Choosing the Best Fish Oil Supplements – Top 10 Brands

Best Fish Oil Supplement Brands

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The human body is an amazing physiological operation, however like all machines it requires certain fuel and inputs to operate successfully. We get these nutrients from food and hydration of course, and the types of fuel we typically focus on are the primary building blocks or macronutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates and fats. The last of these categories is our primary focus in this article, that being the importance of healthy fats, how they help our physiology and how we can best find them in our diet and supplements, namely through fish oil supplements.

Our body needs certain types of fats in order to function effectively. While as a broad category we may think of all fats as bad or unhealthy, in the case of healthy fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids, they are actually critical to our function as humans and a healthy physiological system.

Fish oil supplements are arguably the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids in supplement form. They are one of the best natural sources for Omega-3 and should be included as a critical dietary supplement for general health. In this article, we will break down exactly what Omega-3 fatty acids are and why they are important, along with what Fish Oil is, how it helps improve our Omega-3 fatty acid count and what the best products are on the market today.

What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the only types of fat the human body cannot produce on its own, making it an essential fat. Essential fats, just like essential vitamins, minerals or macronutrients, are nutrients our body needs that it cannot produce on its own, therefore we must take in Omega-3 fatty acids through our diet and supplementation to ensure we have adequate levels for our body to process in its ideal state.

Omega-3 fats are in fact a family of polyunsaturated fats, which can be further broken down into three primary omega-3 fatty acids; Eicosapentaenoic acid, commonly referred to as EPA for short, docosahexaenoic acid or DHA for short, and alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. ALA is most often found in sources such as oils, nuts and some vegetables, while EPA and DHA are most easily found and readily available in fish and fish oil.

They are integral parts of cell membranes and have an effect on the cell receptors of the membranes. As part of their function within the cell membranes, they are the starting point for the production of hormones that help regulate contraction and relaxation of the artery walls, blood clotting, and perhaps most notably, inflammation. Due to their function within the cellular membranes across the body, they have been noted to have a potent effect and can help to prevent heart disease and inflammation, among many other benefits.

Omega-3’s are also critical for providing balance within our body of our primary fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids, commonly found in more readily available and used foods such as red meat and eggs for instance, when out of balance can cause harmful inflammation and other detrimental health effects.

In an ideal state, our Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s are in balance, at a 1:1 ratio, which is associated with a wide variety of health benefits from lower risks of heart disease, diabetes and cancer to lower levels of inflammation. As the traditional western diet tends to be far higher in Omega-6’s than Omega-3’s, supplementing with products such as fish oil is an excellent way to maintain a proper balance.

Benefits of Fish Oil

The health benefits of fish oil stem primarily its levels of oil and good fats. Fish oil contains the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic). These are effective fatty acids for reducing triglycerides and potentially fighting against coronary disease. They are also critical for reducing inflammation in the body.

As mentioned previously, one of the key benefits of note from fish oil supplements is balancing out our Omega-6’s with appropriate levels of Omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, of which fish oil can be a primary source. The health benefits associated with fish oil as a consequence of keeping a balanced fatty acid profile range from potentially preventing or reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer to simply reducing inflammation and improving our overall cognition and neural pathways.

The primary health benefit in a broad sense is the reduction of inflammation, which also reduces symptoms and the likelihood of inflammation associated conditions which includes arthritis and joint pain as well as the aforementioned coronary and cellular benefits.

Finally, fish oil may have some beneficial effects on cognition as well. While it is not as pronounced, immediate or obvious as stimulants such as caffeine, fish oil supplementation over time can be very beneficial for improving cognition, neural pathways and overall cognitive health.

Who Is Fish Oil Best Suited For?

In short, just about everyone who doesn’t get enough healthy fats or fish in their regular diet. While as a generality this probably includes most of us, it would specifically apply to those who are especially active and thus require more nutrients, such as athletes or gym enthusiasts, and those who do not get much naturally occurring healthy fats in their diet.

It is especially useful for those who are battling chronic inflammation symptoms, such as the early signs of arthritis, or those who anticipate that may be a future issue, as well those who may be battling or anticipating coronary issues due to higher fat or cholesterol levels. In addition, the cognitive benefits of fish oil can make it attractive to just about any user but in particular those who work in more cognitively demanding fields.

Use of Fish Oil and Potential Side Effects

As with any supplement or health-related product, it is always advised to consult with a medical professional on if it is the right choice for you, and it is also always advised to follow the recommended dosing strategy by the product.

When taking a fish oil supplement, if the dosage and/or overall consumption is in line with the recommended dose, there are no side effects generally speaking. However, once you begin to increase dosage amounts beyond that level, you may begin to see possible side effects such as diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and an upset stomach. These are essentially your body’s way of telling you you’ve had too much, and it doesn’t need the excess.

