Best Fish Oil Supplements – Top 10 Brands Ranked for 2018

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This is our official list of the best fish oil supplements on the market. These 10 brands have the best feedback from users and the highest reviews online.

#1 Fish Oil Supplement

Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil Softgels

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What is Fish Oil?

When it comes to staying healthy, there are many important aspects. You diet plays the biggest role in overall health, but exercise and supplementation are very important as well.

Nowadays, most people take a variety of health supplements to improve their nutrition, boost their workout results, gain more energy, etc. Today, we’re here to talk about fish oil.

Fish oil is derived from the tissues of certain species of fish, including salmon, cod, and other fatty fish. Fish oil is extracted from the fatty tissues of these species, in order to provide a concentrated dose of omega-3 fatty acids, the main active ingredient in fish oil.

Omega-3

What is omega 3? Simply put, omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are considered to be essential to human health. Omega 3 vitamins are essential for many functions in the body, but they cannot be made naturally by the body. Therefore, you need to get adequate omega 3’s in your diet in order to stay in good health.

In order to get enough in your regular diet, you’ll need to know the best omega 3 sources. There are many foods high in omega 3, which you should try to add to your diet. The absolute best source of omega 3 is fatty fish, such as wild salmon, tuna, halibut, and more. See a full list of omega 3-rich foods here.

DHA and EPA are the two most important of the omega-3 fatty acids, although there are others.  If you eat a lot of fish in your diet, you may get enough fatty acids already. If not, consider adding more to your diet. Experts recommend at least 500mg of DHA and EPA (combined), per day, although there are benefits to taking significantly more than that.

If you don’t eat a lot of fish or you think you could benefit from additional omega-3’s in your diet, you should consider taking an omega 3 supplement. These supplements are usually in the form of filled capsules, that you take 1-3 times daily.

What Are Fish Oil Supplements?

Fish oil supplements are pills or capsules that you can take to increase your regular intake of essential fatty acids, such as omega 3 and omega 6.

What do fish oil pills do, you might ask? Well, they offer the same health benefits as the essential fatty acids found in foods. While EFA’s consumed from food are slightly superior due to freshness, fish oil pills benefits are the same as the benefits of essential fatty acids.

Benefits of Fish Oil

Fish oil is a popular supplement, supplying omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It’s a good source of healthy fats and can provide a number of potential health benefits. Some uses include:

Improving Heart Health with Fish Oil

Fish oil may help to improve heart health. It affects various aspects of cardiovascular health, and may help to:

  • Raise good cholesterol levels (HDL cholesterol)
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Reduce plaque buildup
  • Reduce fatal arrhythmia events

Fish oil is no magic supplement, and it’s no replacement for a healthy lifestyle. However, the evidence supporting its cardiovascular benefits is promising.

The Research Supporting Fish Oil for Heart Health

Addressing Mental Health with Fish Oil

Fish oil may have an effect on mental health and the symptoms of mental disorders. The brain is made up of roughly 60% fat, and omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential for normal brain function. As a rich source of omega-3s, fish oil may help to:

  • Improve symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Reduce symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
  • Reduce the risk of psychotic disorders
  • Prevent the onset of certain mental disorders
  • Reduce the symptoms of certain mental disorders

Fish oil may have beneficial effects on mental health in some people – but it’s no replacement for medications, therapy and other treatment options.

The Research Supporting Fish Oil for Mental Health

  • Many studies have found that people with major depression are more likely to have lower blood levels of omega-3s. The same is true of people with certain mental disorders, like schizophrenia. These findings suggest a general link between omega-3 intake and mental health.
  • Several clinical trials (1, 2, 3) have showed that fish oil supplementation can reduce the symptoms of depression
  • A 2010 clinical trial found that omega-3 supplementation helped to reduce the risk of developing psychotic disorders.
  • Several studies (1, 2, 3) have found that high-dose fish oil supplementation can help to reduce the symptoms of bipolar and schizophrenic disorders.

Reducing Inflammation with Fish Oil

Fish oil can affect inflammation levels and the symptoms of certain chronic inflammatory diseases. Fish oil may help to:

  • Reduce chronic inflammation
  • Reduce temporary inflammation caused by injury or physical stress
  • Reduce joint pain and stiffness in people with arthritis
  • Reduce symptoms of certain chronic inflammatory diseases

Fish oil appears to have broad anti-inflammatory effects. However, it may not benefit everyone in the same way.

