Fish oil supplements have been shown to provide a plethora of beneficial health impacts such as enhanced cell growth, proper brain, and vision development, reduced systemic inflammation, the restoral of optimal blood pressure levels, and many more.
Supplementing fish oil has become one of the most accepted additions to the American diet. Fish oils are a type of polyunsaturated fat and can be obtained through eating a variety of fish, supplementation, and prescriptions. For those who do not eat fish, a fish oil supplement is a great alternative.
The problem is that it can be remarkably difficult for some people to try and incorporate the proper amount of fish within their diets each week. As an alternative, fish oil supplementation may be a more sustainable solution for most Americans.
When looking at fish oils, it’s important to know:
- Fish oil has been proven to lower overall systemic inflammation. Most people take fish oil supplements for their anti-inflammatory effects but the benefits extend beyond anti-inflammation.
- Two of the most beneficial fish oils eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which can be found within any premium fish oil supplement.
- A premium fish oil supplement will contain optimal amounts of DHA and EPA.
- Fish oil supplements often come in capsule, liquid, and pill form.
- Supplementing fish oils can help with normal heart health, proper development, and inflammation
- Deficiencies in omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can lead to a variety of health issues such as cardiovascular disease, mood disorders, some cancers, and more.
Best Overall Fish Oil: OmegaWell Fish Oil
Best Liquid Fish Oil: Carlson Fish Oil
Best Omega 3 Fish Oil: Micro Ingredients Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil
Best Fish Oil for Men: Legion Athletics Triton Fish Oil Capsules
Best Fish Oil for Women: Nature Made Fish Oil
Best Fish Oil for Children: Wiley’s Finest Easy Swallow Minis
Best Fish Oil for Kids: Nuzena Optima Omega-3 Capsules
1. OmegaWell Fish Oil
OmegaWell Fish Oil is the best overall because it provides a premium fish oil supplement that includes a highly potent formula containing optimal amounts of EPA and DHA in an easy-to-take capsule with no aftertaste.
Where OmegaWell Fish Oil stands out is its competitive price point. OmegaWell Fish Oil offers a premium fish oil supplement at an extremely affordable price.
OmegaWell Fish Oil goes above and beyond in every category which makes it food4me.org’s #1 pick overall.
2. Nuzena Optima
Nuzena Optima is the king of fish oil supplements because they offer a vegan-friendly and effective fish oil supplement that includes an optimal dose of DHA, EPA.
3. Legion Athletics Triton Fish Oil
Best known for their clean products, Legion offers Triton Fish oil which includes a remarkable 2400mg serving of fish oils making it one of the most potent fish oil supplements on the market.
4. SFH Super Omega 3 Fish Oil
As an alternative to pills, SFH Super Omega 3 offers a liquid formula that contains over 3000mg of fish oils daily with an orange flavor aftertaste.
5. Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega-3 Fish Oil
If you are looking for a more tasteful alternative to other bland fish oil supplements, Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega-3 fish oil supplement is the solution for you.
This premium fish oil offers a variety of flavors making it easy to take daily.
6. Mav Nutrition Omega 3 Fish Oil
Mav Nutrition offers an extremely large but safe dose of fish oils at an extremely competitive price. All capsules include a lemon coating flavor, making them easy on the stomach
7. Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Softgels
To maximize absorbability, Nordic Naturals have created a “superior triglyceride form” of fish oil soft gels
8. Wiley’s Finest Easy Swallow Minis
These easy-to-take mini capsules packed with over 600mg of fish oils and are a great choice for young children.
9. Nature Made Fish Oil
These liquid soft gels are made with 100% cod liver oil making it a great solution for people who have troubles with other fish oil alternatives or allergies.
10. MegaRed Omega-3 Fish Oil
MegaRed has utilized 100% krill oil to create their soft gels with over 500mg of EPA and DHA. MegaRed is perfect for children or individuals who need lower amounts of fish oils.
Best Liquid Fish Oil (Winner)
1. Carlson Fish Oil
Packed with over 1600mg of fish oils per serving, Carlson Fish Oil only uses the highest quality, deep, cold-water fish within their liquid formula.
This liquid form of fish oil is best for people looking to mix their daily serving of fish oil in a shake, drink, or with foods.
Best Omega 3 Fish Oil (Winner)
1. Micro Ingredients Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil
This product is for anyone looking for the highest concentration of premium fish oils at a competitive price range. Micro Ingredients Triple Strength contains 300 gel caps filled with over 3,000mg of top-tier fish oils.
