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Fish oil supplements contain nutrients from fish, phytoplankton, and seafood. The most common types are softgels, pills, gummies, and liquids, and they typically include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and vitamin D.

In this article, we discuss what fish oil supplements are and explore evidence of their benefits. Also, we recommend 12 fish oil supplements across a range of categories.

A quick look at the 12 best fish oil supplements in 2022

Omega-3 is a type of fat present in food. It is also found in the human body — most commonly in the retina, brain, and sperm cells — as part of the membrane surrounding cells. Omega-3s have extensive roles in the body’s immune, endocrine, cardiovascular, and pulmonary systems.

There are different types of omega-3, including:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): Known as a long-chain omega-3, EPA comes from oily fish and seafood, including salmon, sardines, and mackerel.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): Another long-chain omega-3, DHA also comes from oily fish and seafood.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): This is a different type of omega-3, which is found in some plant oils, including soybean and flaxseed. It is also in black walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.

The human body cannot make essential fatty acids. However, it can convert ALA to EPA and DHA in small amounts.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high-quality ingredients that are clearly labeled. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the supplement dosage.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a safe dosage.
  • Third-party testing: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis:MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) following receipt of its third-party lab results.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for extra support: Nordic Naturals ProOmega-D

Pricearound $35
Typesoftgel
Total omega-3 per serving1,280 milligrams (mg) per 2 softgels
Proslemon flavor; contains EPA, DHA, and additional vitamin D3
Consexpensive; unsuitable for vegan diets; high dosage

This fish oil supplement from Nordic Naturals has a high level of EPA, making it suitable for anyone who is looking for an extra-strength supplement.

These supplements also have additional vitamin D3, which may help promote immunity and bone health.

Best for vitamin D3: Nature Made Fish Oil with Vitamin D

Pricearound $20
Typesoftgel
Total omega-3 per serving720 mg per 2 softgels
Prosadditional vitamin D3; budget-friendly; gluten-free
Consunsuitable for vegan diets

Nature Made’s fish oil supplement provides 360 mg of omega-3 per softgel. It also contains 250% of a person’s recommended vitamin D3 intake.

The oil comes from wild ocean fish, and the company claims it removes mercury through purification.

While the company references EPA and DHA on the label, it does not specify the amounts.

Best flavor: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Liquid

Pricearound $42
Typeliquid
Total omega-3 per serving2,840 mg per 1 teaspoon (5 milliliter [ml])
Prosartificial additive-free; lemon flavor that prevents fishy burps
Conshigher cost; unsuitable for vegan diets; high dosage

This liquid supplement has a lemon flavor, which helps eliminate any potential fishy-flavored burps that some people report experiencing with omega-3 supplements. It also has a high concentration of omega-3s, with 1,460 mg of EPA and 1,010 mg of DHA per dosage.

The company claims it sources the oil from deep-sea anchovies and sardines. It also claims to include ingredients free of genetically modified organisms (non-GMO).

Best for a budget: Kirkland Signature Natural Fish Oil Concentrate

Pricearound $18
Typesoftgel
Total omega-3 per serving300 mg per 1 softgel
Prosbudget-friendly; United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Convention-certified
Consunsuitable for vegan diets; lower dosage

Kirkland Signature is a budget-friendly fish oil supplement option.

This unflavored softgel contains 250 mg of EPA and DHA, although the company does not specify the amount of each. It also has 50 grams (g) of other omega-3 fatty acids.

Best mini size: GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil Mini

Pricearound $28
Typemini softgel capsules
Total omega-3 per serving1,065 mg per 2 mini softgel capsules
Proseasy-to-swallow size; neutral taste; coating to help eliminate fish-flavored burps
Consunsuitable for vegan diets; high dosage

For an easier-to-swallow fish supplement, GNC’s triple-strength option comes in a mini size. However, despite being small, they contain a high concentration of omega-3s.

In total, each dose contains 1,065 mg of omega-3s. Of this, 734 mg is EPA and 266 mg is DHA. The company lists 65 mg as “other omega-3 fatty acids.”

The company claims it sources its fish oil from deep-sea anchovies, cod, tuna, sardines, and salmon, which are then purified of toxins.