The Research Supporting Fish Oil for Inflammation

  • A study of medical students found that fish oil reduced the production of inflammatory molecules called cytokines, thereby reducing inflammation markers.
  • A clinical review found fish oil to have significant anti-inflammatory effects and suggested its use as an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • A study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis found that fish oil was able to reduce joint pain and stiffness linked to inflammation.

Improving Skin and Eye Health with Fish Oil

Fish oil may help to support healthy skin and eye function. Supplementing with fish oil may help to:

  • Protect vision in old age
  • Prevent age-related macular degeneration
  • Help maintain skin health
  • Benefit certain skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis

Eating fish and other omega-3-rich foods appears to be quite promising in improving eye and skin health. Fish oil shows promise as well, although food sources appear to be more consistently beneficial.

The Evidence Supporting Fish Oil for Skin & Eye Health

Other Benefits of Fish Oil

Fish oil has many potential benefits. In addition to those listed above, fish oil may be beneficial for:

  • Body composition and weight loss (source)
  • Fetal development during pregnancy (source)
  • Concentration of liver fat (source)
  • Preventing behavioral disorders (source)
  • Managing ADHD-related symptoms (source)
  • Improving cognitive performance and memory in older people (source)
  • Reducing the risk of asthma in newborns (source)
  • Supporting bone health (source)

It’s important to note that many of these benefits have not been adequately studied. Some studies have shown conflicting results, while others have shown no benefit at all. More research is needed in many of these applications.

Who Can Benefit from Fish Oil?

Many people ask us, what are fish oil pills good for? Who can benefit from taking these supplements?

The reality is that everyone will experience slightly different benefits. Those who consume a lot of fatty fish may not need to take these supplements, as they get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet naturally.

However, the majority of people do not get enough omega-3’s, and therefore can benefit from fish oil. Here are the groups of people that can benefit the most:

Men and Women

Both men and women can enjoy the omega 3 benefits offered by these supplements. While men need slightly more omega-3 than women, both sexes can greatly benefit from these supplements. Plus, there are rarely fish oil side effects, so there’s no harm in adding it to your supplement regimen.

Vegetarians and Vegans

The best source of omega 3 is fatty fish. If you do not eat fish because of a dietary restriction or personal choice, you will struggle to get enough essential fatty acids in your diet. Therefore, vegetarians and vegans can greatly benefit from adding fish oil to their diet.

While fish oil is derived from fish product, for many it’s considered better than consuming actual animal flesh. If you’re against consuming any sort of animal product, you can get EFAs from flaxseed oil or other vegan omega-3 sources.

Athletes

Weightlifters, bodybuilders, athletes and fitness enthusiasts can experience noticeable benefits from omega-3 supplements. Fish oil can help reduce muscle soreness, help strengthen and protect joints, and aid in fat loss.

All these benefits are very significant to athletes. Also, bodybuilders who consume a lot of cholesterol-rich foods will benefit from the cholesterol-reducing properties of essential fatty acids.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Most people will not experience any side effects from fish oil supplements. That being said, there are some minor side effects that you may notice:

  • Aftertaste/fishy burps

Some people notice an unpleasant aftertaste when taking fish oil, or even fishy flavored burps. This side effect is easily avoided by taking fish oil with meals, or looking for enteric coated capsules. You can also freeze your capsules to slow their release, further preventing this side effect.

  • Upset stomach

A small percentage of users report a slight upset stomach when first beginning fish oil supplementation. If you find this to be the case for you, consider taking the supplement at meal times and not on an empty stomach.

The American Heart Association says that taking up to 3g of fish oil per day is perfectly safe, and should not result in any unwanted side effects. It is not recommended to take more than 3g/day, unless otherwise instructed by a medical professional.

Note: We do not recommend taking any supplements featured on this website without speaking with a doctor first!

How to Take Fish Oil

Generally, it’s best to take these supplements spaced out throughout the day. Most experts recommend taking a capsule at mealtimes, which is an easy way to spread out your doses. It’s also a good idea to take these supplements with food, as taking them on an empty stomach can cause some minor side effects in some people.

