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The Best Fish Oil

Last updated on May 8, 2024

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Our Picks For The Top Fish Oils

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
  The Best Overall

Sports Research Sustainable Wild-Caught Fish Oil

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Sports Research

Sustainable Wild-Caught Fish Oil

Sustainability matters, which is why you'll want to go with this responsible fish oil supplement. Each 1,250-milligram capsule is derived from wild caught Alaskan pollock. Since only one capsule is needed per day, this bottle will last you a full three months.

Overall Take

High PotencyThis high-quality fish oil supplement can be used by both men and women.

  The Best Value

Nature’s Bounty DHA Omega-3 Fish Oil

Nature's Bounty

DHA Omega-3 Fish Oil

Enjoy all the health benefits of this fish oil soon after consumption, thanks to the pill's rapid-release formula. The softgels are easy to swallow and packed full of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. What you won't find in this bottle are artificial ingredients, gluten or unnecessary sugars.

Overall Take

Works QuicklyJust one bottle of this fish oil lasts a full 6 1/2 months.

 We Also Like

Dr Tobias Joint Health Adult Fish Oil

Dr Tobias

Joint Health Adult Fish Oil

These supplements have a great reputation, and their fish oil capsules are no exception. The 1,400 mg dose is perfect for meeting the World Health Organization's recommended levels each day. The capsule coating reduces fish burps and prevents the pills from sticking together.

Overall Take

All-Around SupplementThese supplements are a clear winner for those looking to get their recommended daily value of fish oil.

 Strong Contender

Arazo Nutrition Brain & Heart Health Fish Oil Capsules

Arazo Nutrition

Brain & Heart Health Fish Oil Capsules

This ultra-pure, refined fish oil is sourced from wild-caught fish, so the quality is higher than other options. They're made to prevent dreaded fish burps, and they go down easy, thanks to the mild lemon flavor. You get a high dose of Omega-3s in each pill, so this supplement is also a great value.

Overall Take

Ultra-Pure Fish OilThese fish oil capsules get high marks for containing ultra-pure fish oil.

Buying Guide

Supplements can be a huge help if you’re looking to improve your diet, but the sheer number of capsules, liquids and tablets on the market is overwhelming. Newbies won’t know where to begin, and even wellness buffs have trouble keeping up. However, there’s one surefire supplement that can improve your health: fish oil.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Unlike many other supplements, there’s plenty of hard evidence that fish oil can improve your health and quality of life. Taking fish oil supplements for six months can reduce your risk of major cardiac events (like heart attacks), and they might help lower your blood pressure. Fish oil can also reduce inflammation and pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Fish oil supplements contain a combination of DHA and EPA, two essential Omega-3 fatty acids. They work in tandem to keep your body’s cells happily humming along. The Center for Disease Control recommends consuming about 1 gram to 1.5 grams of Omega-3s every day. It’s hard to reach that amount from food alone, so supplements are a must.

“Around 30% of fish oil is made up of omega-3s, while the remaining 70% is made up of other fats,” says Dr. Niket Sonpal, a physician in New York City. “What’s more, fish oil usually contains some vitamin A and D.”

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Most fish oil supplements come in capsule form. (You can also buy liquid fish oil supplements, but they’re a tough sell if you aren’t a fan of fishy flavors.) They contain enough DHA and EPA to meet your daily requirements, but you’ll need to take two or three capsules per day to meet that goal. Many of these capsules add a little bit of flavoring or add coatings to the capsule shell to prevent “fish burps,” a common side effect.

Sonpal also recommends looking for a fish oil supplement that has a sustainability certification, such as from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Environmental Defense Fund.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

As for taking your supplements regularly, he suggests using them by the “Best by” date, and to never take a capsule that smells funky or rancid.

Our Expert Consultant

Dr. Niket Sonpal   
Gastroenterologist and adjunct assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Niket Sonpal is an adjunct assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and clinical instructor at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn, who specializes in gastroenterology.

He is a graduate of the Medical University of Silesia-Hope Medical Institute in Poland. After completing his residency in internal medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, he was selected to be the 2013‐2014 Chief Resident at Lenox Hill Hospital–Northshore LIJ Health System. Dr. Sonpal completed his fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at Lenox Hill Hospital and continues his work in the field of medical-student and resident-test preparation. He now serves as the associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Brookdale University medical center.

He is also the co‐author of several medical test prep books and serves as the chief operating officer for Medquest Test Prep and director of medical education for Picmonic Test Prep.

