Krill Oil : Benefits and Precautions

Evidence Based Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr Lara Mokhtar, MD Written by - Dr. Shilpa R


What is Krill oil ?

Krill oil is obtained from krill, which are little, partially transparent crustaceans that eat tiny plants such as phytoplankton and algae. Krill is at the bottom of the food chain and can be found throughout the ocean, especially in the Southern Ocean. (1) Antarctic krill oil and Euphausia superba oil are other names for krill oil as they are extracted from Euphausia superba, an Antarctic krill species. As a dietary supplement, processed krill oil is frequently offered for sale. This article covers a few krill oil facts, including its components, multiple health benefits, adverse reactions, hazards, and medicine interactions.1Overview| Researched based study from

Krill oil is obtained from krill, which are little, partially transparent crustaceans that eat tiny plants such as phytoplankton and algae

Fish oil

Krill oil vs. Fish oil

  • Fish oil and krill are different. Compared to fish oil, krill oil is less well-known globally.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are abundant in krill oil and oceanic fish oil.
  • The omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil are thought to be more quickly absorbed by the body than those in fish oil2Fish oil| Researched based study from
  • Phospholipids like phosphatidylcholine sometimes called marine lecithin, are also found in krill oils. No items made from fish, plants, or algae contain these phospholipids.
  • Astaxanthin, a naturally occurring antioxidant, lends krill oil its crimson hue, while fish oil is usually yellow.
  • The longevity gene (FOXO3) is reported to be increased by astaxanthin, a carotenoid.3Fish oil| Researched based study from


Dietary requirement

Based on a person’s gender and age, they may need different amounts of omega-3 each day. AI is the typical daily recommended intake in grams 3Dosage| Researched based study from

For infants till one year

The AIs refer to total omega-3s for newborns

  • Birth to 6 months – 0.5 g/day
  • 7 to 12 months – 0.5 g/day

The AIs are limited to only ALA for those one and older since ALA is the only type of omega-3 necessary.

For kids

  • 1 to 3 years – 0.7 g/day
  • 4 to 8 years – 0.9 g/day

9 to 13 years

  • Men – 1.2 g/day
  • Women – 1.0 g/day

14 to 18 years

  • Men – 1.6 g/day
  • Women – 1.1 g/day
  • Pregnant women – 1.4 g/day
  • Lactating mothers – 1.3 g/day

19 to 50 years

  • Men – 1.6 g/day
  • Women – 1.1 g/day
  • Pregnant women – 1.4 g/day
  • Lactating mothers – 1.3 g/day

51 years and above

  • Men – 1.6 g/day
  • Women – 1.1 g/day

Dosage forms

The dosage may vary according to body type, weight, age, and gender.

  • Krill oil is available in capsule form.
  • The recommended daily intake for krill oil is between 300 and 2000 mg.4Dosage| Researched based study from
  • The ODS also warns against taking more than 2 g of EPA and DHA daily in dietary supplements.
  • To determine how much ingredient is in each capsule, a person should carefully read the supplement labels.
  • Consult with a doctor for the appropriate dosage for any individual.

Health Benefits

Krill Oil health benefits.

Krill oil health benefits

The following are various benefits of krill oil supplements:

  • Improves heart health
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves arthritis and joint pain
  • It helps with Dry eye
  • Manages premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Improves heart health

  • A study indicated that krill oil was more effective than fish oil at lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol levels in the blood.5Health benefits| Researched based study from

Reduces inflammation

  • Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, and astaxanthin, an antioxidant, is found in krill oil. In individuals with persistent inflammation, they aid in decreasing inflammation. 6Health benefits| Researched based study from

Improves arthritis and joint pain

  • Due to its anti-inflammatory qualities, krill oil supplementation eases pain associated with conditions including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.7Health benefits| Researched based study from ,8Health benefits| Researched based study from

Helps with Dry eye

  • Krill oil contains phospholipid-rich omega-3 EFAs that may have additional therapeutic benefits by reducing dry eye symptoms.9Health benefits| Researched based study from

Manages premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

  • Research has shown that krill oil is more effective than omega-3 fish oil at reducing menstrual pain and other emotional troubles like mood swings, depression, and irritability during premenstrual syndrome.10Health benefits| Researched based study from

Other krill oil uses are being considered, but more reliable data is needed to indicate if they may be beneficial.

Side effects

Side effects of Krill oil

Krill oil side effects may include :

  • Oily skin
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence 11Side effects| Researched based study from
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding
  • Heartburn
  • Decreased hunger

Allergic reactions like:

  • Itching
  • Irritated skin
  • Hives
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fainting
  • Swollen lips, tongue, or throat.12Side effects| Researched based study from
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Choking feel

If one experiences symptoms of allergic reactions, they should consult a doctor immediately.



  • To prevent any adverse effects, always begin with any dietary supplement with a low dosage and increase it over time to meet the requirement.
  • Individuals with allergies to seafood, such as fish, shrimp, or other shellfish, should avoid using krill oil supplements.
  • It is not currently recommended in pregnant women and breastfeeding moms, although krill oil is less likely to contain pollutants.13Precautions| Researched based study from
  • Because it may reduce blood clotting and raise the risk of bleeding, people with bleeding disorders should use krill oil cautiously.
  • People who have surgery should avoid consuming krill oil for at least two weeks before the procedure since it may cause bleeding.


Krill oil interactions with other medicines

Krill oil may interact with other medicines like:

  • Blood thinners
  • Birth control pills
  • Beta-blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Weight loss drug

Blood thinners

  • Like aspirin, warfarin, and other NSAIDs may prevent blood clotting; since krill oil also has a similar effect, it is better to avoid them.14Interactions| Researched based study from

Birth control pills

  • Krill oil may interact with birth control pills or estrogen hormone replacement therapies. 3Interactions| Researched based study from


  • Like carvedilol, atenolol may interact with krill oil supplements.3Interactions| Researched based study from


  • Also called as water pills may interact with krill oil supplements. e.g., chlorothiazide.


  • It is a weight loss medicine that could interact with krill oil.3Interactions| Researched based study from

Bottom line

The Bottom Line

As a supplement, krill oil has several benefits, including a higher phospholipid content, lower levels of contaminants like mercury, and no fishy aftertaste. However, the slightly greater absorption of krill oil may not be sufficient to make it preferable to fish oil because the latter contains substantially more EPA and DHA. Many people believe krill oil is less beneficial for usage than fish oil or DHA supplements because the doses in typical capsules are significantly lower. However, before taking any supplements, people should speak with a doctor. It is still beneficial to consume fresh seafood rich in EPA/DHA than any seafood oils in capsules.

Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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