Best Essential Fatty Acid Products – Top 10 Brands for 2018

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Jump Ahead to the Top 10 EFA Supplements

You may have heard that fat is bad for you, right? Though some fats are unhealthy, there are other fats that are extremely important to your health. These fats are called essential fatty acids (EFAs).

The term “essential” means that we must consume them from our diet, and that they are necessary nutrients to our overall health. There are a number of dietary sources of these healthy fats, however many Americans do not meet the necessary dietary intakes of these nutrients.

Essential fatty acid products are an inexpensive and easy way to help change this. This guide will tell you all about the best essential fatty acid products on the market!

What are Essential Fatty Acid Products?

You may have heard that fat is bad for you, right? Though some fats are unhealthy, there are other fats that are extremely important to your health. These fats are called essential fatty acids (EFAs). The term “essential” means that we must consume them from our diet, and that they are necessary nutrients to our overall health.

There are a number of dietary sources of these healthy fats, however many Americans do not meet the necessary dietary intakes of these nutrients. The best essential fatty acid products are an inexpensive and easy way to help change this. This guide will tell you all about the best essential fatty acid products on the market!

Essential fatty acid products are supplemental sources of essential fatty acids. They extract the healthy fats from natural sources to allow you to incorporate them easily into your daily diet. These natural sources include essential fatty acid foods such as fatty cold water fish, krill, certain meats and poultry, certain nuts and seeds and more.

Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are important for overall health. Our bodies cannot synthesize them, which means we must obtain EFA’s from our diet and/or supplements. EFA products have a huge range of potential benefits, but here are some of the key essential fatty acid benefits:

  • Overall Health: EFA’s are essential for our overall health and wellbeing. Studies have found that essential fatty acids can increase health, improve body composition, support better physical and mental performance, and even help treat certain diseases. Many people do not get enough EFA’s in their diet, which is why essential fatty acid supplements can be so beneficial.
  • Heart: Essential fatty acids may help to prevent heart disease. Several studies have found that a higher intake of dietary EFAs has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular health concerns. Omega-3 in particular is highly beneficial because it can help to reduce blood pressure, lower triglycerides and reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
  • Cognitive Health: Preliminary research has shown promising results in omega-3   acid’s ability to potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline in old age. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of essential fatty acids may help to keep your mind sharper well into old age, and may even help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Mental Health: An analysis of 19 different clinical studies and trials found that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in the treatment of depression and related mental health issues. They may also be beneficial for bipolar disorder and even anxiety. It’s important to note that while fatty acids can be beneficial, they are no replacement for prescription medications and/or the care of a licensed mental health provider.
  • Inflammation: Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in reducing harmful inflammation caused by exercise, physical stress, and chronic health issues. A Pittsburgh Medical Center study found that fish oil was equally effective at reducing inflammation as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
  • Joints: Those with joint pain or arthritis may find that fatty acids may help to reduce joint pain, morning stiffness and related symptoms. One 12-month study found a significant reduction in joint pain in arthritic participants given omega-3 fatty acid supplements on a daily basis.

Clearly, essential fatty acids have a wide range of potential benefits. They are best obtained through a balanced, healthy diet, although supplementing can help increase your intake easily.

Who Can Benefit from Essential Fatty Acids?

  • Athletes – Athletes and bodybuilders require essential fatty acids for regulating hormones, reducing inflammation and improving muscle recovery. To properly gain muscle or train, these healthy fats must be consumed daily in the proper amounts.
  • Those with High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure is a common condition that does not have overt symptoms, and can only be detected when checking your blood pressure. It is defined as a condition in which blood exerts too much pressure on artery walls, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Those with High Cholesterol – Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in blood fats, and there are two types of it: good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). When there is elevated levels of LDL cholesterol, you have a condition called high cholesterol. High cholesterol increases your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and other health issues.
  • Those who Suffer from Inflammation – Inflammation is a reaction of the immune system. When the immune system detects a threat, it sends white blood cells to protect you from it. This process results in swelling, heat, pain and sometimes stiffness. Sometimes your immune system attacks parts of your body that are not actually threatened, creating health issues such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Essential fatty acids are necessary to your overall health and generally safe and well tolerated in supplement form. However, some people may experience side effects such as mild heartburn, nausea, upset stomach, burping, gas etc.

