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Nutrition & Dieting/Marine d3 and DHA in Fish Oil


I'd like to know if all DHA is the same.  There is DHA in fish oil and DHA in Snail oil.  Marine d3 is suppose to be so great, but it only has 100 mg of DHA for 2 pills.  I can get cod liver oil or other fish oils that have 600 mg of DHA cheaper.  What I really want to know is 100 mg of DHA in one kind of fish, squid, snail, krill or whatever, better than say 100 mg of DHA in something else.  Is DHA simply DHA or is there really a difference if its pure DHA.  Tks.

ANSWER: Hi Paul,
Regarding DHA it is really a mixed bag. A lot of manufacturers will sell something promoting their version as bigger and better.
DHA can come from a variety of sources, some marine (from sea creatures) and others which are non marine based for those with fish allergies or vegans (like sea plants).

DHA is a long chain fatty acid that is usually found in fish. You will as you said see fish oil, and krill oil and a dozen others. The thing is one source may be higher than another in any of the fatty acid forms, DHA, EPA and ALA. EPA and DHA have more reported health benefits than ALA.

If you are looking for a supplement for general health than I suggest a basic fish oil (from cold water sources) that offers both DHA and EPA. If you buy it from a reputable brand than you are safe in the knowledge that you're getting a clean and potent product.

The main thing to remember is to judge a label by the DHA and EPA contents. Fish oil, krill oil, salmon oil, etc are all sold as omega 3 supplements. What the variation is is in the EPA and DHA dosages.

DHA only differs in each source in the amount that it contains versus the other fatty acids.

Hopefully this gave you somewhat of an understanding. My suggestion would be an Omega supplement like Omega 1250 from Prosource. You are assured to be getting pure and adequate amounts of EPA and DHA.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thanks for attempting to answer my question.  I am fully aware of the information you gave. Perhaps you did not understand my question.  Let me try to make it a little bit simpler.

Let's say I have 3 products which contain DHA in them.  One product is Krill oil, one is calmarie oil, one is salmon oil.  They all contain 100 mg of DHA each.  Is any one of the products better as far a DHA is concerned?  Is DHA simply DHA?  Could one product be just as effective if it had less than 100 mg of DHA than another that had 100 mg of DHA. I ask this question because of how much marketing on one DHA being better than another.  Tks.

ANSWER: Hi Paul, I must have misread your question.
DHA is the same in general, it just comes from a variety of sources just as say Vitamin C comes from oranges and grapefruit.
The difference comes in the actual make up of the chains of fatty acid and the body's ability to absorb it. Some studies I read claim that Krill oil had a more pronounced effect on lowering cholesterol and levels of fat in the liver. It is supposedly better absorbed by the body.

So yes the sources are producing the same thing but just at different potencies. That may or may not have to do with the fact that krill are mainly harvested from Antarctic waters that aren't subject to pollution like other water where say salmon may be harvested from.
The thing to keep in mind is that there is much more research supporting the benefits of fish oil than krill oil.

So according to the research krill oil can offer slightly better results but that is not to say fish oil is lacking in its effectives.
It can get confusing when say 5,000 studies say fish oil is great and 200 studies say krill oil is better. Do you go with the more establishment or the more benefit? Thats where the choice comes in.

Hopefully I was better able to answer you this time out.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Let's try this one more time.  I am not asking about the different oils.  I am only interested in DHA.  So given my question, I have 100 mg of DHA each from Krill, salmon, and calmarie.  Each product is only composed of DHA from these different sources.  Is any one of those products better than the other, thus, is DHA the same no matter where it comes from.  I understand that when one is talking about different oils, there are more factors to take into consideration, but I am only talking about DHA.  Tks.

Paul, please see the previous answer again. It is saying that while the DHA is the same the source from krill oil has been found in some studies to absorb better in the body.
This means that the krill source of DHA could be considered better because of a faster and better uptake than fish oil. You have to consider the oil source because this is where the DHA comes from. The oil source is the determining factor.

So DHA on its own is DHA. However where is comes from determines how well it will absorb, its level of concentration and its effects of blood lipid levels.
If you are comparing you would compare the source to determine which is a better offering of DHA as a whole.

The two things that might suggest that krill oil is a better source of DHA is its absorption rate and squid oil because it is found to have a higher ratio of DHA to EPA meaning you get more per dose.  

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Tim Santoro


I can answer questions regarding the following. Confusion about basic nutrition, explain how to improve diet, when and how to eat better, eating for weight loss, eating for health, eating for fitness. I will answer questions about nutritional and workout supplements. I will not endorse any fad diets, however I can explain the draw backs to them and explain why they are the wrong way to go. I will not give advice relating to medications and/or their interactions with food and supplements.


I have earned certifications in Fitness Training and Fitness Nutrition from ISSA. I also self taught and stay current on the fitness industry. I lost 70 pounds training my self.


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