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Omega-3 fatty acids are present in fish and some other food sources. Although study findings suggest that a diet rich in omega-3 provides health benefits, researchers are less certain about the effectiveness of supplements.

This article considers the possible benefits of omega-3 supplements and explains what to look for when buying them.

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Omega-3 fatty acids are part of a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that support several functions in the body.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), the three main types of omega-3 fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and alpha-linolenic acid.

The NCCIH lists some of their possible benefits, stating that:

The NCCIH also notes that other claims about fatty acids, whether from a person’s diet or supplements, are either inconclusive or remain unsupported by the findings of studies.

A 2019 study found that omega-3 supplements did not lower incidences of cardiovascular disease events. However, a 2020 article published on the same group after further analyses found that in people who ate less than 1.5 servings of fish per week, taking supplements led to a decrease in their risk of developing heart disease.

Another trial, known as REDUCE-IT, had similar results relating to cardiovascular events and death. The researchers found that in comparison with a placebo, omega-3 supplements reduced high blood triglyceride levels and the risk of cardiac-related events or death.

However, participants all had high triglyceride levels at baseline and were on statin therapy. This could mean that the results apply only to specific groups of people and not the general population.

It is also important to note that the researchers used icosapent ethyl (Vascepa), which is a prescription omega-3 fatty acid. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Vascepa, and a similar medication called Lovanza. This is unlike other omega-3 supplements, which the FDA does not directly regulate. Doctors can use these prescription drugs to lower triglyceride levels in people living with hypertriglyceridemia.

According to a 2019 journal article, the REDUCE-IT study is an anomaly among other studies that generally show limited evidence of omega-3 reducing the risk of cardiovascular events. Though the author urges further research, they also acknowledge that taking an omega-3 supplement is likely not a bad idea.

In 2019, the FDA announced it would not object to certain health claims about omega-3 supplements reducing the risk of hypertension and coronary heart disease. In other words, as long as manufacturers follow the FDA’s guidelines, they can claim their products may reduce these risks.

Further resources

For more in-depth resources about vitamins, minerals, and supplements, visit our dedicated hub.

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The authors of a 2016 study state there are major differences between prescription omega-3s such as Lovaza and dietary supplements. The study outlines that prescription omega-3 supplements are superior due to:

  • rigorous regulatory standards
  • the consistency of effectiveness
  • the consistency of safety

People interested in taking omega-3 supplements should talk with a doctor first. This is particularly true for pregnant or nursing people and those taking prescribed medications or other supplements.


When selecting an omega-3 supplement, a person should consider the following:

  • how much the supplement will likely cost
  • certifications from third-party reviewers for safety and purity standards
  • the product’s dosage
  • supplement type, such as gummy or capsule

Also, according to the NCCIH, there are no finalized studies that indicate whether omega-3 fish oil supplements are safe for people who have seafood allergies.

The Association of UK Dietitians recommends that people check the vitamin A content of omega-3 supplements, as daily vitamin A intake from food and supplements combined should not exceed 1.5 milligrams (mg).

In addition, individuals should choose products that have the least amount of heavy metals or fillers.

There are also supplements suitable for those following a vegan or gluten-free diet.

Medical News Today selects omega-3 supplements that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products that contain high quality ingredients and are free of fillers, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
  • Dosage: MNT selects products that contain safe doses of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Quality: MNT chooses products that are third-party certified or have undergone testing by an independent lab for safety and quality whenever possible.
  • Vetting: MNT selects supplements that its team of medical experts has vetted and approved.

Many omega-3 supplements are available to buy. Below, we list seven products that people may wish to try.