How to Take Essential Fatty Acids

Taking a healthy EFA dosage along with food can help to improve digestion and absorption of the nutrient. Essential fatty acid dosages differ depending on the supplemental source and the concentration of fats within the supplement. If you are taking medications, pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to a doctor before taking a top EFA supplement.

Top 10 Essential Fatty Acid Supplements Compared

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1. Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil Softgels

Optimum-Nutrition-Fish-Oil-Softgels

Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil Softgels is a top essential fatty acid supplement that includes natural sources of fats. It is one of the best fish oil supplements on the market, too! The EFA pill comes in the form of a quick releasing softgel, quickly providing you EFA benefits.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Balanced omega-3 and omega-6
  • Natural

What’s in it:

  • 1000 mg fish oil
  • 180 mg EPA
  • 120 mg DHA

Who makes it: Optimum Nutrition is a health, wellness and sports nutrition brand that is part of Glanbia; a leading international nutritional ingredients and cheese group. They also own another nutrition brand called American Body Building. Their products are manufactured in the United States. Optimum Nutrition was founded in 1986 and has since “taken a hands-on approach to maintaining the very highest standards of quality.”

Bottom line: This is one of the best essential fatty acid supplements on the market, with uncompromising quality at an affordable price. It offers EFA health benefits in a simple daily softgel EFA pill that quickly releases throughout the digestion process. Made by a reliable manufacturer, Optimum Nutrition is known for its quality products.

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2. NOW Foods Ultra Omega-3

NOW-Foods-Ultra-Omega-3

NOW Foods Ultra Omega-3 is a natural source of concentrated omega-3 fatty acids. It comes from contaminant-free fish oil. Made by NOW Foods, one of the most notable natural supplement brands in the industry, it is high in quality and reliably transparent. This is an effective essential fatty acid supplement.

Highlights:

  • Natural
  • No contaminants

What’s in it:

  • 1000 mg natural fish oil concentrate
  • 500 mg EPA
  • 250 mg DHA

Who makes it: NOW Foods is a natural supplement brand that has been a leader in the industry since 1968. Their products are all manufactured in GMP certified facilities with traceable ingredients. They also strive for environmental sustainability, participating in local clean-up days, need-based assistance and also partnering with the Conservation Foundation.

Bottom line: This is a powerful essential fatty acid supplement that provides concentrated doses of EPA and DHA. Made by a reliable company, it is also free from potential contaminants and manufactured in a GMP certified facility.

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3. Universal Nutrition Animal Omega

Universal-Nutrition-Animal-Omega

Universal Nutrition Animal Omega is a complete EFA supplement that provides athletes important nutrients. It is a balanced formula that includes animal sources and plant sources of these healthy and essential fats. It includes a balanced ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s, and it also includes an absorption complex that includes an enzyme called lipase, L-carnitine and lecithin. This makes it a good essential fatty acid product.

Highlights:

  • Complete EFA formula
  • Both animal and plant EFA sources
  • Great for athletes

What’s in it:

  • 4000 mg omega-3 fatty acid complex
  • 2500 mg omega-6 fatty acid complex
  • 200 mg omega absorption complex

Who makes it: Universal Nutrition is a bodybuilding supplement brand that was founded in 1977. They market themselves as a bodybuilding lifestyle and community brand, and are always innovating new products for bodybuilders.

Bottom line: This is a strong essential fatty acid supplement that is great for athletes and bodybuilders. It includes a balanced ratio of omega-3s and omega-6s in powerful EFA dosages. It also includes an absorption complex to improve the digestion and utilization of these healthy fats. Overall, it is one of the top EFA supplements on the market.