Best Fish Oil for Men (Winner)
1. Legion Athletics Triton Fish Oil Capsules
This top pick should come as no surprise for any man investigating great supplements. Legion Athletics creates top-tier, clean, and effective supplements.
Legion Triton is packed with all-natural distilled fish oil with additional vitamin E and lemon oil to prevent oxidation and a bad aftertaste.
Best Fish Oil for Women (Winner)
1. OmegaWell Fish Oil
OmegaWell Fish Oil utilizes sustainable fishing methods to secure all of their essential oils leaving no room for unwanted toxins that may harm a woman’s body.
Best Fish Oil for Kids (Winner)
1. Wiley’s Finest Easy Swallow Minis
What makes Wiley’s Fish Oil stand out from the rest is the capsule design and fish oil dosage. The easy-to-swallow mini capsules have a great design that is perfect for a child’s anatomy.
Additionally, Wiley’s Fish Mini contains the optimal amount of EPA and DHA for growing kids.
Best Fish Oil for Pregnant Women (Winner)
1. Nuzena Optima
This product is designed with pregnant women in mind. Nuzena Optima provides the optimal amount of fish oils to ensure and support you throughout the duration of your pregnancy. Using a lemon coating capsule, Nuzena Optima eliminates any GI stress that may arise from other fish oil supplements.
Who Should Use Fish Oil?
For most of the general population, fish oil supplementation is generally safe and effective with no severe side effects found in both men and women.
The fact is supplementing with fish oils is one of the safest and effective ways to optimize overall health. Most Americans find it difficult to consistently include the proper amount of fish within their diet. By taking a daily premium fish oil supplement, you are supplying your body with the essential fatty acids to support proper health.
In a small minority of people, fish oils may cause bad breath, belching, stomach irritation, and nausea.
If you are taking medication or participating in a treatment plan for any disease, illness, or other health-related reason, you should contact your health care provider before taking a fish oil supplement. If you are pregnant you should inform your health care provider about taking fish oil supplements.
EPH and DHA amount and proportions. To even consider a fish oil supplement company it is important to identify that the fish oil supplement contains at least the minimum recommended dose of omega-3 fatty acids (~1.1g). A premium fish oil supplement will always contain the recommended dose of fish oil and more. Be careful when purchasing a fish oil supplement, it is common for negligent supplement companies to saturate their product with other fats such as saturated and unsaturated fatty acids to bump their “fat” numbers on the label this way.
Sustainable and environmentally friendly fishing practices. To ensure the safety of our planet and the wellbeing of the ecosystems within the sea it was important to ensure all of our top-tier fish oil supplement companies utilize fishing practices that promote the sustainability of the oceans and fish stock.
Natural fish oils. Within today’s market, fish oil supplements are often created through processing or refinement. These unnatural oils often come with ethyl esters, mercury, and PCBs which can cause harm to the body.
When choosing the top fish oil supplements, it was important that we investigated where each fatty acid was extracted from. Our number one overall, OmegaWell Fish Oil includes no additive preservatives and is packaged using GMP standards.
Supplement freshness. To ensure that the fish oil supplement works as intended, it is crucial that the polyunsaturated fatty acids within the capsule do not go bad or leave a bitter aftertaste.
All of the products on this list are ensured to contain fresh, potent, and pure concentrations of fish oils. Some products contain a lemon coating to offer a fresh aftertaste.
Cold-water and wild-caught fish. Mercury build-up within farmed fish is a growing concern for many and has manifested into the supplement market. Although large predatory fish contain great amounts of omega 3s, it is often that case that these large fish have mercury build-up. This mercury build-up can carry over to the consumer which can be extremely harmful.
For this reason, the safest supplements often fish highly regulated smaller fish. Smaller fish have been known to contain lower levels of mercury and toxin levels.
Fish oil supplements can help you live longer. One of the most remarkable health impacts of omega 3 fatty acids is the ability to live a longer life. Habitual use of fish oil supplementation has been linked with a lower risk of all0cause death. This powerful health impact has been investigated at length by many researchers worldwide.
The worldwide research suggests that populations who eat fish regularly and maintain optimal levels of omega 3 fatty acids within their body live longer with less disease and illness. These people have a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death (1).
Fish oil supplements help reduce fat. If you are looking for a solution to help reduce fat throughout the body, Omega 3 fatty supplementation may be a solution for you. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce triglycerides. Fish oils allow the triglycerides to be utilized as energy throughout the body more efficiently.
Additionally, by reducing free-floating triglycerides within the body, you allow for proper blood flow throughout the entire body.