Since dosage amounts vary, always follow the instructions on the product packaging. The majority of these supplements contain 1000mg of fish oil per capsule, which means 3 a day is at the upper end of the recommended daily intake.

What to Look for in a Good Fish Oil Supplement

In order to help you find the best fish oil pills available, we’ve put together a guide to help you select the right product for you. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you choose.

  • Ingredients – step number one is to take a close look at the ingredients found in the products you’re considering. Does it include pure fish oil? How large of a dose? Are there any unnecessary fillers or additives?
  • EPA/DHA content – while the amount of fish oil per capsule is important, what you should really be looking for is the specific content of EPA and DHA, the two long-chain fatty acids that are the most important omega-3’s.
  • Brand reputation – is the product made by a well-known, well respected brand? You can read fish oil reviews to learn more.
  • Value for money – what is the per-serving cost of the supplement? In general, fish oil is fairly affordable – but that doesn’t mean you should spend more money than necessary! Compare prices on a per-day price for best results.
  • Convenience factor – most of these supplements will require several doses throughout the day. Keep the serving size and dosage recommendations in mind when choosing a product.

Top 10 Fish Oil Supplements Compared

Heads up, there are affiliate links in this article, so if you buy something, we get a cut of the sale.


1. Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil Softgels

Optimum-Nutrition-Fish-Oil-Softgels

Fish Oil Softgels are simple, effective fish oil supplements made by Optimum Nutrition. Containing 1,000mg of fish oil per capsule, these pills provide all the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, and none of the junk found in lower-quality products. With premium quality ingredients and a name you can trust, Optimum Nutrition makes some of the best fish oil pills on the market.

Highlights:

  • Very affordable
  • 1,000 mg fish oil per capsule
  • 180mg EPA
  • 120mg DHA
  • 100% all natural

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg fish oil, supplying 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA. This high quality supplement contains omega 3 fatty acids, which provide a range of benefits.

Who makes it: This product is made by Optimum Nutrition, one of the most popular and most respected brands in the supplement industry. Best known for their Gold Standard line of fitness supplements, Optimum Nutrition, or ON for short, truly sets the standard in a competitive industry. With a huge range of products and more than a million fans on Facebook, Optimum Nutrition is a top-notch company and a brand you can trust.

Bottom line: Optimum Nutrition’s supplement tops our list of the best omega 3 supplements because it’s simple, affordable, and effective. There are no unnecessary ingredients or fancy marketing, just the simple yet incredible fish oil benefits offered by pure fish oil.

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2. MuscleTech Platinum 100% Fish Oil

MuscleTech-Platinum-100-Fish-Oil

MuscleTech Platinum 100% Fish Oil is a simple product containing pure, filtered fish oil. Offering all the fantastic benefits of omega-3 rich fatty acids, MuscleTech has put together a very affordable, simple product that provides a convenient way to get the benefits of fish oil.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • Enteric coated softgels – helps control aftertaste and odor
  • 1000mg 100% pure, filtered fish oil
  • 180mg EPA
  • 120mg DHA

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg fish oil, supplying 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA. Providing a combined 300mg of omega 3 fatty acids, each capsule provides a variety of benefits.

Who makes it: This product is made by MuscleTech, one of the “big players” in the fitness supplement industry. For many years, MuscleTech has lead the industry in producing affordable, innovative and effective products. Ranging from protein powders to vitamins to health supplements, MuscleTech offers it all, and is one of the most trustworthy companies out there.

Bottom line: Overall, MuscleTech makes some of the top fish oil available. Using high quality fish oil contained in enteric coated capsules (which helps prevent an unpleasant odor and aftertaste), this product is a simple, very affordable, and effective way to take fish oil.

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3. MusclePharm Fish Oil

MusclePharm-Fish-Oil

MusclePharm Fish Oil is a simple, affordable and accessible fish oil supplement. With 1000mg of oil per capsule, and an incredible 700mg omega 3 fatty acid per serving, MusclePharm has outdone themselves with this product. Add a high-quality coated capsule to preserve freshness and a tasty citrus flavored coating, and you’ve got yourself one of the best omega 3 supplements on the market!