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4. MuscleTech Platinum 100% Fish Oil

MuscleTech-Platinum-100-Fish-Oil

MuscleTech Platinum 100% Fish Oil is a softgel EFA pill comprised of 100% fish oil. It utilizes omega-3 fatty acids, and the softgel is coated with enteric in order to control the potential fishy odor and aftertaste that fish oil is known for.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Utilizes omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil
  • Coated with enteric to prevent fishiness

Drawbacks:

  • Has more fillers than alternatives

What’s in it:

  • 1000 mg fish oil
  • 180 mg EPA
  • 120 mg DHA

Who makes it: MuscleTech is a bodybuilding supplement brand that was founded in 1995. They are highly focused on innovation and research, and they hold patents on numerous supplement formulas that they discovered. They make sure to allocate a portion of every product sale towards funding scientific research.

Bottom line: This is a top essential fatty acid supplement on the market because it is affordable, effective and utilizes health EFA fats from fish oil. It provides you numerous EFA benefits in an easy, daily EFA pill. However, it does use more fillers than some alternative products.

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5. Betancourt Nutrition Omega-3 EFA-Stack

Betancourt-Nutrition-Omega-3-EFA-Stack

Betancourt Nutrition Omega-3 EFA-Stack is a top EFA supplement that provides you with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is fat soluble and helps to support the immune system, skin, eyes and more.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Uses fish oil
  • Uses vitamin E
  • Easily stackable

Drawbacks:

  • Includes higher amounts of cholesterol

What’s in it:

  • 1000 mg fish oil
  • 180 mg EPA
  • 120 mg DHA
  • 1 IU vitamin E
  • 30 mg other fatty acids

Who makes it: Betancourt Nutrition is a bodybuilding supplement brand that is known for having effective, great tasting supplements. They manufacture their products in GMP certified facilities, and they are constantly working with scientists and  chemists to research innovative new products.

Bottom line: This is a powerful essential fatty acid supplement that is great for athletes, because it is easily stackable. However, this product does include higher amounts of cholesterol in it.

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6. Omega Jym

Omega-Jym

Omega Jym is a powerful essential fatty acid supplement that includes much higher doses of omega-3 fats than alternatives. It also includes much more of the omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA. They use molecularly distilled fish oil to help concentrate it to provide you with more essential fats per dose. This is one of the top fish oil supplements on the market, and a good EFA supplement.

Highlights:

  • Powerful dosage of EFAs
  • Molecularly distilled fish oil

Drawbacks:

  • Expensive
  • Very high EFA dosage

What’s in it:

  • 2000 mg fish oil
  • 750 mg DHA
  • 750 mg EPA
  • 150 mg DPA

Who makes it: Jym Supplement Science was founded by Jim Stoppani, a PhD graduate in exercise science from the University of Connecticut. Each product is formulated and backed up by scientific research. Jim Stoppani also makes himself personally available to answer consumer questions via Twitter.

Bottom line: If you are looking for a strong EFA supplement, this is a great option. It includes one of the largest doses of omega-3 fatty acids on this list. However, to some people this is a drawback, because it could result in gastrointestinal side effects. It also is a more expensive product.

7. BSN Fish Oil DNA

BSN-Fish-Oil-DNA

BSN Fish Oil DNA is an enteric coated fish oil pill that does not have a fishy aftertaste. This softgel EFA pill is an affordable that is affordable and provides all of the best EFA benefits.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Uses fish oil

Drawbacks:

  • More fillers than alternatives
  • Does not disclose EPA and DHA amounts

What’s in it:

  • 1000 mg fish oil
  • 300 mg combined EPA and DHA

Who makes it: Bio-engineered Supplements and Nutrition, also known as BSN, is a relatively new sports nutrition company that launched in 2001 by two body builders with a passion for fitness. The supplement that helped give this company its current notoriety, N.O.-XPLODE, was the “original pre-workout igniter.”

Bottom line: This basic fish oil supplement is an affordable option, and works as an effective EFA supplement. However, it does include more fillers than alternatives, and it does not disclose how much EPA and DHA is included in the formula. This could potentially mean there is not much DHA in the supplement.

