Calamari Oil Vs Fish Oil

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For years, fish oil has been hailed as the ‘holy grail’ of omega-3 supplements. More recently, Calamari Oil has burst onto the scene claiming to be a superior product. Whilst the health benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids found in both oils have been known since the 1970’s (when scientists first discovered that a diet heavy in fish resulted in lower incidence of heart disease in Greenland), there is now some confusion as to how to best get your daily dose of omega-3. We take a look at which is better – fish oil vs calamari oil.

What is Calamari Oil

Calamari Oil is a new source of omega-3 fatty acid which supports your heart, brain and eyes. Calamari Oil also contains more omega-3 than fish oil and krill oil combined, and is ecologically sustainable. It is extremely high in omega-3 DHA, which has benefits for many parts of the body including brain, eye, heart, nervous system and more.

High DHA

There is little debate that calamari oil is richer in omega-3 DHA than fish oil or krill oil. And there is a growing body of research that confirms omega-3 fatty acids as essential for numerous aspects of human health. Several established facts are already well known include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids can’t be synthesised by the human body and must be provided from the diet
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are a structural element in all tissues of the body
  • Omega 3-fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain, eyes, nervous system and other vital organs
  • Several molecules from omega-3 alleviate inflammation

Researchers have been able to identify the specific action of these fatty acids and have proven that DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is the preferred omega-3 for:

  • growth and development (Approximately 60% of the human brain is made up of fats, of this 40% of it is DHA.)
  • prevention of cardiovascular disease (The Australian Heart Foundation recommends 500mg daily of combined DHA & EPA)
  • prevention of an eye disease called age-related macular degeneration
  • improving communication between brain cells and making cell membranes more fluid
  • development and proper maintenance of the brain
  • development of the brain and retina membranes of developing fetus when taken during pregnancy

They also believe that DHA might be the preferred omega-3 for eye health and the prevention of brain decline in the elderly.

No Fishy aftertaste

The calamari oil from the trimmings of squid is further refined and purified using patent pending, gentle processing technology in a state-of -the-art production facility. The technology and processes involved include cold filtration, organic filtration, detoxification and concentration methods.

Calamari Are Resilient

Calamari have short life spans of approximately 450 days, a low reproductive age and are inherently resilient to fishing pressure. The individual growth rates for calamari are also very high.  It is believed that calamari can acquire one unit of body weight for each two units of food consumed.

Even with current fishing levels, the available biomass of calamari continues to grow.  Rather than being trawled or harvested by industrial means, the calamari used to produce calamari oil is fished by hookline, by small vessels which means:

  • Highly selective hooklines that primarily target adult specimens
  • Virtually zero collateral damage to other species
  • No negative impact to the ocean floor or coral reefs.

When compared with other species, it is clear that calamari oil is a better choice for sustainable harvesting.

Should you switch from Fish Oil to Calamari Oil?

Taking one single calamari oil capsule each day certainly does seem an attractive alternative to taking a handful of fish oil capsules. If you are looking for the most DHA available in a supplement, then calamari oil is it.  The upsides of switching to calamari from fish oil include:

  • Take less tablets
  • More DHA benefit
  • More sustainable option fish oil

As for the age-old debate as to whether you should focus on eating fresh fish vs taking a fish oil or calmari oil supplement, the jury is still out. We always advocate healthy lifestyle and diet before taking pills and tablets, but increasingly fresh fish contains trace levels of heavy metals which can be harmful to health and development. There is still a shortage of longitudinal studies studying whether the heavy metals found in some fresh fish is harmful to health. We know this much – unless you are currently consuming the recommended amount of fish in your diet, chances are you are not receiving enough omega-3, and your brain, heart, eyes and overall health may be suffering. As such, you should still consider supplementing your diet with calamari oil (or fish oil).  The recommendation is the same for adults, pregnant and breastfeeding women and children.

The Australian Heart Foundation recommends 500mg daily of combined omega-3s EPA & DHA which means eating two to three serves of oily fish (such as salmon or tuna) each week. People with a history of heart disease / cardiovascular problems should aim for more.

As a quick guideline here is how you can eat your recommended dose of DHA:

  • 150gms of salmon, mackerel or trevalla three times a week
  • 150gms of squid or oysters three times a week
  • 300gms of dory, flounder, snapper, cod or bass three times a week
  • 1 calamari oil tablet daily

Are there any side effects?

Both fish oil and calamari oil supplements are generally regarded as being well tolerated, although a small percentage of people may experience mild side effects such as diarrhoea or fishy-smelling breath.

If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medication, talk to your doctor before taking fish or calamari oil supplements.

Neither supplement is suitable for people with seafood allergies

Image via Thinkstock

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17 thoughts on “Calamari Oil Vs Fish Oil

  1. Luis

    Fish oil,for years recommended as good sorce of Omega,then along came Krill oil alleged to be double the strength now calamari oil.about ten times stronger..what’s next ,? I mean don’t get me wrong sounds like great news I hope works better than the above mentioned products. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Health365 Editor Post author

      Hi Luis,

      Calamari has been found to be much higher in Omega-3 DHA that fish and krill oil. There are several types of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA, ALA) and DHA is showing to be the most important for memory, brain function and cognitive behaviour. Krill still provides benefits for arthritis and joint health due to it’s unique antioxidant properties.

      Thanks
      Diana – Health365

      Reply
  2. joe

    what is the difference between calamari and squid ? in my opinion they are both the same only they different
    species ,ex arrow squid ,torpedo squid ,southern calamari ,i would think that the calamari oil is made from
    the arrow ,torpedo squid am i right ?

