Fish oil supplements contain nutrients from fish, seafood, and phytoplankton. They can also include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and vitamin D. The most common forms are softgels, capsules, gummies, and liquids.

In this article, we discuss what fish oil supplements are and explore evidence of their benefits. We also list 11 fish oil supplements across a range of categories that a person may wish to consider.

A quick look at the 11 best fish oil supplements

Best fish oil supplements

Comparing the best fish oil supplements

The table below compares the products listed in this article.

PriceTypeAmount of omega-3s per serving
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omegaaround $29softgel1,280 mg per 2 softgels
Nature Made Softgelsaround $15softgel720 mg per 2 softgels
HUM Nutritionaround $30softgel1,400 mg per 2 softgels
Life Extensionaround $18softgel1,200 mg per 2 softgels
Innovix Labsaround $50capsule900 mg per 1 capsule
Carlson Labsaround $50liquid1,600 mg per teaspoon (5 mL)
Viva Naturalsaround $50softgel2,250 mg per 2 softgels
Nature Made Gummiesaround $25gummy57 mg per 2 gummies
Personavariessoftgel450 mg per 1 softgel
Nordic Naturals Algae Omegaaround $30softgel715 mg per 2 softgels
Zahleraround $27softgel300 mg per 2 softgels

How we chose

Medical News Today’s methodology

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.

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

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How to choose

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 the Better Business Bureau, and researching how it sources 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 regarding supplements. A person may want to consider their preference for softgels, liquids, capsules, or gummies to help them choose the right product.

What are the benefits of taking fish oil?

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

  • Reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA): A 2020 study noted that omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce autoimmune inflammatory responses in RA.
  • Reducing triglyceride levels: Triglycerides are a type of fat that circulates in the blood. The body makes triglycerides and gets them from food. Doctors may prescribe omega-3s to lower triglyceride levels, as high amounts in the blood may lead to heart disease. However, a 2018 review found no link between omega-3 supplements and heart disease.
  • Reducing the risk of postpartum depression: A 2018 review found that taking EPA supplements during pregnancy and postpartum helped reduce some symptoms of postpartum depression. DHA supplements also reduced the risk of developing postpartum depression. However, more research is needed to support these claims.
  • Lowering stroke risk: According to a 2016 review, omega-3s may reduce the risk of ischemic strokes. However, the researchers did not find evidence to suggest it reduces the risk of all stroke types.

Fish oils may benefit people with certain conditions, including:

However, more conclusive evidence is needed to point to the significant benefits of fish oil for those living with these conditions.

How much fish oil to take

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), a person’s recommended daily intake of omega-3s will change depending on their age, sex, and whether they are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, there are no official recommendations for daily EPA and DHA amounts.

The American Heart Association, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 offer their omega-3 recommendations in fish intake rather than grams of EPA and DHA.

Doctors may recommend higher amounts — potentially 1,000 mg and above per day — to people with high triglycerides or a history of heart disease.

People ages 14 years and over who are pregnant should aim for 1.4 g (grams) of omega-3s per day, and those who are breastfeeding should consume 1.3 g per day.

The NIH does not report an established upper intake level for omega-3s. At very high doses, DHA and EPA may affect 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 g per day of EPA and DHA.

How is the oil sourced?

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.

Are there any risks or side effects?

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 fish or shellfish should not take fish oil supplements.

Certain medications may interact with omega-3 supplements. These include blood thinners, such as aspirin and rivaroxaban (Xarelto).

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

Frequently asked questions about fish oil supplements

Below are answers to common questions about fish oil supplements.

Omega-3 supplements are the same as fish oil unless companies derive the omega-3 from other sources, like marine algae.

People may wish to consider which form of fish oil supplement would suit them best, as they can come in a liquid or softgel.

While the liquid is easier to swallow, it may have a more noticeable flavor. Softgels may be difficult to swallow for some people, and they can be fairly large.

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. There are no official recommendations for daily EPA and DHA amounts.

There is no one best fish oil capsule company. People should consider factors such as their budget, customer reviews, any third-party lab tests, and the dose of omega-3 in the products.

People should always try to consume enough omega-3s from food sources such as oily fish, flax oil, and walnuts.

However, if a person does require omega-3 supplementation, they should choose one that offers enough omega-3s for their age and sex. People should work with a doctor to choose the best supplements for cardiac health.

People should purchase fish oil that meets their budget and offers enough omega-3s for their needs. Some people may prefer flavored oil, whereas others may prefer to consume fish oil in capsule form.

Summary

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 recommend them alongside a healthy diet. If a person is unsure whether to take fish oil or any other supplement, they should contact a doctor or another qualified healthcare professional.