Highlights:

  • Capsules coated to preserve freshness
  • Natural citrus flavor coating
  • Affordable
  • 1000mg fish oil in each capsule
  • 400mg EPA
  • 300mg DHA
  • High quality sources

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg fish oil, supplying 400mg EPA and 300mg DHA. A combined 700mg of omega 3 fatty acids in each capsule.

Who makes it: This product comes from MusclePharm, a large fitness supplement manufacturer based in Denver, Colorado. Since 2008, MusclePharm has grown into an award-winning, top-of-the-line company. Today, they offer a large line of high quality products and have earned the respect of fitness enthusiasts from across the globe.

Bottom line: Overall, MusclePharm offers a very good product. Although slightly more expensive than our top two recommendations, MusclePharm Fish Oil contains a higher concentration of omega-3’s than most products. The thick, citrus-flavored coating is also a very nice feature.

4. Betancourt Nutrition Omega-3 EFA-Stack

Betancourt-Nutrition-Omega-3-EFA-Stack

Omega-3 EFA-Stack is a high quality essential fatty acid supplement from Betancourt Nutrition.

Highlights:

  • Affordable
  • 1000mg fish oil in each gelcap
  • 180mg EPA
  • 120mg DHA

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg fish oil, supplying 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA. Capsules filled with pure, high quality fish oil provide 300mg of omega-3 fatty acids.

Who makes it: Omega-3 EFA-Stack is made by Betancourt Nutrition. Based in Florida, Betancourt is a mid-sized supplement manufacturer with a focus on producing high quality, highly effective supplements.

Bottom line: Overall, Omega-3 EFA-Stack is a great supplement. This product provides a 300mg dose in a convenient, affordable package.

5. MRM Smart Blend

MRM-Smart-Blend

MRM Smart Blend is an innovative new product that combines so-called “smart fats” into one accessible product. Offering omega-3, omega-6, EPA, DHA, CLA and GLA fatty acids.

Highlights:

  • 260mg EPA
  • 220mg DHA
  • 250mg CLA
  • 80mg GLA
  • Innovative blend of smart fats
  • Affordable

Drawbacks:

  • Large serving size – 2 capsules 3 times per day

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 260mg EPA, and 220mg DHA (from fish oil).
  • 250mg CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid
  • 80mg GLA, or gama linoleic acid

Who makes it: Smart Blend is made by MRM, otherwise known as Metabolic Response Modifiers. Formed in 1996, MRM has grown into a major producer of health supplements, and have earned a reputation for making quality and effective supplements.

Bottom line: Overall, MRM Smart Blend is a great product that provides all the omega 3 benefits for your body. It contains both CLA and GLA, acids not found in most products on this list. That being said, it’s a bit inconvenient at 6 capsules per day.

6. BSN Fish Oil DNA

BSN-Fish-Oil-DNA

Fish Oil DNA is a simple and affordable product from BSN, providing 1000mg of fish oil per capsule. With a combined 300mg of omega-3’s per serving, Fish Oil DNA is a great way to supplement your omega 3 essential fatty acid intake.

Highlights:

  • 1000mg fish oil per serving
  • 300mg omega-3 fatty acids
  • No fish aftertaste
  • Coated capsules
  • No fillers or unnecessary ingredients

Drawbacks:

  • A bit expensive (our top 2 recommendations are cheaper and very similar)

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg fish oil, supplying 300mg omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).

Who makes it: This product is made by BSN, a massive supplement manufacturer. Having won many awards over the years and built up a large following of dedicated fans, BSN is one of the best-known names in the industry – and for good reason: their products work!

Bottom line: Overall, if you’re looking for a simple and effective fish oil supplement, BSN offers a great choice with their DNA line. However, since the price of this is a bit higher than average, we recommend going with one of our top 2 recommendations (see above).

7. NOW Ultra Omega-3

NOW-Ultra-Omega-3

NOW Ultra Omega-3 is a simple supplement containing 1000mg of fish oil concentrate. Offering an impressive 500mg EPA and 250mg DHA, Ultra Omega-3 is a concentrated, affordable and easy way to consume fish oil.

Highlights:

  • 1000mg fish oil per capsule
  • 500mg EPA
  • 250mg DHA
  • Enteric coated capsules – no aftertaste!
  • All natural

Drawbacks:

  • More expensive than average

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1000mg fish oil concentrate, supplying 500mg EPA and 250mg DHA.

