How Much Krill Oil Should I Take? Tips, Benefits, and Dosage Guide

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The popularity of krill oil supplements has been on the increase recently, and it is quickly becoming the number one way to get omega-3 fatty acids. Krill oil has many positive benefits when it comes to the prevention and treatment of numerous health issues.  

The rise in popularity is because krill oil provides similar benefits to fish oil but without the side effects, making it a preferred alternative. If you are one of the many considering a krill oil supplement, you likely have seen a lot of information about appropriate dosage.  

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Doctors have studied krill oil and its effects in order to determine the right doses for different body types.

Small Krill, Big Powers

Krill oil supplements are very powerful, and you will likely notice the benefits within a week or two. The nutritional content of krill oil includes 14% EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.  

This may be a lower percentage than that found in fish oil, but the absorption rates for krill oil are significantly higher, meaning a smaller dose provides more benefits. So, this one small capsule can replace having to take a handful each day.

Krill oil has high bioavailability, which means that it binds to phospholipids rather than triglycerides, making it easier to absorb. Smaller doses are more beneficial than the large doses of fish oil you would have to consume to get the same benefits.

Lipid bilayer

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Krill contains choline which is responsible for transporting fats and reducing homocysteine (elevated levels of homocysteine can raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases).  

Krill oil also contains astaxanthin which is a strong antioxidant. This antioxidant provides stability for the krill oil, thus preventing it from spoiling in your stomach or your medicine cabinet.

Additionally, the antioxidant provides benefits to your immune system while reducing inflammation.

Krill oil omega-3 possesses many heart-healthy properties and has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol, all while reducing overall triglyceride levels. It also contains an anticoagulant formula that helps to prevent the formation of blood clots which can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

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When combined with a reduction of omega-6 intake, increased omega-3s can provide serious health improvements.

Remember that you do need both essential fatty acids, so don’t deplete your omega-6 too much; just be mindful of what you eat. That said, the vast majority of Americans have far too much omega-6 content in their diets.

Reducing Inflammation and Cancer Risk

Your body converts absorbed omega-3 fatty acids in to eicosanoids, which are powerful hormones responsible for the release of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins throughout our bodies. Reduced inflammation helps to prevent many serious diseases and health complications.

Krill oil influences the actions of other hormones such as corticotropin-releasing hormones.  When combined with increased levels of serotonin and dopamine, these help to elevate moods and can be beneficial in treating depression.

Senior couple enjoying a walk on the beach

The EPA and DHA present in krill oil acts as a more-natural replacement for many anti-depressive medications and mood-enhancing drugs.

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Finally, omega-3 fatty acid extracts from krill oil have been linked to the cessation of colorectal cancer cell growth. Because of the lack of side effects and because of the fact that krill oil is relatively well tolerated, it is being considered as a potential anti-cancer therapy and continues to be researched.

Krill oil can also help reduce the risk factors associated with diabetes, like insulin resistance and glucose levels. Regular intake of krill oil supplements can reduce blood glucose levels and improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.

What’s the Right Dosage?

Always start with your recommended dosage when you begin a supplemental regimen, and then you can adjust it according to how you feel.  

♦ If you have a smaller body type it is ideal to start with a dosage of 800mg for the first few weeks. You can eventually switch to 1200mg a day for maintenance purposes.

♦ For individuals of average size, start with 1200mg of krill oil per day and your maintenance dosage will stay the same.

♦ Larger individuals will start with 1800mg per day and switch to 1200mg after a few weeks for maintenance.

It is never advised to take more than 2000mg of DHA and EPA via supplement per day, which are the omega-3 fatty acids found in krill oil. However, you can consume a total of 3000mg per day if the extra amount comes from a food rich in omega-3, such as cold-water fish.

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When it comes to any supplement, you need to check with your doctor to learn about side effects for dosage amounts.

Man at the doctor's office

There are also recommendations pertaining to dosage of krill oil with regards to certain health conditions. If you are looking to relieve specific symptoms or get additional support with a health problem you are facing, krill oil may be the way to go.

♦ It is recommended that those with heart disease should consume 1000mg daily and individuals with high triglyceride levels need between 2000 and 3000mg a day.

♦ Individuals suffering from depression can benefit from a daily dose of 2500mg.

♦ To improve cognition and memory, an ideal daily dosage is 900mg.

♦ A daily dose of 300mg of krill oil has been shown to relieve inflammation, pain and stiffness resulting from injuries or arthritis.

♦ Between 500mg and 1000mg a day can help to lower cholesterol levels.

♦ 2000mg a day is helpful for relieving PMS symptoms.

The Bottom Line

The potential side effects for krill oil are similar to those of fish oil, except you will not experience the fishy aftertaste. The side effects can vary by dosage and not everyone experiences them.

Despite the potential side effects, there are many health benefits to krill oil supplements. As a daily supplement, krill oil is one of the most beneficial ways to improve your health.

With the right amount, you stand to improve your cardiovascular, cognitive, and overall health. So check with your doctor today, and find the dosage for you to start feeling better.

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