Life Extension Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA Fish Oil, Sesame Lignans & Olive ExtractNordic Naturals Ultimate OmegaBriogeo B. Well Vegan Omega-3, 6, 9 + BiotinNatural Force Pure Omega-3O.N.E. OmegaTruvani’s Plant-Based Omega
Typesoftgelssoftgels or liquidsoftgelsliquidsoftgelscapsules
Serving size4 softgels per day2 softgels per day
or 0.5–1 tsp per day
2 softgels per day1 tsp per day1 softgel per day2 capsules per day
Certificaitonsthird-party tested
five-star certification from IFOS
third-party tested
Friend of the Sea (FOS) certified
nonethird-party tested
certified paleo-friendly and keto
Marine Stewardship Council certified
third-party testedthird-party tested
certified vegan
certified gluten-free
Best forheart healthimmune healthhair healthinflammationjoint healthvegans

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 heart health: Life Extension Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA Fish Oil, Sesame Lignans & Olive Extract

Key features

  • contains olive leaf extract and sesame lignans to support heart health
  • third-party tested
  • five-star certification from the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS)

Life Extension’s Super Omega-3 soft gelatin capsules or softgels contain a formula that comprises EPA, DHA, sesame lignans, and olive extract. Research suggests that both sesamin, a lignan in sesame, and olive leaf extract may help prevent heart disease.

The company offers different types of supplements that come in different quantity options.

According to the product page, a person should take four softgels with food per day. They should ask a doctor if the product is safe for them if they take any medications or have a bleeding disorder.

IFOS gives this product five-star certification. It is also gluten-free and uses non-genetically modified organisms (GMO) products.

Price: $24.75

Best for immune health: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega

Key features

  • sourced from wild-caught sardines and anchovies
  • third-party tested
  • available in softgel and liquid form

These omega-3 supplements are from wild-caught sardines and anchovies, and according to the Nordic Naturals website, they support the brain, heart, and immune system.

They have a fresh lemon taste and come in two forms. The softgels contain 1,280 mg of omega-3 and are available in counts of 90–210. The liquid contains 2,840 mg of omega-3, and a person can buy a 4- or 8-ounce (oz) bottle.

This product is GMO-free.

The company recommends that people take two softgels per day with food. They can also ask a doctor if they can take two softgels with food twice daily.

Individuals who purchase the liquid form should take a half teaspoon (tsp) to one tsp per day. Once they open the bottle, they can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Price: $27.95

Best for hair growth: Briogeo B. Well Vegan Omega-3, 6, 9 + Biotin

Key features

  • vegan-friendly and cruelty-free
  • free of gluten, sulfates, silicones, parabens, and artificial dyes
  • suitable for all hair types

Briogeo’s B. Well, softgels contain omega-3 derived from algae to support healthy hair.

This product is vegan-friendly and suitable for people who have straight, wavy, curly, and coiled hair. They do not contain sulfates, silicones, parabens, or artificial dyes. They are also gluten-free.

The bottle contains 60 softgels, and the company recommends taking two softgels with food per day. Individuals may notice that they have a marine odor.

People who buy these supplements receive free samples of other selected products and can also benefit from 30-day returns.

Price: $38

Best for inflammation: Natural Force Pure Omega-3

Key features

Nature Force’s liquid omega-3 contains EPA, DHA, and docosapentaenoic acid. The company claims this product can reduce inflammation and support brain function.

It has a lemon cake flavor and does not contain any fillers or synthetic colors. The products undergo third-party tests for safety and purity standards.

Natural Force uses a manufacturing facility that is certified according to regulations set out by the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices.

The liquid comes in a UV-light-blocking amber glass bottle. The manufacturer recommends taking 1 tsp daily. People can add it to smoothies, tea, coffee, and other drinks.

Natural Force provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Price: $39.99

Best for joint health: O.N.E. Omega

Key features

  • only one softgel per day required
  • produced using a solvent-free extraction method for purity
  • third-party tested

Pure Encapsulations’ O.N.E. Omega is a fish oil supplement that provides 1,000 mg of combined EPA and DHA per serving.

According to the manufacturers, this supplement is made with fish oil produced through a solvent-free extraction method, resulting in a more concentrated, highly purified product.

The company claims that this supplement can support the integrity of the joints and connective tissue while also promoting heart, skin, and brain health.