    Reply
    • Health365 Editor Post author

      Hi Joe,

      The terms calamari and squid are generally interchangeable – so you are right they would be the same thing. The species used in the production of calamari oil are Humboldt Squid, Argentine Shortfin Squid and the Japanese Flying Squid. The raw material is all derived from the food production of these three main species.

      Regards,
      Diana – Health365

      Reply
    • Health365 Editor Post author

      Hi Julie,

      The two brands of Calamari Oil sold in Australia are sourced from a company which ensure each batch undegoes molecular distillation to remove impurities and heavy metals. The technology and processes involved include cold filtration, organic filtration, patent pending detoxification and concentration methods. I hope this is helpful.

      Kind regards,
      Diana – Health365

      Reply
  3. Mara Servat

    Hi Diana,

    I’ve been diagnosed with mild osteoarthritis and I’m a bit confused as been having Fish oil but now doctor suggested Krill oil or Green lipped Mussel. At same time I know that glucosamine with chondroitin works wonders to many people. Which do you think would be best to go for?

    Many thanks and regards,
    Mara

    Reply
    • Health365 Editor Post author

      Hi Mara,

      I’m sorry to hear about your osteoarthritis – I hope you aren’t in too much discomfort. Your doctor may have suggested Krill Oil as an alternative to Fish Oil as it may provide temporary pain relief and reduce joint inflammation. Studies have shown that people can start to see benefits in 2-3 weeks. There are some products available that do combine glucosamine, fish and krill oil.

      I hope this is of some help
      Diana – Health365

      Reply
  4. Brenda Murray

    Is there any proof that Glucosamine can raise the blood pressure, only I have found this to be the case myself. I stopped taking glucosamine and my blood pressure went down. Six years later I thought I would try Glucosamine again but find my blood pressure has risen. I am taking Krill Oil but I wonder when I have finished these capsules whether to give the calamari a try, only I know that some fish tablets for arthritis state not to be taken if you have high blood pressure. Where does Glucosamine come from.

    Reply
    • Health365 Editor Post author

      Hi Brenda,

      There is some evidence that glucosamine HCL can cause elevated blood pressure. The primary source of glucosamine is the exoskeleton of shellfish.

      Krill oil is beneficial for arthritis due to it’s anti-inflammatory effects which help to reduce pain. There are a couple of products on the market which combine calamari and krill oil in the one capsule.

      Here is some more information from a recent study on glucosamine HCL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686334/

      Kind Regards,
      Diana – Health365

      Reply
  5. Meg Green

    Could you please tell me where the Calamari is sourced from as I only want to ingest products from Australian waters

    With the news becoming worse and worse about fish & birds dying of mysterious diseases in the Artic seas and west coast of the Americas I don’t want anything from those regions

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Health365 Editor Post author

      Hi Meg,

      The calamari used in Calamari Oil is food grade produce. They are sourced from South America, Asia and The Pacific Ocean. The oil is then refined through a series of processes including cold filtration, organic filtration, and detoxification and concentration methods. I hope this information is what you were after.

      Kind regards,
      Diana – Health365

      Reply
  6. Jill Johnson

    Your comments/answers are most helpful. However we are confused about the Omegas, 3, 6 and 9 as well as Flax Seed Oil. We currently take FSO but stopped using “ordinary” Fish Oil when the warning came out that it was not safe to use. However I also read that although FSO did have high levels of all the Omegas, Fish Oil was better overall.
    Your advice would be most welcome as to which would give us the best outcome. My husband is on hypertension medication.

    Reply
    • Health365 Editor Post author

      Hi Jill,

      Flaxseed Oil won’t provide you with EPA or DHA which are the most important of the Omega-3 fatty acids. FSO does contain ALA (another of the Omega-3 fatty acids) which converts very minimally to EPA, but not DHA. You can find out more about why our bodies need DHA here: http://health365.com.au/news/the-omega-3-pioneer-why-dha-is-essential-for-good-health.

      You can also find more information on the optimal omega-3-6 ratio here: http://health365.com.au/articles/cognitive-function/omega-3-vs-omega-6

      Ordinary fish oil should not be unsafe to use – the study linking prostate cancer and fish oils was widely panned by the research community, however you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist first before taking any supplements to make sure there are no contraindications with medication you are currently taking.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Diana – Health365

      Reply
  7. Naomi Jenkins

    Hi,

    I’ve read recently that we only digest about 10% of goodness from fish/krill oil capsules and the reset is wasted. is that true? There is a new Krill Oil product being advertised, BioTrust using VESIsorb process that is supposed to increase the absorption rate by up to 500%. What can you tell me about this issue?

    I’ve been taking krill oil and now wild fish oil for over a year now and I have had sinusitis for about 7 months and it doesn’t seem to be reducung. Does fish oil help to eliminate all inflammation?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Health365 Editor Post author

      Hi Naomi,

      Stuides show that fish oils as triacylglycerols were absorbed up to 95%, where as other forms such as free acids, or ethyl esters were not absorbed as well. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3358766 Unfortunately I don’t know enough about the product you mentioned to comment on the absorption rate.

      Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect and may reduce sinus swelling and congestion. You should speak to your health care professional for more information about your condition.
      Regards,

      Diana – Health365

      Reply
  8. James Lee

    Greetings Diana and thankyou for you time. Much appreciated. Can you advise me please, if you know of the treatment procedures in regards to whether it involves Ethyl Ester or Natural Triglycerides. I’ll look forward to your information and response at your earliest convenience and thankyou. Cheers for now and all the best. Kind regards, James Lee.

    Reply

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