Fish Egg Phospholipids Are a Better Alternative to Krill Oil, One Company Says


Nordic Naturals says that its new Omega-3 Phospholipids has a higher phospholipid content and a broader range of phospholipids compared to krill oil.

Because krill oil delivers omega-3 fatty acids in phospholipid form, krill experts maintain that krill oil is a more effective, better-absorbed delivery system for omega-3s than fish oil, which contain these fatty acids mostly in a triglyceride form. But Nordic Naturals just released a fish oil product with phospholipid-bound omega-3s.

Called Omega-3 Phospholipids, Nordic Naturals’ new product combines standard fish oil with phospholipid-bound omega-3s from herring roe (fish eggs). The result is, according to the company, the highest omega-3 DHA and EPA content (thanks to the fish oil) as well as the highest phospholipid content and a broader range of phospholipids compared to krill oil. (It is especially high in phospholipid-bound DHA.) The product features 520 mg of EPA and DHA, 143 mg of which are phospholipid-bound. Company CEO and founder Joar Opheim calls these levels “more meaningful amounts of EPA and DHA” that meet the minimum 500-mg EPA/DHA dose per serving that experts recommend.

Nordic Naturals is marketing Omega-3 Phospholipids as “the potent alternative to krill,” contending that it offers more than twice the level of omega-3s compared to all leading krill products on the market. “All leading krill oil products provide significantly less than 500 mg EPA+DHA per day,” says Scott Minton, PhD, Nordic Naturals’ scientific advisor. “Because Omega-3 Phospholipids provides more omega-3 EPA and DHA in both triglyceride and phospholipid-bound form compared to any krill product, the opportunities for absorption are increased.”

The choice of herring roe (from wild, sustainable Norwegian herring) was due to roe’s high content of phospholipid-bound EPA and DHA, the company says. “Gram for gram, krill oil and herring roe oil have a similar amount of phospholipid content,” says Minton. “However, the herring roe oil has a broader spectrum of phospholipids and a higher amount of phospholipid-bound omega-3 DHA.”

Not all fish eggs are high-phospholipid candidates, though. “In general, the percentage of phospholipids present in a fish egg will vary with many factors, including the fish species, the developmental stage of the egg, water temperature, and life-history features of the adult fish,” Minton says. “Using special laboratory equipment, the amount of phospholipids in different fish roe can be measured.”


Jennifer Grebow
Nutritional Outlook magazine


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