As yet, there is no clear dosage schedule for krill oil that has been demonstrated in the existing clinical research. However, most producers generally are recommending 1,000 milligrams a day (two 500mg capsules). This is based, in part, on clinical trials that showed benefits at this dose.
This dosage choice may also be have been chosen due to the initial high cost of obtaining and processing krill oil. As costs come down, higher dosage recommendations may become more common. Also, MegaRed krill oil, the largest-selling brand, comes in 300mg capsules. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, this is a way of marketing krill oil in a way that makes it seem less expensive. You may not understand at first glance that even if you take three 300mg capsules, the dose is 10 percent less than if you took two 500mg capsules. So one must calculate the dose based on milligrams, not capsules.
In terms of EPA and DHA, which krill oil contains, a meta-analysis reported in June 2011 in the British Journal of Nutrition determined that 250 mg is the minimum requirement for reducing cardiovascular disease. Higher doses further reduced risk. A typical krill oil dose would be two 500 mg capsules, containing 240 mg of EPA/DHA. However, some studies have shown that since the omega-3s in krill oil are bonded to phospholipids, the body absorbs the EPA/DHA more efficiently, so 240 mg should be adequate for cardiovascular protection.
In some clinical studies currently being conducted, doses as high as 3,000 milligrams per day are being used. Even at these levels, users have reported no adverse events. This is not surprising, given that krill oil contains components with a long history of safe use in humans. For more on this, see “What’s in Krill Oil Supplements.”
As doses rise, the effect of EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acids from any source can lower the blood’s ability to clot. Therefore, if you are taking other blood-thinning medication such as Coumadin (Warfarin) or Plavix, always consult a licensed health care provider before taking krill oil, fish oil or other omega-3 source.
Some people have reported a tendency to bruise more easily while taking fish oil or krill oil. If this happens, consider reducing the dosage accordingly.
Krill oil dosage for children
Omega-3s are important for children, as well. Omega-3s are highly important for brain and eye development, and researchers have demonstrated that ADHD kids respond well to increased omega-3s.1 The imbalance between omega-3s and omega-6s that is typical of everyone who eats a Western diet (lots of processed and fast food, not enough fish, etc.) starts when we are young and accumulates as we age, with profound health implications.
Parents have sometimes found that fish oil capsules are too large for children to swallow easily, and even present a choking hazard. Krill oil capsules are markedly smaller, making them easier for kids to swallow. Of course, if your child has a seafood allergy, krill oil or fish oil is not recommended. Other sources of omega-3s, such as algal oil or flaxseed oil may be an alternative. Remember, though, flaxseed oil contains AKA rather than the preformed DHA found in marine and algal sources.
Safe krill oil doses for children
1-5 years of age – 500mg/day
For children 5-10 – 1,000mg/day
For 10 and older – 1000-1,500mg/day
1. Hornstra G, Monique MDM Al, et al. Essential fatty acids in pregnancy and early human development. Eur J Obstet & Gynecol 1995; 6157-62