Quick Navigation

Krill Oil

Krill oil is a mixture of fatty acids high in EPA and DHA (fish oil fatty acids) in the form of phospholipids, mostly as phosphatidylcholine; it appears to be better absorbed than fish oil, may be more cardioprotective, and has some unique (unexplored) fat burning effects.

Our evidence-based analysis on krill oil features 49 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by .
Reviewed by
Examine.com Team
Last Updated:

Summary of Krill Oil

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Krill Oil is an oil that is derived from krill; it contains the same two fatty acids that Fish Oil contains (Eicosapentaenoic Acid, or EPA, and Docosahexaenoic Acid, DHA). However, a large portion of the EPA and DHA in krill is in the form of a phospholipid, with a phosphate group on the end of the fatty acid. This results in higher bioavailability (rate of absorption) of krill oil, and thus the same effects of Fish Oil can be seen with Krill Oil but at a lower dose.

💊 Get unbiased information on supplements

Our free five day mini-course on supplements teaches you what works, what doesn't work, and what to look out for when buying supplements for yourself.

How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Supplementation of Krill oil tends to be in the range of 1-3g daily (overall oil weight), which has been used in the clinical trials of krill oil supplementation.

If supplementing in accordance with the omega-3 content, the omega-3 content that is supplemented from krill oil should be equal to approximately 2/3rds that used with basic fish oil supplementation to account for the increased absorption. If one were to normally supplement 1000mg EPA plus DHA, then 660mg of EPA and DHA from krill oil would be equivalent.

Easily stay on top of nutrition research

Become an Examine.com member to get access to the latest research. 150+ studies summarized across 25 different categories every month.

Becoming a member also unlocks our study database of 400+ supplements and their effects on 600+ health outcomes.

Already a member? Click here to log in.

Make informed decisions about your health

Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Krill Oil has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-c Notable Very High See 2 studies
A decrease in C-Reactive protein has only been noted in rheumatoid arthritis (none in obese but healthy persons) but reached 30% within 30 days of 500mg krill oil, a very significant reduction
grade-c Notable Very High See 2 studies
Although one study suggest no such increase (healthy persons), the increase seen in hyperlipidemics exceeded 50% and was remarkable; requires replication
grade-c Notable Very High See 2 studies
A decrease in LDL-C has been noted with krill oil, which appears to be to quite a significant degree
grade-c Notable - See study
500mg Krill oil reduced symptoms of osteoarthritis up to 30%, which is a pretty significant effect size that requires future research to investigate.
grade-c Minor - See study
On obese subjects, this endocannabinoid has been found to be reduced somewhat
grade-c Minor - See study
Secondary to reducing symptoms of PMS, a reduction in breast tenderness has been reported
grade-c Minor - See study
The increase in functionality appears to be secondary to reductions in symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
grade-c Minor - See study
Irritability as a side-effect of PMS has been reduced with supplemental krill oil
grade-c Minor - See study
PMS and its symptoms (breast tenderness, stress, and irritability mostly) have been reduced with krill oil supplementation
grade-c Minor - See study
Stress as a side-effect of PMS has been reduced with supplemental krill oil
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
A decrease in total cholesterol has been noted with krill oil, to a fairly normal degree (reduction is lessened from the remarkable increase in HDL)
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
A decrease in triglycerides has been noted with krill oil
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on blood glucose levels
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on fasting insulin levels
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on weight over time
grade-d Minor - See study
A decrease in Apolipoprotein A has been noted with krill oil supplementation
grade-d - - See study
No significant influence on Apolipoprotein B noted
grade-d - - See study
Despite containing PUFAs, no significant changes in lipid peroxidation

Stay on top of the latest research

Become an Examine Personalized member to access the latest nutrition research on over 400 supplements across more than 600 different health goals, outcomes, conditions, and more. Information tailored to you, updated every month.

Bonus: unlock the supplement Human Effect Matrix and all health topics on Examine.com.

Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Other Functions:

Also Known As

Euphausiacea superba

Do Not Confuse With

Fish Oil

Goes Well With

  • Due to including fish oil fatty acids in the form of phosphatidylcholine, krill oil holds the potential to be synergisic with any compound demonstrated to be synergistic with those two supplements

  • For the most part, any 'things to note' on the fish oil page would also apply here due to sharing similar bioactives

Get our free 5-day course on the essentials of supplementation.

At Examine.com, our incentives line up with yours — getting unbiased information. That's why we don’t sell any advertising or supplements.

Join over 250,000 people who have learned about effective versus overrated supplements, tips for buying supplements, and how to combine supplements for safety and efficacy.

Click here to see all 49 references.