O.N.E. Omega is available in two sizes, which contain either 30 or 60 softgel capsules per bottle. The company recommends people take one softgel per day with a meal.

It is also non-GMO and tested by an independent lab for safety, strength, and quality.

Price: $38.70

Best for vegans: Truvani’s Plant-Based Omega

Key features

  • certified vegan and gluten-free
  • third-party tested
  • sustainably sourced

Featuring 500 mg of plant-based DHA sourced from algal oil per serving, Truvani’s Plant-Based Omega supplement is vegan-friendly and certified gluten-free.

It is also cruelty-free and sustainably sourced, using algae grown in a controlled environment with minimal processing and freshwater usage.

Additionally, Truvani’s Plant-Based Omega is third-party tested for heavy metals and contaminants to ensure purity and potency.

Each bottle contains 60 capsules, and the manufacturer recommends taking two capsules per day, with or without food.

Truvani also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all products.

Price: $34.99

According to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommendation is to consume at least 250 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day, equating to about 8 oz of seafood.

However, a higher amount of fish oil may be beneficial for people with certain health conditions.

For example, the American Heart Association recommends consuming 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA per day for individuals with heart disease and notes that supplements should be taken only under the direction of a healthcare professional.

Similarly, many health organizations recommend that pregnant or nursing people consume at least 200 mg of DHA per day to support fetal growth and development.

Therefore, a person should work with a medical professional to determine the appropriate dosage based on their needs and take supplements only as directed.

Omega-3 is associated with only minor side effects. According to the NCCIH, these may include:

They also note that while researchers found a link between high omega-3 levels and prostate cancer in some studies, the findings are not conclusive.

People taking medications for blood clotting should talk with a doctor before starting the supplement due to possible complications.

There are several dietary sources of omega-3, including:

For people who do not eat or enjoy seafood, omega-3s are also present in plant-based foods and oils, such as:

However, it is important to understand that not all Omega 3 sources are created equal.

DHA and EPA are found primarily in seafood, whereas ALA mainly comes from plants. People need more DHA than other types of omega-3 because this is the type predominantly found in brain tissue and needed for brain function.

ALA can convert into EPA and DHA within the body. But in some cases, depending on a person’s overall health and the levels of other nutrients in their body, this conversion may be inefficient.

As recent research indicates, people who do not consume animal-based foods can end up with a deficit of DHA. However, the research on ALA conversion is still not conclusive and more research is necessary. To be safe, a person may want to monitor their health in consultation with a doctor and take DHA supplements if necessary.

Another way to supplement omega-3 is to look for foods fortified with fatty acids. These can include:

A person should speak with a doctor before starting any new supplement, including omega-3.

People taking blood clotting medication should not take the supplement before asking a doctor, as the combination can lead to complications.

Anyone pregnant or nursing should also speak with a doctor before taking omega-3.

Below are some common questions about omega-3 supplements.

What is fish oil good for?

According to the NCCIH, fish oil supplements may help slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and reduce triglyceride levels.

Fish oil supplements also help increase a person’s intake of omega-3 fatty acids. While more research is needed on the effects of fish oil specifically, omega-3 fatty acids have been studied for their beneficial effects on inflammation, heart health, brain function, and more.

Which are the best omega-3 supplements?

The supplements listed in this article are all suitable options that can help increase a person’s intake of omega-3 fatty acids to round out their diet. A person should consider their budget, dietary needs, and dosage requirements to find the best supplement for them.

Is it good to take omega-3 every day?

Taking omega-3 daily may benefit those who do not regularly consume fish or other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. However, a person should work with a doctor to determine whether daily supplementation is necessary based on their needs.

Omega-3 supplements may provide some benefits by boosting heart health and lowering levels of triglycerides in the blood. Many of the other claims regarding their benefits require additional research.

A person interested in taking omega-3 supplements should speak with a doctor first. If they decide to take the supplement, they should opt for products that have undergone a third-party review for safety and purity.