Fish oil is one of those supplements that may have you cringing at having to take spoonfuls of oily, fishy cod liver oil. The good news is that today, fish oil is available in capsule form, which makes it much more palatable (and causes far less burping than fish oil taken by the spoonful).
What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is the fat present in oily fish including tuna, anchovies, mackerel, herring, and cod. Fish oil typically consists of about 30% Omega-3 fatty acids, and 70% other fats.
Why Take Fish Oil?
The main reason for taking fish oil is that it is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Many people eat a diet that is overly rich in Omega-6 fatty acids. These have been directly linked to health problems and disease, but fortunately, increasing your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids can help balance things out and promote good health.
The benefits of fish oil include:
- Relief from asthma and allergies
- Improved brain function and reduction of age-related cognitive decline
- Lower cholesterol, plaque, and triglycerides for heart health
- Less inflammation, great for anyone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions
- Contributes to healthy skin and hair, and a youthful appearance
- Improves symptoms of depression
- Lower blood pressure
- Vital for healthy fetal development
- Improved liver function
- Better eye health and reduction of age-related macular degeneration
- Supports weight loss
- Improved bone health, and reduction of age-related osteoporosis
How much fish oil do you need? The World Health Organization recommends that people eat fish at a minimum once or twice per week. But if you don’t like fish, you can still get your Omega-3s in capsule form.
Shopping for Fish Oil
The most important thing to consider is freshness, because rancid fish oil is not only disgusting but may be dangerous to your health. Since we are reviewing reputable and high-quality fish oils, a quick check of the “use by” date will let you know whether it’s time to toss it or if it’s still good.
Aside from freshness, look for capsules that are high in EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These are “long chain” Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish, and have significantly greater health benefits than plant-based short-chain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).
2019’s Top 10 Fish Oil Supplements
Dr. Tobias Optimum Omega 3 Fish Oil
This triple-strength product contains a hefty 2000mg of Omega-3s (800mg EPA and 600mg DHA). Dr. Tobias Optimum Omega 3 Fish Oil is thoroughly purified and tested to ensure that it is free of heavy metals and contaminants. The only downside is that some users complain of stomach problems after taking this supplement.
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega D3
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega D3 contains 1280mg of Omega-3s (450mg of DHA and 650mg of EPA). Sourced from deep-sea fish (anchovies and sardines), this supplement also contains two ingredients meant to lessen its strongly “fishy” smell: rosemary extract and natural lemon flavor. A few users have reported stomach upset after taking this supplement.
Nature Made Cod Liver Oil
This is not your grandma’s cod liver oil! Easy-to-swallow gel caps make the process of taking Nature Made Cod Liver Oil painless, giving you 1200 mg of Omega-3s. This product comes as a two-pack. The only downside is that it contains artificial colors and flavors which can potentially cause an allergic reaction.
Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil
Each serving of Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil contains 1200mg of Omega-3 fatty acids. The only downsides are that these softgels are quite large, making them difficult to swallow for some people. Some users report a fairly strong fishy taste and smell (as long as it’s a ‘fresh fish’ smell, it’s just fine).
New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil
Each serving of New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil contains 520 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids, broken down into 180mg of EPA and 220mg of DHA. This oil is sourced from wild Alaskan salmon that is free of added hormones and chemicals. The softgels are easy to swallow and allow for quick absorption of the nutrients. The only downside is that the gel caps may cause a slight allergic reaction due to the preservatives used in the gel caps.
Nutrigold Triple Strength Fish Oil
Each serving of these triple-strength softgels contains 550 mg DHA, 1450mg EPA, for a total of 2100mg of Omega-3 fatty acids. This oil is IFOS 5-star certified to be free of heavy metals. It is also non-GMO certified, and is sourced from wild Alaskan pollock. This product has been rigorously tested for both purity and potency. Mild stomach issues are the only side effects reported by some users.
OmegaVia Fish Oil
OmegaVia Fish Oil has 1300mg of Omega-3s per serving (260mg of DHA and 780mg of EPA). The fish are processed in Europe, but sourced from South America (Chile and Peru) and consist of anchovies, mackerel, and sardines. The capsules are quite large which can make them hard to swallow. The Esther ethyl coating – meant to mask the fairly fishy taste and smell and reduce stomach upset – may potentially cause an allergic reaction.
The Vitamin Shoppe Omega-3 Fish Oil
The Vitamin Shoppe Omega-3 Fish Oil contains 100mg of Omega-3s per serving (260mg of DHA and 680mg of EPA). Allergen-freee, this product has been thoroughly tested for potency and purity.
Viva Labs Ultra Strength Fish Oil
Viva Labs Ultra Strength Fish Oil is, according to the manufacturer, “burpless” and it is 5-star IFOS (International Fish Oil Standards) certified. The fish are sourced in South America (Peru). Each serving of this potent formula contains 2200mg of Omega 3s (1400mg of EPA and 480mg of DHA). The only downside is that the softgels are large, which may make them hard to swallow.
WHC UnoCardio 1000+
WHC UnoCardio 1000+ contains 1185mg of Omega-3s per serving (652mg of EPA and 440 mg of DHA), as well as 25mcg of Vitamin D3. This vitamin is directly linked to mood, and many people take it to alleviate seasonal depression that comes from lack of sunshine. It may also help the oil absorb at a faster rate.
Which Fish Oil Supplement Should You Choose?
When shopping for fish oil, look for high concentrations of Omega-3s, because this gives you the most health benefits. Based on high Omega-3 concentrations, purity, IFOS ratings and the manufacturer’s claims of less “fish burps,” our top pick is Nutrigold Triple Strength Fish Oil.
To start browsing the many choices in this category, we recommend taking a look at the options on Amazon below.