Consumers looking for a reliable source of omega-3 fatty acids have many possible supplements to chose from. Fish oil, krill oil, flax seed oil, cod liver oil and prescription Lovaza are all touted as sources of omega-3s, so confusion is inevitable. Knowing exactly what you want by way of total omega-3 content is very helpful in choosing between krill oil and Lovaza.
Krill oil is derived from the tiny, shrimp-like crustaceans of the same name. According to National Geographic, krill are the primary food for certain fish, whales and birds. Antarctic krill stocks may have declined by 80 percent in recent decades.
Lovaza is the brand name for a variety of fish oil made by GlaxoSmithKline. According to the manufacturer, this oil is pressed from the whole bodies of fish caught in the South Pacific Ocean, including anchovies, herring, salmon, mackerel, smelt and jacks.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
According to the Mayo Clinic, there is strong evidence from human clinical trials that omega-3 fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels. Lovaza has far more DHA and EPA than krill oil. The dose provided by Lovaza is more in line with that used in clinical trials.
One capsule of Lovaza has 465 milligrams EPA and 375 milligrams DHA. Although the DHA and EPA content of krill oil varies by brand, a comparison of various commonly available brands showed that they had only 50 to 150 milligrams EPA, and 24 to 90 milligrams DHA per capsule. Many brands do not even list the EPA and DHA content, but create confusion by referring to the total oil content instead.
Lovaza has been approved by the FDA and is available by prescription only. Since this product is regulated by the federal government, there is a reasonable guarantee of purity and consistency. To remove impurities from Lovaza, the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, puts it through a five step purification process which involves removing pollutants, reducing cholesterol and increasing the omega-3 content.
Krill oil is not regulated by the government so you have to trust the manufacturer's word that its product is safe. People who take krill oil should only buy a product made by a reputable manufacturer.
High-dose fish oils are used as an adjunct to conventional treatments of kidney diseases such as IgA nephropathy. In his long-term study published the August 1999 issue of the "Journal of the American Society of Nephrology," Dr. James Donadio reported that daily doses of 1.9 grams of EPA and 1.4 grams of DHA slowed the rate of disease progression. Although Donadio's research needs to be replicated, many nephrologists recommend fish oil to treat chronic kidney disease. The brand of fish oil used by Donadio was called Omacor, which is now marketed as Lovaza.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Lovaza: Frequently Asked Questions about Very High Triglycerides and LOVAZA
- KrillOilReview.org: Why Krill Oil?
- Journal of the American Society of Nephrology: The Long-Term Outcome of Patients with IgA Nephropathy Treated with Fish Oil in a Controlled Trial
- National Kidney Network: Fish Oil for IgA Nephropathy?
- Lovaza.com: Why Lovaza