Who makes it: Ultra Omega-3 is made by NOW Foods, a large scale producer of health foods and supplements. As one of the largest health-food manufacturers in the country, NOW has a huge variety of products and a reputation for low prices on high quality products.

Bottom line: Overall, NOW Ultra Omega-3 is a great product. Its simple, no-frills formula make it a great choice for those wanting to stick to a clean diet and supplementation regimen. However, this product is a bit more expensive than our top few recommendations.

8. Universal Nutrition Animal Omega

Universal-Nutrition-Animal-Omega

Animal Omega is an essential fatty acid supplement made by Universal Nutrition. Combining many healthy fats into one product, Animal Omega is a good way to get your daily requirements of these essential fats.

Highlights:

  • Omega-3 complex with flaxseed oil, fish oil and more
  • Only 1 serving per day
  • Contains DHA, EPA, CLA, and more
  • Omega 3’s and omega 6’s
  • Formulated for bodybuilders

Drawbacks:

  • Expensive
  • Large serving size – 7 softgels and 1 capsule per serving

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 4000mg omega 3 fatty acid complex, consisting of flaxseed oil, salmon oil, cod liver oil, and more.
  • 2500mg omega 6 fatty acid complex, consisting of borage oil, safflower oil, evening primrose oil, and more.

Who makes it: Animal Omega is made by Universal Nutrition, a large sports nutrition company founded in 1977. For nearly 40 years, Universal Nutrition has been on the cutting edge, developing new and effective products to fit the needs of the growing community of fitness enthusiasts.

Bottom line: Overall, Animal Omega is a good product. It covers all the bases, providing a high dose of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The downsides are the high serving size and relatively expensive price.

9. Controlled Labs Orange OxiMega Fish Oil

Controlled-Labs-Orange-OxiMega-Fish-Oil

Orange OxiMega Fish Oil is a unique supplement made by Controlled Labs. Combining two separate products into one box, OxiMega offers both pure fish oil and a potent antioxidant blend of greens.

Highlights:

  • 2000mg fish oil
  • 800mg EPA
  • 400mg DHA
  • 2 products in one: fish oil and greens mix
  • Antioxidants
  • All-natural spearmint flavor

Drawbacks:

  • Expensive
  • Large serving size – 2 softgels and 1 scoop of greens mix per serving

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 2000mg fish oil, supplying 800mg EPA and 400mg DHA.
  • 3g greens formula, consisting of spirulina, ginkgo biloba, green tea extract, wheat grass juice extract, and many more.

Who makes it: Orange OxiMega Fish Oil & Greens Formula is made by Controlled Labs. As one of the most innovative companies in the game, Controlled Labs focuses on using pure, clean ingredients to make products that work. Making effective, affordable, and accessible supplements is the main goal of this company – and they’ve done very well so far!

Bottom line: Overall, this product is a fine choice for those looking for a 2-in-1 product. The greens formula used in this product is very well formulated. That being said, this product is a bit on the expensive side – if you’re mainly after the fish oil, choose one of our other recommendations.

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

best-fish-oil-supplement-on-the-market

ArcticPure Ultra Potency Omega-3 Fish Oil is a simple and effective supplement made by Source Naturals. With a high-potency blend containing 1250mg of fish oil, each softgel offers a combined 850mg of omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Highlights:

  • 1250mg fish oil concentrate
  • 450mg EPA
  • 340mg DHA
  • Advanced encapsulation process to ensure freshness
  • Enteric coated capsules to prevent odor and aftertaste

Drawbacks:

  • Expensive

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 1250mg fish oil, supplying 450mg EPA and 340mg DHA.

Who makes it: This product is made by Source Naturals, a large manufacturer of vitamins, supplements and health foods. Based in California, Source Naturals has a wide variety of health food products available both in stores and online.

Bottom line: Overall, Source Naturals makes a good product. However, it is a bit on the expensive side.

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Austin Meadows

Written by Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows is an independent writer and consultant specializing in health and wellness topics. With more than 7 years of experience writing in the natural health industry, Austin strives to deliver accurate, concise and researched based information to his readers. You can find more of Austin's work at Olympic-Creative.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.