A study by sport nutrition researchers investigates the link between fat loss and omega 3 fatty acid supplementation. The researchers suggest that compared to the control group, individuals who supplemented with fish oils showed a significant reduction in fat mass (2).
Fish oil supplements can increase bone health. Evidence suggests that omega 3 fatty acids are responsible to help support bone health and longevity by reducing inflammatory markers and optimizing signaling pathways to the brain. Fish oil may be the solution to help prevent age-related bone loss.
In 2019, a group of researchers investigated the link between bone density, bone preservation, and overall bone maturation with omega 3 fatty acids. The researchers found that mice that were given high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids showed an increase in bone density and maturation within their lifespan when compared to a control group (3).
Fish oil supplements can lower blood pressure. High blood pressure levels are found throughout the globe. The health impacts of high blood pressure can be fatal and deadly. Elevated blood pressure can be caused by a variety of factors but can be reduced through fish oil supplementation.
A meta-analysis investigated the impact of fish oil and high blood pressure levels. The investigation shows that there is a dose-response relationship between fish oil intake and blood pressure levels. Optimal levels of EPA and DHA reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure systemically 4.
Fish oil supplements can improve mental health. There is a remarkable amount of growing evidence suggesting that omega 3 fatty acids supplements may provide health benefits for mental health disorders. Fish oils contain polyunsaturated fatty acids which provide cells with proper repair and protective functions.
DHA, also contained in fish oils is a main structural component of neuronal membranes which can enhance receptors, carrier proteins, and other proteins embedded within the phospholipid bilayer.
Researchers believe this may impact the health and wellbeing of people with mental health challenges such as depression, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and attention-deficit disorder (5).
Fish oil supplements can help you improve your vision. The areas of the body responsible for proper vision are created with fatty acids. The neurons of the eye are also encoded with fatty acids. When optimal amounts of polyunsaturated levels are present, the anatomy of the eye is enhanced which enhances vision.
A study in 2012 investigated the link between vision and fish oils. The researchers used mice in their study and found the mice that were given omega 3 for 6 months straight showed a decrease in age-related vision decline when compared to the placebo (6).
Fish oil supplements can decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels. If left unchecked, CVD poses many fatal health implications such as heart attacks, strokes, and even death.
It is well established that omega 3 fatty acids are responsible for lowering triglyceride levels within the blood and decrease blood pressure levels for individuals who have high blood pressure (7). In turn, supplementing with fish oils has been linked to a decrease in CVD and developing risk factors.
Fish oil supplements can Increase antioxidant count. Free radicals within the body cause oxidative stress on tissues and can cause havoc on the body if left unchecked. Fish oil supplements contain antioxidant-enhancing properties which help prevent oxidative stress on the body.
In 2014, a team of researchers investigated the link between omega 3 fatty acids and their impact on the antioxidant capacity of the heart. The researchers concluded that omega 3 fatty acids exert beneficial effects on the heart by enhancing antioxidant capacity (8).
Fish oil supplements can enhance skin health. The omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil supplements may promote health to your skin cells, reduce dryness, reduce inflammation and hyperpigmentation caused by UV light, and enhance wound healing. Additionally, there is research suggesting that omega 3 fatty acids may contain compounds responsible for decreasing skin cancer risk (9).
The researchers indicated that fish oils may possess the compounds needed for further cosmetic and dermatologist breakthroughs in years to come.
Fish oil supplements can promote fetus development. It would seem Intuitive that since fish oils can provide numerous positive health outcomes it would only make sense to take them during pregnancy.
The balance of EPA and DHA within a pregnant woman’s body is essential for the proper development of the infant. Omega 3 fatty acids function to balance hormones such as prostaglandins which are responsible for maintaining proper blood pressure, nerve transmission, and hormonal signaling. Without optimal levels of omega 3 fatty acids, these functions suffer.
Researchers suggest that omega 3 fatty acid supplements, such as fish oils have positive effects on pregnancy. An increase in DHA and EPA has a positive effect on the baby’s visual and cognitive development throughout the pregnancy. Higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease the risk of allergies of the infant (10)
Fish oil supplements can benefit those with dementia. There are a significant amount of studies suggesting that decreased levels of omega 3 fatty acids are associated with an increased risk for age-related cognitive decline and dementia.
Researchers claim that fatty acid supplementation in combination with anti-oxidants may prove an effective treatment plan for patients struggling with early dementia and age-related cognitive decline (11).