Best for burp reduction: Kaged Omega-3

Pricearound $30
Typesoftgel
Total omega-3 per serving3,000 mg
Prosodorless; certified by Friend of the Sea; 100% wild-caught
Consunsuitable for vegan diets; high dosage; higher cost

Kaged’s omega-3 supplements use high quality fish oils in a fish gelatin capsule. The brand suggests that these supplements do not oxidize as quickly, which helps to prevent fishy burps.

Each serving contains a high amount of omega-3, featuring 110 mg of EPA and 900 mg of DHA.

The company claims to use a two-stage purification process for its sustainably caught fish.

Best krill oil: Elm and Rye Krill Oil

Pricearound $45
Typecapsule
Total omega-3 per serving500 mg
Prosfree of soy, dairy, GMOs, and gluten; third-party tested; no preservatives or additives
Consunsuitable for vegan diets; higher cost; no EPA or DHA amounts specified

Elm and Rye’s krill oil is from Antarctic krill, which have high levels of DHA and EPA.

These capsules are 100% krill oil, which the company says contains astaxanthin — a natural compound that some research shows is a powerful antioxidant.

Krill oil can be an alternative for people who do not want to take fish oil.

Best cod liver oil: Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil

Pricearound $56
Typeliquid
Total omega-3 per serving1,293 mg per 1 teaspoon
Prossourced from sustainably caught wild cod; third-party tested; is a liquid, which some people may prefer
Consunsuitable for vegan diets; requires refrigeration; higher cost

Rosita’s unprocessed and raw cod liver oil contains 443 mg of EPA and 605 mg of DHA. It also contains naturally occurring vitamins A and D.

The company uses a cold-process extraction technique to create small batches of oil.

Best high concentration: Wiley’s Finest Peak Omega-3 Liquid

Price$36–62
Typeliquid
Total omega-3 per serving2,300 mg per 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
Prosis a liquid, which may suit some people better; lemon flavor; free of gluten, sugar, nuts, and soy
Consunsuitable for vegan diets; very high dosage; needs refrigeration; higher cost

Wiley’s Finest omega-3 liquid contains a very high concentration of omega-3, with 1400 mg of EPA and 900 mg of DHA per serving. This may not be appropriate for everyone, and a person should consider speaking with their doctor or a healthcare professional before purchasing.

The National Academy of Medicine has not established an upper intake level for omega-3s. At very high doses, DHA and EPA may hinder immune function by suppressing inflammatory responses. They may also increase bleeding time. According to the FDA, it is safe to take supplements containing no more than 5 grams per day of EPA and DHA.

This product also comes in liquid form, making it suitable for anyone who has difficulty swallowing softgels or capsules.

This product is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute, and it contains no additives or preservatives.

Best flaxseed oil: Barlean’s Flax Oil

Price$12–45
Typeliquid
Total omega-3 per serving7,640 mg per 1 tablespoon (15 ml)
Prosvegan-friendly; is a liquid, which some people may prefer; non-GMO
Conshigh dosage; no EPA or DHA

Barlean’s flax oil is a plant-based alternative to omega-3 oil. This 100% organic flaxseed oil is cold-pressed and contains 7,640 mg of ALA. This serving is much higher because only a small amount of ALA (less than 15%) is converted to EPA and DHA. It also contains omega-6 and omega-9.

This versatile oil contains no additives, is sugar-free, and is suitable to consume straight from the spoon or mixed with foods, such as salad dressings.

The oil is certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Best vegan option: Care/of Veggie Omega

Pricearound $18
Typesoftgel
Total omega-3 per serving600 mg per 2 softgels
Prosvegan-friendly; free of gluten, soy, and nuts; non-GMO
Conslower concentration of DHA and EHA; unclear whether the product is third-party tested

Care/of’s Veggie Omega supplements are a vegetarian and vegan alternative to fish oils.

They contain a total of 600 mg of omega-3, with 360 mg of DHA and 180 mg of EHA.

The company claims it sources its omega-3 sustainably from microalgae and uses water extraction techniques.

Best for children: Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Gummies

Pricearound $23
Typegummies
Total omega-3 per serving82 mg per 2 gummies
Prosfree of artificial additives, gluten, dairy, and yeast; non-GMO; third-party tested
Conscontains sugar

The fish oil in Nordic Naturals’ omega-3 gummies comes from anchovies and sardines.

These child-friendly gummies are chewable and have a tangerine flavor.

Each serving contains 82 mg of total omega-3s and a combined 68 mg of DHA and EHA.

