Does Fish Oil Lower Cholesterol?
The Answer May Surprise You...

Fish oil reduces certain heart disease risk factors, but a positive effect on cholesterol doesn't seem to be included. This often comes as quite a surprise, since everywhere you turn, fish oil is recommended as an absolute must for a healthy heart.

Keeping in mind that high LDL ("bad") cholesterol, low HDL ("good") cholesterol, and high triglycerides (fats in the blood) are said to comprise a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke, let's look at what fish oil does and doesn't do.

Researchers at Mayo Clinic summarized the results of countless studies in a report2 that clarifies the fish oil role this way:

  • Fish Oil Effect on Triglycerides: Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in fish oil and fish oil supplements are scientifically proven to significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels. The higher the dose, the greater the reduction.
  • Fish Oil Effect on HDL (Good) Cholesterol: Omega-3 fish oil supplements "appear to cause small improvements by 1-3%."
  • Fish Oil Effect on LDL (Bad) Cholesterol: Increases (worsening) of LDL cholesterol levels "by 5-10% are also observed."

The report concludes that "Therefore, for individuals with high blood levels of total cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL), significant improvements will not likely be seen, and a different treatment should be selected."

Good News! That "Different Treatment" Has Arrived

Enter the krill: a tiny deep-sea crustacean that scientists describe as "Nature's Perfect Recipe" for an amazing array of health concerns including cholesterol.

Unlike fish oil, the krill's omega-3 fatty acids are attached to phospholipids. Since phospholipids are the building blocks of all the cells in your body and brain, the omega-3s in krill oil penetrate your cells with ease, becoming 95-98% bioavailable (30% moreso than fish oil). For this and many reasons that you'll see elsewhere on this website, krill oil is superior to fish oil in every respect.

Neptune Krill Oil (NKO™), the leading brand, has been scientifically proven to substantially lower bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol and reduce triglycerides!

The effects of NKO™ compared to fish oil, statin drugs only, and a placebo were assessed in a 90-day, double blind, randomized trial by doctors affiliated with McGill University and the University of Montreal. The results were published in the December 2004 Alternative Medicine Review3. 120 patients with mild to moderate hyperlipidemia who could maintain a healthy diet were randomly assigned to one of four groups, and dosages were based on Body Mass Index.

  • Group A took 1-1.5 grams/day of NKO™ containing 150 mg EPA and 90 mg DHA omega-3 fatty acids
  • Group B took 2-3 grams/day of NKO™
  • Group C took 3 grams/day of fish oil containing 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA omega-3 fatty acids
  • Group D took a placebo

65 of the patients had already been on a 10mg/day statin regimen for at least six months, and continued their statins throughout the study.

1-3 grams NKO™ daily proved significantly more effective than statins alone, and significantly more effective than 3 g/day fish oil for:

  • reducing total cholesterol
  • reducing LDL ("bad") cholesterol
  • reducing triglycerides
  • increasing HDL ("good") cholesterol
  • reducing blood glucose

Equal doses of 3 grams/day produced results that speak for themselves:

Dosage 3g/d Fish Oil % Change Krill Oil % Change
Total cholesterol -5.88% -17.90%
LDL -4.56% -39.15%
HDL +4.22% +59.64%
Triglycerides -3.15% -26.51%

Comparisons between 3 grams/day fish oil and 1 gram/day krill oil revealed these changes:

3g vs 1g/d Changes Fish Oil 3g/d % Krill Oil 1g/d %
Total cholesterol -5.88% -13.44%
LDL -4.56% -32.03%
HDL +4.22% +43.92%
Triglycerides -3.15% -11.03%

Patients on 1 g and 1.5 g daily krill oil continued for another 90 days with a low maintenance dose of 0.5 g krill oil daily, yielding equally spectacular results compared to fish oil.

Click here to see the complete NKO™ study report. Then explore this website for more information about krill oil and the brand that maximizes its fullest nutritional potential: Neptune Krill (NKO™). It's sold by several different companies under their own private labels. Just look for the NKO trademark always. You'll get the richest form of omega-3 EPA and DHA essential fatty acids ever seen in science for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and a whole lot more.


2 Mayo Clinic, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Fish Oil, and Alpha-Linolenic Acid

3 Bunea, R, El Farrah, K, Deutch, L, Evaluation of the Effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the Clinical Course of Hyperlipidemia, Alternative Medicine Review Vol 9 #4 2004;420-448

1Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Precautions: If you are pregnant, nursing, allergic to fish or shellfish, have a blood coagulation condition, are taking anticoagulants such as warfarin, or are currently under a physician's care for a health condition, please consult a healthcare professional prior to use.

NKO™ is a trademark of its manufacturer, Neptune Technologies and Bioresources, Inc.