What to Look For

  • Fish oil supplements add Omega-3 fats to your diet. The two most common omega-3 fats in fish oil supplements are DHA and EPA. These fats work together to keep your body’s cells happy, especially the cells in your eyes and the ones involved in your cardiovascular system. You should always check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet, but some research suggests that fish oil may reduce your risk of heart disease and reduce the painful inflammation associated with certain medical conditions.
  • The ratio of DHA to EPA varies from one supplement to the next. For example, one brand may contain 1200 mg of EPA and 900 mg of DHA. Dr. Tobias Omega-3 Fish Oil capsules have 800 mg of EPA and 600 mg of DHA per serving. The Center for Disease Control recommends consuming about 1 gram to 1.5 grams of Omega-3s every day. You might need to try different supplements with different ratios of DHA and EPA to find your body’s fish oil “happy zone.”
  • “Fish burps” are the most common complaint about fish oil supplements. If the capsule disintegrates before it reaches your stomach, you can burp up an unpleasant, fishy aftertaste. Some supplements, like Arazo Nutrition Triple Strength Burpless Fish Oil Capsules, add another flavor (like lemon) to mask the fishy taste. Others, like Dr. Tobias Omega-3 Fish Oil, add a special coating to their capsules to prevent them from breaking down too early. If you really hate the taste of fish, check out what steps your supplement takes to prevent “fish burps.”
  • Larger fish oil capsules contain more Omega-3s, so you won’t have to take as many doses per day. However, fish oil supplements won’t do you much good if the capsules are too tough for you to swallow. Some softgels are about an inch long, while other options are a bit shorter and thicker. Look for descriptions of the capsule size before you buy.
  • Fish oil supplements can cause some side effects when you begin taking them. You might notice an upset stomach or bad breath. Take your supplements with a large meal and start at a low dose to reduce your risk of side effects.
  • Look at the dosing instructions for your fish oil supplement before you commit. If you’re forgetful about taking pills, a twice-daily dose at breakfast and dinner might be a better idea than taking a supplement three times a day. You’ll need to take three capsules per day to benefit from Arazo Nutrition Triple Strength Burpless Fish Oil Capsules, but other options only require two capsules every day.
  • Take a look at the number of pills per bottle when you’re checking out the serving sizes. This will help you determine how long each bottle will last, which is helpful if you’re on a budget. A bottle of Dr. Tobias Omega-3 Fish Oil will last you just over a month. Another brand provides more than two months of fish oil supplements.

More to Explore

You’ve probably heard that omega-3 fats are essential to the human body. However, it is one type of fat that the body cannot simply produce. Instead, it must come from food and supplements, like nuts, vegetable oils and fish. One of the benefits of fish oil in a supplement is that you can take it every day to help ensure your body is getting enough omega-3s.

Fish oil is fat or oil extracted from fish tissue. It typically comes from oily fish like herring, tuna, anchovies, trout, salmon and mackerel. The best fish oil will offer an excellent source of omega-3 fats. Your body uses omega-3s as a base for hormones that regulate blood clotting, control inflammation and control artery wall function. As a result, experts believe there are numerous health benefits of fish oil.

Of course, before you add fish oil to your daily supplement regimen, it’s wise to learn more about it. For instance, when you know the other benefits of fish oil, who benefits most from it and any potential side effects, you can make an informed decision about whether you should begin taking it.

Known Benefits of Fish Oil

  • Evidence suggests fish oil can significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels. High triglyceride levels can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and pancreatitis. Omega-3s may also slightly improve HDL or “good” cholesterol.
  • Fish oil supports brain health. For example, it may improve brain function in older adults at risk for cognitive decline. And several studies show it could be beneficial to mental health, potentially decreasing depression and stabilizing moods.
  • Omega-3s like those in fish oil may boost eye health. For example, they can reduce dry eye and help prevent eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration.
  • Research shows that omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory properties. Some research suggests that fish oil could help manage inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis and even migraines.
  • Along with inflammation, fish oil can support a healthy liver. It may reduce the amount of fat in the liver and reduce symptoms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver.

Risks, Side Effects and Considerations

Most adults can benefit from taking fish oil. However, there are a few instances when you might want to avoid this supplement. For instance, because it can decrease your body’s ability to form blood clots, people who take anticoagulant medication, commonly known as blood thinners, should avoid fish oil. Higher doses can also elevate blood glucose, making it potentially unsuitable for diabetics.

Fish oil may slightly lower blood pressure, which could be significant if you are already taking medication for hypertension. It can also decrease vitamin E levels. Milder side effects can include bad breath, heartburn, a fishy aftertaste and rash — especially in people with fish or shellfish allergies.

As with any new supplement, it’s a good idea to talk to your primary care provider before adding fish oil to your daily vitamins.

Also, not all fish oils are created equal. Taking a moderate dose, such as one capsule per day with your largest meal, of a high-quality brand can help you reap the benefits of fish oil without experiencing adverse side effects.

by Tricia Gross

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