These gummies are suitable for children aged 2 years and over.

The table below compares the products listed in this article.

BestPriceForm
Nordic Naturals ProOmega-Dfor extra supportaround $35softgel
Nature Made Fish Oil with Vitamin Dfor extra vitamin D3around $20softgel
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Liquidfor flavoraround $42liquid
Kirkland Signature Natural Fish Oil Concentratefor a budgetaround $18softgel
GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil Minimini capsulearound $28softgel
Kaged Omega-3for burp reductionaround $30softgel
Elm and Rye Krill Oilkrill oilaround $45softgel
Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oilcod liver oilaround $56liquid
Wiley’s Finest Peak Omega-3 Liquidhigh concentration$36–62liquid
Barlean’s Flax Oilflaxseed oil$12–45liquid
Care/of Veggie Omegavegan optionaround $18softgel
Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Gummiesfor childrenaround $23gummy

When searching for a fish oil supplement, individuals may consider the following:

  • Buying from a reputable company: A person can review a manufacturer’s reputation by checking its process transparency, reading independent customer reviews on websites such as Trustpilot or the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and researching how it sources its fish oil.
  • Checking for certifications: Certifications offer verification of certain practices and ingredients. For fish oil, evidence of sustainable sourcing, impurity removal, and proof of quality may boost an individual’s confidence in a product.
  • Picking the right form: Different people have different requirements when it comes to supplements. Considering their preference for softgels, liquids, capsules, or gummies may help a person choose.

Some studies show omega-3 to have health benefits, such as:

  • Reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: A 2017 review of 22 studies noted that long-chain omega-3 supplements may help manage rheumatoid arthritis pain.
  • Reducing triglyceride levels: Triglycerides are a type of fat that circulates in the blood. The body makes triglycerides, but it also gets them from food. However, high levels of triglycerides in the blood may lead to heart disease. Doctors may prescribe omega-3s to lower triglyceride levels. However, an older study suggests that omega-3 supplements do not lower the risk of heart attacks or strokes. Similarly, a 2018 review suggests there is no evidence that omega-3 supplements lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Reducing the risk of postpartum depression: A 2018 study suggests that taking omega-3 supplements during pregnancy and postpartum helped reduce some symptoms of postpartum depression. It also reduced the risk of developing postpartum depression. However, more research is needed to better support these claims.
  • Lowering stroke risk: A 2016 review from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) suggests that omega-3s may reduce the risk of ischemic strokes. However, the organization did not find evidence to suggest that it reduces the risk of all stroke types.

Omega-3s occur naturally in some foods, and manufacturers often add them to fortified foods. When it comes to sourcing fish oil, the exact process differs from company to company. Typically, a manufacturer will process whole fish, trimmings, and other fish byproducts for their oil.

Fish oils may benefit people with certain health conditions, including:

However, so far, no conclusive evidence points to any significant benefits of fish oil for those living with these conditions.

Fish oil supplements are typically safe for people to consume when used as recommended. However, although the supplements are mild, some people may experience side effects such as nausea and diarrhea. Additionally, people may also experience a fishy aftertaste.

People with an allergy to iodine, fish, or shellfish should not take fish oil supplements.

There are also certain medications that may interact with omega-3 supplements. These include blood thinners, such as aspirin and rivaroxaban, and glucocorticoids, such as cortisone and hydrocortisone.

If an individual has any health concerns, they should talk with a doctor or healthcare professional.

Here are some common questions relating to fish oil.

Is it better to take fish oil or omega-3?

Supplement formulations vary considerably. One is not better than the other, but the amount of nutrients in each may differ.

Is it OK to take fish oil daily?

Yes. However, people should not take high doses of fish oil over an extended period. This may result in immune system suppression. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s.

The recommended omega-3 dosage varies and depends on a person’s biology, age, and health conditions.

Is EPA or DHA better?

Both EPA and DHA are important. Both are essential fatty acids that the human body needs, and one is not better than the other.

There are many fish oil supplements to choose from. Which one is best for an individual depends on their budget, concentration preference, and preferred supplement type.

Some supplements also contain additional vitamins and nutrients.

It is important to note that supplements should not replace food, and experts typically recommended them alongside a healthy diet. If a person is unsure whether they should take fish oil, or any other supplement, they should contact their doctor or qualified healthcare professional.