header glossary of supplements

Krill, which are rather unattractive shrimp-like crustaceans, are harvested for their oil. The oil contains omega-3s, like fish oil, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. The chemical structure of these compounds are arranged differently in krill versus the way it’s found in fish oil, which makes it easier for the human body to absorb.


Photo Credit: COHS

Krill also contains vitamins A, D and E as well as a super antioxidant called canthaxanthin. The antioxidant value in krill oil compared to fish oil is nearly 50 times more powerful.

Many people turn to krill oil to improve or protect their hearts and blood circulation. Women with painful menstrual cycles include a krill regimen to reduce discomfort. Because it can help reduce pain, arthritis patients began taking it to reduce stiffness. Approximately 300 milligrams per day over a period of two weeks should result in a noticeable difference.

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Side effects have not been confirmed. Talk with your doctor about appropriate dosing and a timetable. Krill oil is not a supplement to be taken daily for years due to the limited knowledge of its long-term side effects. If you’re pregnant or nursing, avoid taking krill oil. It has been shown to reduce blood clotting properties, so if you’re going into surgery or take medication that thins your blood, avoid this oil. Click here for more on omega-3 fatty acids.

Krill oil is available in capsules at most grocery and drug stores. Expect the price to be higher than fish oil. If you’re not sure if krill oil is right for you, ask your doctor to prescribe a regimen.

See more in the Glossary of Supplements.