Fish Oil vs Krill Oil for Cholesterol

white bottle pouring out red neptune krill oil pills for cholesterol

A recent study shows that a daily krill oil supplement worked better than fish oil for lowering cholesterol.

The study published in Alternative Medicine Review compared the effects of fish and krill oils on blood lipid profiles.

Researchers found that the patients who took 1 – 3 grams a day of Neptune krill oil reduced their total cholesterol levels up by to 19%. They also experienced improvement in triglyceride, glucose, and LDL and HDL levels.

Neptune krill oil was one of the first krill oil supplements to be sold to consumers.

It made by a Canadian company called Neptune Technologies who did research on the oil’s effects on inflammation, reducing PMS symptoms and its role in preventing skin cancer.

Krill oils were also found to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol by 34% and increased HDL (healthy) cholesterol by almost 44%.

Combining the krill oil with a low dose statin drug appeared to have an even stronger effect.

Public health studies have shown that you’ll have an increased risk for heart disease if you have high LDL (bad) cholesterol or low HDL (healthy) cholesterol levels.

According to reports, it’s estimated that more than 106 million Americans have elevated LDL cholesterol levels alone.

The American Heart Association claims that over 65 million people in the USA suffer from some form of heart disease.  When you add up all the health care costs to care and treat these people, it can add up to billions of dollars a year.

Test Results of Fish Oil vs Krill Oil for Cholesterol:

In this randomized, double-blind clinical trial, the study participants took either Neptune Krill Oil (NKO), Fish Oil (FO) or a placebo supplement.

Members of each of the 3 different groups also took 10 mg. of a statin drug, or a placebo. The study duration was for a 90-day period.

At the end of the 90 day trial period, scientists found that taking 1 to 1.5 grams of Neptune Krill Oil (NKO) lowered LDL-cholesterol by about 34%, and increased HDL cholesterol by almost 44%.

The Fish Oil (FO) group experienced an average decrease in LDL by just under 5% and HDL increased by about 4%.

Patients taking the placebo didn’t experience any positive results; they saw increases in their LDL by 13 percent and HDL decreased by 4%.

And the placebo group who took the statin drug saw their HDL increase by 13% and the LDL reduced by 29%.

The study results show that when you combine Neptune Krill Oil with a statin drug, the overall effects were greater that taking NKO alone.

The average LDL decreased by about 37% and HDL increased by over 50%

These results show that NKO performs better than some commonly prescribed cholesterol drugs for lowering unhealthy cholesterol and improving healthy cholesterol levels.

Researchers claim that this amount of change to cholesterol and blood lipid levels is higher than the reported results from statin drugs in the medical literature.

How Do Krill Oils Lower Cholesterol?

Krill Oil contains the phospholipid omega 3 fatty acids, docohexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).  There are a number of health benefits from omega 3 fatty acids.

Scientist claim that these fatty acids are the building blocks of lipoproteins which are used by your body to make HDL cholestorel (the healthy cholesterol). The HDL cholesterol helps your body to remove LDL cholesterol from your blood.

Krill oils are made from krill, as small member of the Shrimp family.  The oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids, phospholipids and antioxidants.

This study appears to indicate that krill oil is almost 3 times more effective than using a standard fish oil to lower elevated cholesterol levels.

However, the researchers were unable to explain why krill oil was more effective:

“The exact mechanism of action for krill oil’s lipid-lowering effects is not yet entirely clear. However, krill oil’s unique biomolecular profile of omega-3 (EPA/DHA) fatty acids already incorporated into phospholipids has exhibited a lipid lowering effect on the level of the small intestine, which distinguishes krill oil from other known lipid-lowering principals.”

While additional research is needed to assess for any potential long-term health benefits, krill oils appear to offer the following:

  • May lower elevated cholesterol levels
  • Can reduce LDL (unhealthy cholesterol)
  • Appears to lower high triglyceride levels
  • Increases HDL (healthy cholesterol)
  • May be more effective than fish oils for managing high lipid levels in the blood.
  • Surpasses fish oils for a greater reduction in LDL (the bad cholesterol).
  • A lower dose of 500 mg. krill oil appeared to offer more noticeable health benefits compared to fish oils and placebo.

These specialized omega 3 phospholipid oils can be purchased at most health food store or online retailers.

It’s recommended you consult with your physician before considering using this product.


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