospholipid content increases blood levels of EPA and DHA better than low phospholipid content krill oil

The 750 mg is sold in 40 soft gels per bottle for $19.95.

This works out to about 0.50 cents per soft gel. This is similar in cost to the brands I reviewed above, Sports Research and Viva Naturals.

If you’re looking for a general health supplement, I think the best krill oil size would be the smaller 350mg size. And if you’re looking for a more therapeutic response, such as treating high cholesterol or joint pain, the best krill oil size I would choose would be a higher dosage (750 or 1000 mg).

 

 

When I looked at the online reviews, they were mostly positive. Some people complained about the fishy smell when opening the bottle, but other people claimed this wasn’t an issue. Many people claimed to experience improvements with certain health issues.

At press time, the most popular size on Amazon.com was the 350 mg. It got over 1036 Positive Reviews with 74% giving it 5 Stars.

Many people liked the smaller size and no fishy after-taste. As with most krill supplements, some people complained of a strong fishy scent from the bottle. A small minority of buyers claimed they didn’t experience any noticeable health benefits, but I think this may have been due to using the smaller dosage size.

 

Search for more Schiff MegaRed Krill Oil at Amazon.com:

 

 

Editorial on Buying the Best Krill Oil Supplements:

I hope this information will help you choose the best krill oil product.

While there are dozens of products to choose from, you’ll find that the majority provide the same percentage amount of active ingredients (with the exception of phospholipids and EPA and DHA).

For general health benefits, I would choose a smaller dosage size as this would be the most economical. If you’re seeking a more therapeutic response, then I would choose a higher dosage.

Please remember to seek the advice of your Physician or Health Care Provider before using any type of krill oil product.


 

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