As another consideration, if you have a seafood allergy then practice extreme caution with fish oil supplements and be sure to consult a medical professional prior to use to ensure that it is safe for you. Also, though it would take extreme amounts, most seafood-based supplements contain trace amounts of mercury, which when too much is taken could lead to health issues, though as mentioned it would take an extreme amount far beyond the recommended dosage. Finally, due to its qualities that positively affect the coronary system, it can have blood thinning effects in the right set of circumstances, though it is not common. Make sure to consult a medical professional if you are not sure about this.

Fish oil can in some cases also increase cholesterol; while it lowers triglyceride levels the elevated cholesterol can be a side effect and those who already struggle with high cholesterol levels should be mindful of fish oil supplementation.

If you are unsure what the proper dosage is, consult with your medical professional and check the product packaging for the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) as well. The RDA will vary depending on age, gender and in general your activity level as well.

Finally, fish oil can have a minor but at times unpleasant side effect of burps with a fishy taste, this can best be avoided by consuming fish oil with food or freezing the capsules prior to use. Fish oil supplements should generally be refrigerated as it can oxidize in the sun or if left in heat too long.

How to Pick a Good Fish Oil Product

Most fish oil products will have little variability in their ingredients, generally it will just be fish oil, therefore you’ll have to identify which version of fish oil is the right choice for you and look for that option. Fish oil comes in capsule forms, powders to mix with drinks, drops and more. It is also often combined with other ingredients, which is a factor to consider.

Be sure when selecting a product to review any additional ingredients aside from fish oil, such as additional supplements, fillers, artificial additives etc. as these may carry their own side effects or dilute the quality of the product.

Finally, as with any good product decision, look for reputable brands that are backed by strong scientific backgrounds, as well as offering a strong value. A good rule of thumb in terms of comparing price and value is to evaluate the price per dose rather than overall dose, as most products will have varying sizes.

Top 10 Recommended Fish Oil Products

We have put together a list of our top 10 recommended fish oil supplements. Each one has a short breakdown of its highlights, primary ingredients and usages, as well as a brief profile for the company who makes the product.

Check out all 10 and look for the best option that not only comes highly recommended but fits your individual needs and desires for a fish oil supplement. We hope you enjoy and find the best product for you!

1. Nutrigold Triple Strength Fish Oil

Nutrigold Triple Strength Fish Oil

Nutrigold Triple Strength Fish Oil is yet another product that lives up to their sterling reputation of clean and effective products. The fish oil, sourced from Alaskan Pollock, is packaged in a liquid softgel, quick release pill for improved convenience and absorption. It contains 2600mg of purified fish oil and 2100mg of Omega-3 fatty acids in one serving of the highest purity, without the fishy aftertaste. It also does not have any contaminants or trace metals such as mercury. Overall it is an incredibly clean, effective and well-produced fish oil supplement that is among the best on the market.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 2600mg purified fish oil from Alaskan Pollock
  • 2100mg of total Omega-3 fatty acids, including 1,450mg of EPA and 550mg of DHA
  • Comes in easy to use softgel capsules, 2 per serving size, 90 per container
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Does include soy
  • Non-GMO and certified kosher
  • Affordable Price and a great value

Company Profile:

Nutrigold is a manufacturer of various health foods and nutritional supplements. They use natural, non-GMO, and often fair-trade ingredients to ensure quality through the manufacturing process. They take pride in their products and aim to be a gold standard of the industry, which has helped them expand to a large multinational company with quality products.

Why We Recommend It:

Nutrigold is an excellent company that has produced yet another excellent product. It carries a high dosage that is convenient to take and easily absorbed by the body. It has an excellent level of EPA/DHA’s for lowering inflammation and adding healthy fats to the diet. Overall it is an excellent and highly recommended product.

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2. HealthWise Omega Fish Oil

Healthwise Omega Fish Oil

Healthwise Omega Fish Oil is a pure and effective product that delivers fish oil without gluten or soy and is non-GMO. It delivers powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and is an excellent source of omega-3’s for reducing inflammation and adding healthy fats. By using more sustainable and environmentally friendly sources, they have an especially high count of EPA’s and DHA’s as well, thus Healthwise has developed an effective and sustainable product.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 2000mg fish oil per serving
  • 800mg EPA
  • 600mg DHA
  • Comes in softgel capsules, 2 per serving, 30 servings per container
  • Non-Dairy, gluten-free, soy-free, no artificial preservatives
  • Coated with a natural lemon flavor for improved taste
  • Made in the USA

Company Profile:

Healthwise is a nutritional and dietary supplement company that specializes in providing all-natural supplements for their customers. They were founded on the principle that wholesome dietary supplements should be made with the highest-quality, all-natural ingredients. They take pride in their customer service and all-natural supplements and offer a 90-day money back guarantee.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the best fish oil products on the market, combining sustainable practices in its manufacturing with convenience and potency in its product. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and can be a beneficial product for anyone needing to reduce inflammation and live a healthy lifestyle!

