Calanus Oil: Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, and Dosing

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Calanus Oil: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, and Dosing


Calanus oil is a natural supplement derived from the lipid-rich copepod crustacean Calanus finmarchicus. Found in the cold waters of the North Atlantic, Calanus oil has gained popularity due to its unique nutritional profile and potential health benefits. This article provides a comprehensive guide to Calanus oil, covering its uses, side effects, precautions, and dosing guidelines.

Composition and Nutritional Value

Calanus oil is primarily composed of wax esters, which are long-chain fatty acids paired with fatty alcohols. It also contains a significant amount of phospholipids, astaxanthin, and other bioactive compounds. Calanus oil is a rich source of:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA
  • Omega-6 fatty acids: Arachidonic acid (AA)
  • Astaxanthin: A potent antioxidant
  • Vitamin E: A fat-soluble antioxidant
  • Choline: An essential nutrient for brain health

Potential Health Benefits

Calanus oil has been linked to various health benefits, including:

Cardiovascular Health:

  • Improves lipid profile by reducing triglycerides and increasing HDL cholesterol
  • Reduces inflammation and blood pressure
  • May decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke

Brain Health:

  • Supports cognitive function and memory
  • May reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Improves mood and reduces anxiety

Eye Health:

  • Protects against age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Improves vision and night vision

Immune Function:

  • Boosts the immune system
  • Reduces inflammation and oxidative stress
  • May protect against infections

Skin Health:

  • Improves skin hydration and elasticity
  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines
  • Protects against sun damage

Antioxidant Activity:

  • Contains astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from damage

Side Effects

Calanus oil is generally considered safe for most people. However, some potential side effects include:

  • Gastrointestinal upset (e.g., nausea, diarrhea)
  • Headache
  • Skin irritation (topical use)
  • Allergic reactions (rare)


  • Consult a healthcare professional before taking Calanus oil, especially if you have a history of seafood allergies.
  • Stop taking Calanus oil if you experience any adverse effects.
  • Calanus oil may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult a doctor before using Calanus oil.


The recommended daily dose of Calanus oil varies depending on the specific health concern and product formulation. Here are general dosing guidelines:

  • Cardiovascular health: 1-2 grams per day
  • Brain health: 500-1000 mg per day
  • Eye health: 10-20 mg per day
  • Skin health: 500-1000 mg per day
  • Antioxidant support: 50-100 mg per day

Forms and Administration

Calanus oil is available in various forms, including:

  • Capsules: The most convenient form for oral consumption
  • Liquid: Can be added to smoothies or salads
  • Topical cream: Applied directly to the skin


Store Calanus oil in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat.


Calanus oil is a promising natural supplement with potential health benefits for various aspects of well-being. Its unique nutritional profile, including omega-3 fatty acids, astaxanthin, and vitamin E, contributes to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cognitive-enhancing properties. While Calanus oil is generally safe, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before use, especially if you have any health concerns or are taking medications.

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