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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

Commentary on a trial comparing krill oil versus fish oil

Peter D Nichols1*, Soressa M Kitessa2 and Mahinda Abeywardena23

Author Affiliations

1 CSIRO Food Futures Flagship, Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart, TAS, Australia

2 CSIRO Animal, Foods and Health Sciences, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

3 CSIRO Preventative Health Flagship Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2014, 13:2  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-2

Published: 2 January 2014


Considerable interest exists presently in comparing the performance of krill oil (KO) and fish oil (FO) supplements. Ramprasath et al. (Lipids Health Dis12:178, 2013) have recently compared use of KO and FO in a trial with healthy individuals to examine which oil is more effective in increasing n-3 PUFA, decreasing the n-6:n-3 ratio and improving the omega-3 index. The authors concluded that KO was more effective than FO for all three criteria. However, careful examination of the fatty acid profiles of the oils used showed that the FO used was not a typical FO; it contained linoleic acid as the dominant fatty acid (32%) and an n-6:n-3 ratio of >1. Due to the fatty acid profile being non-representative of typically commercially marketed FO, the conclusions presented by Ramrasath et al. (Lipids Health Dis12:178, 2013) are not justified and misleading. Considerable care is needed in ensuring that such comparative trials do not use inappropriate ingredients.

Krill oil; Fish oil; Fatty acids; Trial