Krill Oil Better for the Brain of Carriers of APOE4 than Fish Oil?

Krill Oil Benefits in the Brain of Carriers of APOE4

Krill oil may be more helpful to carriers of the “Alzheimer’s Gene”

It began innocently enough.

About a year ago I thought it would be fun to take a genetic test to find out my ancestry, and maybe investigate my health by looking at my genes.

One day fate intervened I received a pop-up ad: 23andme was having a 2 for one sale. This was my chance!

I ordered the kits, one for me and one for my partner.

I knew that diabetes, heart disease, and some other health issues run in the family, so I was expecting to see some genes in my source code that pointed to a possible risk.

I cheerfully spent about 5 minutes trying to fill my tiny sample vial with spit, before sealing the package and sending it off.

I waited about a month before receiving my results back. For sure I found out some interesting facts. I was not as German as I thought, and I found out I have a grandparent who is from Sweden.

Interesting, I was not expecting that. My dad always told me growing up that we were German, but according to this report, no so much.

The dark discovery

Later I got curious about my health, so I took my raw file from 23andme and plugged it into the Promethease

website, noting all the warnings about discussing results with a doctor, and that I may not like what I discovered. I figured I was safe, I knew there were some diseases that ran in the family and I was OK with knowing my risk.

Well, 10 minutes later, I discovered something I was NOT expecting.

I am a carrier of the dreaded APOE4 gene.

And not just any carrier. I carry TWO copies.  Needless to say, I was quite shaken.

I am a 41-year-old mother of 5 children. What if I did get Alzheimer’s? The chance is somewhere near 15 fold for double carriers.

How would this affect my children?

Not only that, but both my parents, who must have each given me a copy, are also carriers. What if one of them develop Alzheimer’s?

I decided that for now, the best course of action is to do my homework. My mom, who is in her mid-70’s already has diabetes, although it is well controlled and she follows a strict diet and supplement regimen.

I discussed the finding with my sister and told her I decided not to tell mom about my status because:

1. She did not ask to know about her Alzheimer risk (she knew I took the genetics test) and

2. It would only make her worry. She is already following a strict diet and trying her best to take care of herself.

Why I, a double copy carrier of APOE4 Decided Krill oil is the right supplement for me

I realized that the only thing I could do to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s from affecting me was to research the disease and find ways to improve my chances. I joined support groups like The Alzheimer’s Gene Resource and discovered that diet and supplements may help. I read books like The Plant Paradox and The End Of Alzheimer’s to try and find answers.

I knew that eating fish was a common recommendation for carriers of APOE4.

But there was just one problem: I HATE FISH!

Great. So I thought, I must take fish oil, and that is what I did. But is Fish oil better than Krill oil? I honestly had not thought this question through.

Krill oil vs Fish Oil? Which is better?

Then the other day this article popped up in my reddit newsfeed.

It basically said this:

Krill oil may be more beneficial Carriers of APOE4 because Krill ( and Roe, and eating real fish, and other meats) carry the phospholipid form of DHA, while taking fish oil supplies a different form of DHA that APOE4 carriers blood-brain may not be able to transport properly.

In other words, APOE4 carriers may have a faulty transport system and may see benefits from the Krill oil (and roe oil) form of DHA, but not the fish oil form. Or we can also eat fish.  That’s always an option if you like fish.

Why is DHA important?

Why should APOE4 carries, or anyone else, be concerned about getting enough DHA ?


DHA can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s and lessen some of the symptoms.

So, since I won’t be eating fish, the next best way for me to get this all important DHA past my defective APOE4 carrying  Blood Brain Barrier is to take a phospholipid form of DHA which I can easily get from switching from regular fish oil to Krill oil.

Fine by me, that is what I did.

I hope you found this article informative and helpful!

Until next time,

Katie Lyn

Science Snippets: What the Science Says about Krill Oil

Role of phosphatidylcholine-DHA in preventing APOE4-associated Alzheimer’s disease

“These data suggest that consuming DHA in phospholipid form (i.e.,
fish, fish roe, krill oil) increases the formation of DHAlysoPC
in plasma, and more DHA is taken up by the brain
compared with DHA consumed in triglyceride form (i.e.,
DHA supplements, fish).”

“A summary of the metabolism of DHA in these various forms
provides a useful framework for understanding how
DHA present in fish, fish roe, and krill oil may be especially
important for delivering DHA-lysoPC into the brains of
APOE4 carriers.”

News: Krill Oil in the News in 2018

A phospholipid form of the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in the meat – and uniquely concentrated in the roe – of certain cold water fishes, may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease

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