Fish oil supplements can support treatment for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that often causes joint pain, discomfort, inflammation, and impaired movement. The most common joints are fingers, hands, and knees.
In a 2016 study, researchers took 60 participants (49 females, 11 male) with rheumatoid arthritis and enrolled them in a 12-week trial. The patients were evaluated before and after the 12-week treatment that included optimal levels of omega 3 fatty acid supplementation. The results of the study were” significant improvement in the patient’s evaluation and in the physician’s assessment of disease was observed in those taking omega-3 (12).
Fish oil supplements help with osteoarthritis treatment. Osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of instability, chronic pain, and disability. Osteoarthritis can often be extremely painful and can lead to extreme levels of inflammation throughout the body. Although there are pharmacological treatments available, these medications often come with a large list of side effects.
As an addition to a treatment plan, many physicians are recommending fish oil supplements to help alleviate some of the pain from osteoarthritis.
A recent 2020 study took 152 overweight and obese patients suffering from osteoarthritis and gave them optimal amounts of fish oil supplements. After the 12-week intervention, they were reassessed. The researchers found remarkably lower levels of pain indicated by all participants.
Additionally, the researchers highly recommend that fish oil supplements should be highly considered as an addition to osteoarthritic treatment plans (13).
Fish oil supplements can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. There may be evidence suggesting that omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be linked to a decrease in the risk of developing prostate cancer. The studies that have investigated this area of potential for omega 3 fatty acids are still in their infancy but are showing promise.
834 men with prostate cancer were used in a scientific study. The researchers indicated that the men who had the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids within their diet showed the lowest grade of cancers. They believe that these men also had the lowest risks among the participants (14).
In contrast, the men who had lower amounts of omega 3 fatty acids within their diet were at an increased risk for developing prostate cancer.
Fish oil supplements increase healthy cholesterol levels. Healthy cholesterol within the body functions to build cellular membranes, enhance metabolism, and produce bile. Healthy cholesterol acts as a precursor to many hormones within the body such as testosterone, estrogen, and adrenal hormones.
Fish oil supplements prevent Irritable bowel disease. Irritable bowel disease is an immune response to certain triggers that will elicit a hyperinflammatory response within the bowels. Fish oil supplementation may contain additional benefits for those who have irritable bowel disease.
Researchers have indicated that omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have been shown to decrease inflammatory responses within the body and act as substrates for other important anti-inflammatory agents. Researchers suggest that there is a dose-response between omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and pain levels in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (15).
Fish oil supplements can improve brain function and health. By utilizing fish oil, you can enhance your brain health throughout your lifespan. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids contain neuroprotective effects to help safeguard against neurodegenerative disease associated with aging.
A recent literature review consisting of a team of researchers from The Frontier in Aging Neuroscience found that individuals with fish oil deficiencies (specifically EPA, DPA, and DHA) have been linked to an increased risk of neurodegenerative disorders (16). The researchers indicate that further research on EPA, DPA, and DHA should be investigated with the ultimate intention of utilizing fish oil supplementation with other neurodegenerative treatments.
Fish oil supplements can improve sleep quality and length. Efficient sleep is crucial for anyone who cares about their health and well-being. Sleep can be affected by many factors but optimal levels of omega 3 fatty acids may be the solution to enhance your sleep schedule.
A study from the University of Oxford found that omega 3 fatty acids are significantly associated with better sleep including parasomnias, bedtime resistance, and total sleep disturbances. Although the mechanism is not fully understood, the researchers believe that omega 3 DHA plays an important role in enhancing sleep quality (17).
Fish oil supplements can eliminate free radicals. Free radicals cause havoc on the body by putting oxidative stress on cells. One of the functions of omega 3 fatty acids is to eliminate free radicals through their antioxidant properties.
A recent study investigated the effect of fish oils on oxidative stress caused by free radicals within the body. The researchers found that omega 3 supplements increase the body’s antioxidant capacity and are recommended as primary and secondary prevention for diabetes (18)
Fish oil supplements play a critical role in proper brain function, optimal growth and development, inflammation levels, cellular protection, and a variety of other health benefits.
The key components of a premium fish oil supplement include correct proportion and amounts of DHA and EPA, natural rather than synthetic fatty acids, and sustainable fishing practices. A premium fish oil supplement company will always make sure that their fish oil is extracted from small, regulated, cold-water fish to minimize mercury contamination that will ultimately end up within the consumer.
For the best results and health benefits, it is crucial that you choose the best fish oil supplement based on your specific needs and concerns.
For food4me.org’s #1 fish oil supplement recommendation, click here.