Krill Oil in Bodybuilding Part III


Thus far, we have krill oil aiding in a healthy lipid profile as well as having some cognitive improvements. Obviously, we’re not even scratching the surface of its benefits! Its very common knowledge that fish oil aids in reduction of overall inflammation (6, 7, 8) but does krill oil offer the same (or possibly better) benefits in inflammation reduction? We can answer this study by looking at two studies as well as applying some common sense. Our first study comes again from Lerna et al looking at supplementation of diet with krill oil and how it protects against experimental rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers had collagen-induced arthritis susceptible DBA/1 mice were provided ad libitum access to a control diet or diets supplemented with either krill oil or fish oil throughout the study. There were 14 mice in each of the 3 treatment groups. The level of EPA + DHA was 0.44 g/100 g in the krill oil diet and 0.47 g/100 g in the fish oil diet. Severity of arthritis was determined using a clinical scoring system. Arthritis joints were analysed by histopathology and graded. Serum samples were obtained at the end of the study and the levels of IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-7, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-15, IL-17 and TGF-beta were determined by a Luminex assay system. They found that the consumption of krill oil and supplemented diet significantly reduced the arthritis scores and hind paw swelling when compared to a control diet not supplemented with EPA and DHA. However, the arthritis score during the late phase of the study was only significantly reduced after krill oil administration. Furthermore, mice fed the krill oil diet demonstrated lower infiltration of inflammatory cells into the joint and synovial layer hyperplasia, when compared to control. Inclusion of fish oil and krill oil in the diets led to a significant reduction in hyperplasia and total histology score. Krill oil did not modulate the levels of serum cytokines whereas consumption of fish oil increased the levels of IL-1alpha and IL-13. They concluding saying this study suggests that krill oil may be a useful intervention strategy against the clinical and histopathological signs of inflammatory arthritis (9.) The second study comes from Luisa Deutsch in 2007 on the evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms (10.) Luisa had a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study. Ninety patients were recruited with confirmed diagnosis of cardiovascular disease and/or rheumatoid arthritis and/or osteoarthritis and with increased levels of CRP (>1.0 mg/dl) upon three consecutive weekly blood analysis. Group A received NKO (300 mg daily) and Group B received a placebo. CRP and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) osteoarthritis score were measured at baseline and days 7, 14 and 30. After 7 days of treatment NKO reduced CRP by 19.3% compared to an increase by 15.7% observed in the placebo group (p = 0.049). After 14 and 30 days of treatment NKO further decreased CRP by 29.7% and 30.9% respectively (p < 0.001). The CRP levels of the placebo group increased to 32.1% after 14 days and then decreased to 25.1% at day 30. The between group difference was statistically significant; p = 0.004 at day 14 and p = 0.008 at day 30. NKO showed a significant reduction in all three WOMAC scores. After 7 days of treatment, NKO reduced pain scores by 28.9% (p = 0.050), reduced stiffness by 20.3% (p = 0.001) and reduced functional impairment by 22.8% (p = 0.008). The results of the present study clearly indicate that NKO at a daily dose of 300 mg significantly inhibits inflammation and reduces arthritic symptoms within a short treatment period of 7 and 14 days. Given that research we must apply our common sense and problem solving skills. These studies clearly indicate it has benefits for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis as that was the population tested. But how does that apply to healthy exercising individuals? Well, we can conclude that it will have the same anti-inflammatory properties if not better because of their mechanism of action as well as the knowledge that krill oil has a higher bioavailability.

That concludes this three pieces article on krill oil in bodybuilding and we still have just barely scratched the surface of its benefits. It truly is a supplement I would recommend to any serious athlete that cares about keeping their performance maximal and their health markers in check. Krill oil was, as I stated in the opening of part 1 of this series, introduced to me by Dante Trudel (who had bloodwork done on himself utilizing krill oil with tremendous success.) I have since replicated the study’s as well as Dante’s design with my own clients and have seen clear improvements across the board. Whether someone had a poor lipid panel or a good one, improvements were seen regardless (the only difference was obviously the degree of increase.)


  1. Lipid composition of two species of Antarctic krill: Euphausia superba and E. crystallorophias. N. R. Bottino. Comp Biochem Physiol B. 1975 (
  2. Metabolic Effects of Krill Oil are Essentially Similar to Those of Fish Oil but at Lower Dose of EPA and DHA, in Healthy Volunteers. Stine M. Ulven, Bente Kirkhus, Amandine Lamglait, Samar Basu, Elisabeth Elind, Trond Haider, Kjetil Berge, Hogne Vik, Jan I. Pedersen. Lipids. 2011 (
  3. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the clinical course of hyperlipidemia. Ruxandra Bunea, Khassan El Farrah, Luisa Deutsch. Altern Med Rev. 2004 (
  4. Metabolic Effects of Krill Oil are Essentially Similar to Those of Fish Oil but at Lower Dose of EPA and DHA, in Healthy Volunteers. Stine M. Ulven, Bente Kirkhus, Amandine Lamglait, Samar Basu, Elisabeth Elind, Trond Haider, Kjetil Berge, Hogne Vik, Jan I. Pedersen. Lipids. 2011 (
  5. Enhanced cognitive function and antidepressant-like effects after krill oil supplementation in rats. Karin Wibrand, Kjetil Berge, Michaël Messaoudi, Anaïs Duffaud, Debabrata Panja, Clive R Bramham, Lena Burri. Lipids Health Dis. 2013 (
  6. Supplementation with omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and all-rac alpha-tocopherol alone and in combination failed to exert an anti-inflammatory effect in human volunteers. Sonia Vega-López, Nalini Kaul, Sridevi Devaraj, Ru Ya Cai, Bruce German, Ishwarlal Jialal. Metabolism. 2004 (
  7. Influence of very long-chain n-3 fatty acids on plasma markers of inflammation in middle-aged men. Hayati M. Yusof, Elizabeth A. Miles, Philip Calder. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2008 (
  8. The effects of eicosapentaenoic acid-fortified food on inflammatory markers in healthy subjects–A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Shuntaro Fujioka, Kei Hamazaki, Miho Itomura, Mingming Huan, Hiroto Nishizawa, Shigeki Sawazaki, Isao Kitajima, Tomohito Hamazaki. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 2006 (
  9. Supplementation of diet with krill oil protects against experimental rheumatoid arthritis. Michelle Ierna, Alison Kerr, Hannah Scales, Kjetil Berge, Mikko Griinari. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010 (
  10. Evaluation of the effect of Neptune Krill Oil on chronic inflammation and arthritic symptoms. Luisa Deutsch. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007  (