8. Optimum Nutrition Flaxseed Oil

Optimum-Nutrition-Flaxseed-Oil

Optimum Nutrition Flaxseed Oil is a plant derived EFA supplement that uses a cold pressing method to extract fatty acids from flaxseed without damaging the structure of the fatty acids. It provides you with omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids in one EFA pill. If you are looking for a top EFA supplement that is plant derived, this may be the supplement for you.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Plant derived fatty acids
  • Includes omega-3, 6 and 9
  • Great for athletes

Drawbacks:

  • No EPA or DHA fatty acids
  • Not suitable to vegetarians even though its plant derived
  • Includes more fillers than some alternatives

What’s in it:

  • 1000 mg flaxseed oil
  • 500 mg ALA
  • 200 mg linoleic acid
  • 200 mg oleic acid

Who makes it: Optimum Nutrition is an athletic supplement brand that created Gold Standard 100% Whey. They are a part of Glanbia, which is producer of nutritional supplement ingredients and cheese. They own and operate two sports nutrition brands, which includes American Body Building and Optimum Nutrition.

Bottom line: This is a good EFA supplement and a good flaxseed oil supplement that provides numerous benefits at an affordable price. However, it does not include important EPA and DHA fatty acids, and the softgel is made with gelatin; making it unsuitable for vegetarians. It also includes more fillers than some alternatives.

9. Controlled Labs Orange OxiMega Fish Oil

Controlled-Labs-Orange-OxiMega-Fish-Oil

Controlled Labs Orange OxiMega Fish Oil is kit that includes a top fish oil supplement, and a greens antioxidant supplement complex. The fish oil pill is coated with enteric and citrus flavor to reduce fishiness, and the greens supplement is spearmint flavored. These products work synergistically to promote overall health and provide EFA benefits.

Highlights:

  • Reduced fishiness
  • Two products in one kit
  • Provides EFAs and greens
  • Powerful source of antioxidants

Drawbacks:

  • Expensive
  • Not a pure EFA supplement
  • Mint and citrus flavors clash to some consumers

What’s in it:

OxiMega Fish Oil:

  • 2000 mg fish oil
  • 800 mg EPA
  • 400 mg DHA
  • 800 mg mixed fatty acids

Orange OxiMega Greens:

  • 390 mg antioxidant complex
  • 1060 mg cardiovascular compex
  • Lots of greens (spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass etc.

Who makes it: Controlled Labs is a bodybuilding supplement brand that produces their products in a GMP certified facility. Their products are all safe and accurately labeled. In the sports nutrition industry, Controlled Labs is well known for its high quality and reliable products.

Bottom line: Controlled Labs Orange Oximega Fish Oil is a good EFA supplement that also provides powerful antioxidants from the addition of a powerful greens supplement. However, it is not just an EFA supplement; it is a kit that includes a greens supplement as well. It is also expensive and the flavors are not very complimentary.

10. Source Naturals ArcticPure Ultra Potency Omega-3 Fish Oil

Source-Naturals-ArcticPure-Ultra-Potency-Omega-3-Fish-Oil

Source Naturals ArcticPure Potency Omega-3 Fish Oil is good fish oil supplement that is ultra potent. It provides essential fatty acids concentrated from arctic fish oil, which is some of the highest quality fish oil available.

This EFA pill is also enteric coated to prevent fishy smells and aftertaste. If you are looking for a simple top EFA supplement, this may be a good choice for you!

Highlights:

  • Enteric coated
  • Uses arctic fish oil

Drawbacks:

  • Expensive
  • Large pills
  • More fillers than alternatives

What’s in it:

    • 1250 mg arctic fish oil
  • 450 mg EPA
  • 340 mg DHA
  • 50 mg other omega-3s

Who makes it: Source Naturals is a health and wellness supplement brand that was launched in 1982. They introduced the concept of a combining herbs, nutrients and nutraceuticals in one formulation. Today, they carry over 600 products that improve their consumers health and wellness.

Bottom line: Source Naturals ArcticPure Potency Omega-3 Fish Oil makes a good essential fatty acid supplement and supplies you with lots of healthy omega-3 fats. However, it is more expensive than some alternatives, and it contains more fillers. The pills are also fairly large. Overall, it is still a top essential fatty acid product.

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