Millions consume krill oil, like other fish oils, because it contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are said to boost heart-health. The efficacy of these enzymes in preventing heart disease was recently challenged in a study put out by Kwak et al. Among people with preexisting heart conditions, Kwak et al found that these omega-3 fatty acids do nothing to prevent further cardiovascular trouble.
Kwak looked at multiple similar studies examining a total 20,485 people. The studies all lasted between one and five years. In all of the studies, the authors found zero reductions in cardiovascular events (heart attacks, angina etc.), regardless of the dose of fish oil used.
Of course the implications from this are far from conclusive and there are many other external factors that require consideration when determining the effectiveness of fish-oil in preventing cardiovascular disease. What is the patient’s diet outside of omega-3 supplements? What other medication are patients using, which may be contributing to cardiovascular disease prevention?
This brings up the question, is it actually worth it to go through the trouble of fishing, just for prized omega-3s? In the harvesting of fish oil - especially in the case of Antarctic krill - they are difficult to get to, labor intensive to extract, and vital to the environment from which they are being taken. This is certainly not saying that people should stop consuming fish and fish products. If nothing else, fish provide a healthy alternative to red meat and other less healthy foods. However, if one is specifically targeting fish for the now-questionable omega-3s, then they may want to consider other less expensive and more environmentally sustainable alternatives. Another natural source rich in omega-3s, as well as other vital nutrients and enzymes is flaxseed oil. There is a constant debate over whether fish or flaxseed is more nutritious, but at the very least flaxseed provides an alternate source for the controversially beneficial Omega-3s that has a significantly lower environmental impact. Until the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids are better understood, it may be more worth our while to seek out a less expensive and less harmful source for them, than fish and krill. Flaxseed may be that source.