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Our team of registered dietitians considered quality, sourcing, taste, and cost when compiling this list of best fish oil options. Our best overall pick is Nordic Naturals.
If you don’t regularly consume fish, taking a fish oil supplement can be a quick and convenient way to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which naturally support heart and brain health, plus lowering inflammation.
Keep reading to see our picks of the 14 best fish oil supplements.
When rounding up the best fish oil supplements, we considered the following factors:
Vetting: All the products included were vetted to ensure they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards, including but not limited to:
adhering to allowable health claims and labeling requirements, per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations
manufactured in facilities that adhere to current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) established by the FDA
produced by medically credible companies that follow ethical, legal, and industry best standards
Quality: In addition to the quality of ingredients, we looked at the company’s testing and manufacturing processes. The products selected are made by companies that provide objective measures of trust, such as having their supplements validated by third-party labs.
Fish oil source: We prioritized supplements with oil from smaller fish because they’re typically lower in mercury than larger fish.
Certifications: We prioritized products with additional certifications from independent organizations to help ensure quality, transparency, and safety beyond third-party testing. However, we also included many products that use other methods to verify quality.
Price: We included products to suit a variety of budgets.
There are several factors to consider when selecting a fish oil supplement:
Supplement quality: It’s important to check the ingredient list carefully and steer clear of supplements containing fillers or artificial ingredients. Ideally, you can look for products that have undergone third-party testing and are certified by an independent organization such as IFOS, USP, NSF International, or the TGA.
Dose: Pay close attention to the dose, including the amount of EPA and DHA. Some products may also contain ALA, a form of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants that’s converted to EPA and DHA in small amounts.
Fish oil source: You may want to consider the source of the fish oil as well. Ideally, opt for smaller, sustainably caught fish, like sardines and anchovies, which tend to contain lower levels of mercury.
Supplement type: There are also several forms of fish oil supplements, including softgels, liquids, or gummies. While some prefer the convenience and ease of capsules, liquids and gummies may work better for others.
Many of the products on our list are certified by third-party organizations. Here are a few of the most common to keep an eye out for, along with what each certification means:
TGA: This is the regulatory agency of the Australian government, which is responsible for regulating the safety and quality of supplements and medications. Products that are approved by TGA have been audited and verified to meet their safety standards.
Friend of the Sea: This organization certifies that fish oil supplements are sourced from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.
NSF International: This third-party organization analyzes products to verify quality. They also ensure that manufacturing facilities adhere to strict safety standards.
IFOS: This certification provides testing results for fish oil supplements and certifies that they meet standards for quality, safety, and purity. Specifically, they analyze the active ingredient content, levels of harmful contaminants, and stability of products.
European Pharmacopoeia: This organization certifies that products are compliant with current regulatory requirements and meet criteria for quality.
Marine Stewardship Council: This independent organization assesses fisheries to ensure that they are adhering to sustainable fishing practices. Fish oil supplements with this certification have been sourced from these sustainable fisheries.
Fish oil, a top source of omega-3 fats, offers a number of health benefits.
Omega-3 fatty acids — a type of polyunsaturated fat — play important roles in many processes in your body, including those involving inflammation, immunity, heart health, and brain function.
The human body reacts differently to the first of the three main types of omega-3 fatty acids:
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): It’s found in plant foods, and your body must convert it to EPA and DHA in order to use it.
eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): Primarily found in fish, EPA a biologically active form of omega-3s absorbed best with another fat.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): Primarily found in fish, DHA is a biologically active form of omega-3s absorbed best with another fat.
Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and may have a positive effect on many conditions thought to be related to chronic inflammation — particularly heart disease. EPA and DHA may also help lower high triglyceride levels, a risk factor for heart disease.
Additionally, omega-3s play a key role in vision and eye health, as they’re necessary for eye development and may help in the treatment of dry eye disease.
Omega-3s are also important for brain health. During infancy and childhood, they’re necessary for proper neurological development.
In adults, omega-3 supplementation may play a role in preventing stroke and cognitive decline.
The most common side effect of fish oil supplements is fishy burps, but there are now several “burpless” fish oil products on the market that claim to cut down on this unpleasant but harmless side effect.
If you experience nausea or vomiting after taking fish oil, you can check the expiration date. The oil may deteriorate and become rancid. Consider taking the supplement with a meal to decrease any uncomfortable side effects.
What is the best fish oil supplement for cholesterol?
Nature Made’s Fish Oil Plus Vitamin D 1,000 IU is a great option for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, especially if you’re not regularly getting enough vitamin D in your diet.
In addition to providing a blend of EPA and DHA, it contains vitamin D, which has been shown to help lower levels of triglycerides, and total and LDL (bad) cholesterol in people with vitamin D insufficiency.
Is fish oil better in capsules or liquid?
Some people may prefer taking liquid fish oil supplements, especially if you have difficulty swallowing capsules. Liquid fish oil can easily be taken as is or mixed into foods or drinks.
However, because liquid fish oil tends to have a stronger flavor and aftertaste, others might decide to opt for capsules instead. Some people also claim that fish oil capsules are associated with fewer side effects, such as fishy burps.
What form of fish oil is best for absorption?
Some studies suggest that monoglyceride forms of fish oil might be better absorbed than other forms, including those that contain triglyceride or ethyl esters. However, more research is needed.
Should you take fish oil every day?
You can take fish oil every day. However, taking high doses of fish oil (at least 900 mg of EPA plus 600 mg DHA) over time may promote immune system suppression because of the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fats.
It’s important to check the dosages of EPA and DHA in your fish oil before you purchase so that you don’t buy one that could lead to this effect.
When is the best time to take fish oil?
The best time to take fish oil is when it’s most convenient and easiest for you to remember. Fish oil doesn’t offer immediate benefits, so what’s most important is that you take it consistently.
However, if you experience side effects from fish oil supplements, such as nausea or acid reflux, you may find the supplement easier to tolerate by splitting it into two smaller doses throughout the day.
Whether you take it in the morning, in the afternoon, or at night, experts recommend taking a fish oil supplement alongside a fat-containing meal for optimal absorption.
Is fish oil good for your hair?
There hasn’t been a great deal of research on fish oil for hair, but a 2018 study suggested that fermented fish oil could promote hair growth due in part to its DHA content.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of fish oil on hair health.
What medications should not be taken with fish oil?
In high doses, omega-3 products and fish oil supplements can have blood-thinning effects. For this reason, you should not take them without a healthcare professional’s approval if you’re also taking a blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin or another anticoagulant.
Useful supplement shopping guides
Check out these two articles to help you make supplement shopping a breeze:
There are many types of omega-3 supplements, each from a different source and with distinct combinations of ingredients.
They also come in various forms, including:
For best results, you can find a fish oil supplement that works for you and try taking it alongside a balanced diet to maximize its benefits.
Finally, when it comes to fish oil, more is not always better. In fact, excessive intake may do more harm than good.
Last medically reviewed on August 31, 2023
How we reviewed this article:
Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
Román GC, et al. (2019). Mediterranean diet: The role of long-chain ω-3 fatty acids in fish; polyphenols in fruits, vegetables, cereals, coffee, tea, cacao and wine; probiotics and vitamins in prevention of stroke, age-related cognitive decline, and Alzheimer disease. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31521398/
Warstedt K, et al. (2016). High levels of omega-3 fatty acids in milk from omega-3 fatty acid-supplemented mothers are related to less immunoglobulin E-associated disease in infancy. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26970335/
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