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3. Viva Labs Ultra Strength Fish Oil

Viva Labs Ultra Strength Fish Oil

Ultra Strength Fish Oil from Viva Labs is one of the strongest and most effective fish oil supplements on the market. It carries a strong dosage of omega 3 fatty acids while maintaining a toxin-free state. In addition, it offers improved absorption and bioavailability thanks to its enteric coating. Perhaps most striking is its high content of both EPA and DHA, the two essential fatty acids found in most fish oil products.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 2200mg fish oil
  • 2000mg total Omega-3 fatty acids
  • 1400mg EPA
  • 480mg DHA
  • 120mg other Omega-3’s
  • Comes in softgel capsules, 2 per serving, 90 servings per container
  • No fishy aftertaste

Company Profile:

Viva Labs is one of the newest companies in the vitamin and supplement market, having only started in 2011. They develop products that are non-GMO, organic and sustainable and not only produce excellent products but support causes for health around the world.

Why We Recommend It:

This fish oil supplement from Viva Labs is one of the best on the market for its superior absorption due to its enteric coating, as well its superior antioxidant content. It also offers a rich source of omega-3’s without the toxins or other potential issues from traditional fish oil pills. This makes it an excellent option from a well-regarded company.

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4. The Vitamin Shoppe Omega-3 Fish Oil

The Vitamin Shoppe Omega 3 Fish Oil

The Vitamin Shoppe Omega-3 Fish Oil is the rare supplement produced by an actual physical retailer. However, it is still a highly effective product with good levels of Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, along with convenient softgel capsules.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1000mg Omega-3’s
  • 680mg EPA
  • 260mg DHA
  • Low mercury levels
  • 180 softgels per container
  • Can be found online and in stores, produced by a well-known retailer
  • Affordably priced, a good value.

Company Profile:

The Vitamin Shoppe is best known as a physical retailer for a wide variety of dietary and nutritional supplements. They do produce their own supplements as well, and their products can be purchased both online and in their stores around the country.

Why We Recommend It:

While this is an excellent product and is a high quality and potent option, it is also one of the more affordable options available, especially as compared to similar products that offer similar value. It also can be found at a well-known retailer, and certainly provides all the benefits desired, and may be one of the better options for athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking for one of the stronger options on the market.

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5. OmegaVia Fish Oil

Omegavia Fish Oil

OmegaVia Fish Oil is a unique product offering in the fish oil supplement market. It is sourced from Anchovy, Sardine and Mackerel from Peru and Chile, and has a high count of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. With no additional preservatives or fillers, it is a quality product for pure fish oil.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1300mg Ultra Concentrated Oil, 85% Omega-3
  • 1105 Total Omega-3
  • 780mg EPA
  • 260mg DHA
  • 65mg other Omega-3’s
  • Comes in softgel capsules, 1 per serving, enteric coated for improved flavor
  • IFOS 5-Star Certified
  • Less affordable than some competitors

Company Profile:

OmegaVia is a popular dietary supplement company that specializes in creating products that help improve Omega-3 fatty acid levels. They are best known for their variety of fish oil products.

Why We Recommend It:

This supplement from the reputable OmegaVia brand is one of the most effective on the market, with pure fish oil sourced from South America. While it may be a bit more expensive than some competitors, it also offers a potent dose of EPA/DHA omega 3’s for fighting inflammation.

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6. Tobias Optimum Omega 3 Fish Oil

Dr Tobias Optimum Omega 3 Fish Oil

Dr. Tobias Optimum Omega 3 FIsh Oil is one of the strongest per-dose fish oil supplements on the market, with 2,000mg of fish oil in each serving. It uses a variety of source material for a well-rounder product and is manufactured in a GMP certified facility. It is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and non-GMO, for a clean and effective product.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 2000mg fish oil
  • 800mg EPA
  • 600mg DHA
  • Comes in softgel capsules, 2 per serving and 90 per container, with enteric coating
  • Sourced from herring, anchovy, sardine, salmon and mackerel
  • Does contain soy
  • NSF tested and certified

Company Profile:

Dr. Tobias is a dietary supplement and nutritional supplement company. They produce a variety of products and take pride in creating the highest quality products with transparency. Their facilities are GMP certified and their products are third-party tested. In addition, they include best by dates, manufacturing dates, and lot numbers for each batch for transparency and safety.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the stronger fish oil supplements on a per dose basis. Dr. Tobias is a well-regarded company with reliable manufacturing, and this product is no exception as it is NSF approved and manufactured in a GMP certified facility, making it a quality value.

7. Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega D3

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega D3

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega D3 is an all-natural and effective fish oil supplement that is free of many common allergens such as sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten, corn and other additives. One of the most unique qualities is that it comes from deep sea fish sources, making it one of the more potent options on the market.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1280mg of total Omega-3’s
  • 650mg EPA
  • 450mg DHA
  • 180mg of other Omega-3’s
  • Comes in softgel capsules, 2 per serving and 90 per container
  • Sourced primarily from anchovies and sardines
  • No gluten, lactose, or artificial flavorings

Company Profile:

Nordic Naturals is a small dietary supplement company that specializes in products related to fish oil. They have two well-known fish oil products, Ultimate Omega D3 and Omega-3 Purified Fish Oil. They use deep sea fish oil sourcing and deliver quality products to their customers.

Why We Recommend It:

This is an excellent option for fish oil consumers who are particularly interested in ensuring the sources of the fish oil are deep sea fish. Nordic Naturals is known for its fish oil products, and Ultimate Omega D3 delivers a solid dose with no artificial ingredients at a decent price.

8. WHC UnoCardio 1000+

Whc Unocardio 1000

WHC UnoCardio 1000+ is one of the strongest products on the market, delivering in one capsule what many products deliver in two. It has a high degree of Omega-3’s sourced from anchovy, sardine, mackerel and tilapia.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1280mg Omega-3 Fish Oil
  • 1185mg total Omega-3’s in each capsule
  • 652mg EPA
  • 440mg DHA
  • 25mcg of vitamin D3
  • Comes in softgel capsules, only one per serving, 60 servings per container
  • Sourced from anchovy, mackerel and sardines plus fish gelatin sourced from tilapia
  • Also contains rosemary extract

Company Profile:

WHC is part of the nutrogenics brand and is based internationally. They offer a wide variety of products, most of which are oriented towards fish oil or similar products. The import many of their products from Belgium and deliver quality fish oil products to their customers around the world.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a very good and effective supplement, and it is one of the strongest per capsule options. It is also unique in that its softgel capsule is formulated with fish gelatin, making it an ideal choice for pescatarians.

9. Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil

Nature's Bounty Fish Oil

Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil is one of the most sustainably caught and extracted versions of fish oil available. It uses a quick release softgel capsule for improved absorption. While it offers less fish oil per dose than most, it does offer high quality and sustainably harvested fish oil.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1200mg of fish oil per serving
  • 360mg Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Amount of EPA and DHA are not specified on label
  • Sourced from anchovy, herring, mackeral and sardine
  • Comes in softgel capsules, 1 per serving, with 180 total capsules

Company Profile:

Nature’s Bounty is one of the largest supplement and vitamin manufacturers in the world. Founded in 1971, their products can be found in many local stores and retailers. They have been producing quality products for decades and continue to produce quality vitamins and supplements.

Why We Recommend It:

This product from Nature’s Bounty is affordable but not of the highest potency, as its Omega-3 count is rather low compared to some other competitors on this list. The unspecified amounts of EPA and DHA are also a drawback. However, Nature’s Bounty is a well-regarded company, and this may be a good option for lower doses of fish oil.

10. New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil

New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil

New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil is unique in that it contains one of the most varied lists of Omega fatty acids on the market, with Omega 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 fatty acids. It has a relatively low amount of Omega-3 but can be an effective option to balance out your overall Omega fatty acid profile.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 2000mg total fat, sourced from Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
  • 520mg total Omega-3 fatty acids
  • 180mg EPA
  • 220mg DHA
  • 300mg Omega 9 fatty acids, offers a variety of additional Omega Fatty Acids including 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9
  • Low overall omega-3 count
  • Low cost

Company Profile:

New Chapter has been in business for 35 years and is a natural health brand focusing on natural, whole food solutions to health and wellness. Using sustainable sourcing practices along with climate-friendly farming techniques, they practice what they preach by using all-natural ingredients and recycling all of their unused materials.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a unique product, and while it does offer one of the largest varieties of Omega fatty acids overall, the Omega-3 fatty acid content is somewhat low. If you are looking for a more purified fish oil product with high Omega-3 content than this is not the best choice, though it can be effective for overall Omega fatty acid balance.

Carl Putman

Written by Carl Putman

Carl Putman is a strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level and writer on fitness, health and supplements. Over the past decade, he has worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from professional athletes and world champions to youth and general population, as well as tactical practitioners. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership. Based in Florida, he continues to train and coach as well as write with a passion for making a positive impact for his clients and readers.

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