Fish oil or Krill oil?
I have sore joints, should I be taking any supplements?
I get asked this question all the time, so I thought what better way to answer this question than to write a blog post about it. The most commonly talked about supplements for joint health are Omega 3’s in the form of fish oil, Glucosamine and chondroitin. There is plenty of advertising regarding Fish oil and krill oil and even recently Calamari oil (I didn’t even know squid were oily).
Why do we need fish oil or krill oil at all?
Fish and krill oil supplements both contain high levels of essential fatty acids. They are termed essential because the human body is unable to manufacture them on its own, and therefore we are required to consume foods that contain these nutrients for proper health. The two types of essential fatty acids can be broadly termed omega-3s and omega-6s, and these long chained polyunsaturated fatty acids play a vital role in our body’s development, maintenance (growth & repair) and everyday functioning.
The clinical research conducted on essential fatty acids suggests that we need an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of around 3:1.
Unfortunately, the average Australian diet contains too much omega-6 and our ratios are upward of 20:1. Whilst omega-3s and most omega-6s assist the functioning of our bodily systems, some omega-6s promote inflammation in the body and have been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, stroke and cancer. People are encouraged to take fish oil or krill oil supplements to assist the body in achieving a healthier omega-6 to omega-3 balance, as many of the foods we commonly eat are rich in omega-6, thereby increasing inflammation throughout our body.
What’s so special about fish oil? It’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. These must come from food, since our bodies can’t make them.
Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in brain function, normal growth and development, and inflammation. Deficiencies have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, some cancers, mood disorders, arthritis, and more. But that doesn’t mean taking high doses translates to better health and disease prevention.
Fish oil supplements
have been promoted as easy way to protect the heart, ease inflammation, improve
mental health, and lengthen life. Such claims are one reason why Americans
spend more than $1 billion a year on over-the-counter fish oil. And food
companies are adding it to milk, yogurt, cereal, chocolate, cookies, juice, and
hundreds of other foods.
Krill oil is a rather new way of supplementing essential
fatty acids, and is currently marketed by manufacturers as being superior to
fish oil. While it still contains high levels of omega-3s and omega-6s, it is
produced and sold as a phospholipid, a different form of fats that are absorbed
up to 60% faster than fish oil. Additionally, krill oil also contains the
nutrient choline (B Vitamin family) and a potent antioxidant
known as astaxanthin.
Krill are very small crustaceans that are sourced from the icy waters of the Antarctic region, which are believed to be cleaner than sources of fish oil.
So which do I buy?
First of all if you do choose to take some doesn't it make sense to use Fish Oil. After all we eat fish don't we? Krill is eaten by whales not humans. However if you're taking fish oil or krill oil for the benefit of improving your joint pain think again.The findings of over 21 studies indicate that there are no clinically significant benefits greater than placebo. However I do suggest that considering these supplements should only cost you around 50 cents a day it might be worth a try. If you do decide to take some fish oil then be sure to take a good quality option.
In my next post I will discuss what better options there are for joint pain and osteoarthritis.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call on 96305517.