Which fish oil supplement is the best?

In recent tests ConsumerLab.com identified many high-quality supplements, of which a few cost only pennies a day. Pitfalls exist, however: Four of the 30 supplements selected for review failed testing, including 2 for children. 

Fish oil remains the most popular supplement among those who take multiple supplements, although usage has recently declined. ConsumerLab.com‘s Vitamin & Supplement Users Survey , conducted in November 2103, found that fish oil was used by 67.2% of respondents, down 4.5 percentage points from the prior year.  As noted in the new product review, there are many potential uses for fish oil, although for cardiovascular health, eating fish, rather than taking fish oil, is more effective.

The Fish & Marine Oil Supplements Review , which includes tests of fish oil, algal oil, krill oil, calamari oil, and green-lipped mussel oil supplements, is available to ConsumerLab.com subscribers online. The company’s news release is provided below:

Recent laboratory tests of fish oil, krill oil, algal oil, calamari oil, and green-lipped mussel oil supplements by ConsumerLab.com revealed quality problems with four out of 30 supplements selected for review. Three supplements, including two for children, lacked more than 10% of their listed amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and/or DHA. Another product failed to list the ingredients in its enteric coating. ConsumerLab.com also found that a widely promoted “Omega” supplement actually contained only tiny amounts of EPA and DHA.

Each product was purchased by ConsumerLab.com and put through an extensive battery of tests to determine levels of omega-3 fatty acids, freshness, and potential contamination with mercury and PCBs. Tableted products were also tested for their ability to properly break apart (disintegrate) and enteric-coated products were analyzed to be sure they could withstand stomach acid and then release their contents in the neutral pH environment of the intestines. Any product which failed testing underwent re-testing in a second independent laboratory for confirmation.

Among the many products which passed testing, ConsumerLab.com found that high-quality EPA and DHA could be obtained from some for as little as a few cents per day.

Fish oil remains the most popular supplement among those who take multiple supplements, although usage has recently declined. ConsumerLab.com’s Vitamin & Supplement Users Survey , conducted in November 2103, found that fish oil was used by 67.2% of respondents, down 4.5 percentage points from the prior year.  As noted in the new product review, there are many potential uses for fish oil, although for cardiovascular health, eating fish, rather than taking fish oil, is more effective.

The new product review is available online to ConsumerLab.com members here . In addition to quality ratings of supplements, the report includes extensive information about the use of fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disease, cancer, eye disease, psychiatric and cognitive disorders, and in pregnancy. It also provides expert tips on how to buy and use fish oil and other marine oil supplements, including information about dosage, potential side effects, and drug interactions.

The following is a list of products covered in the report, which includes the 30 supplements selected by ConsumerLab.com and sixteen others certified in ConsumerLab.com’s Quality Certification Program:

  • 1-800-PetMeds Super Pure Omega 3 for Dogs & Cats
  • 21st Century Fish Oil
  • Animal Essentials Fish Oil Plus
  • ARIIX Omega-Q
  • Barlean’s Organic Oils Fresh Catch Fish Oil
  • Bioglan Kids Smart Hi DHA-Omega-3 Fish Oil
  • Brain Strong
  • Carlson Fish Oil Lemon Flavor
  • Centrum ProNutrients Omega 3
  • Coromega Omega3 Kids
  • CVS Pharmacy Fish Oil
  • Deva Vegan Omega-3 DHA
  • Dr. Mercola Krill Oil
  • Finest Natural (Walgreens) Fish Oil
  • Kirkland (Costco) Signature Fish Oil
  • LaneLabs EcoOmega
  • Metagenics OmegaGenics
  • Minami MorEPA Platinum
  • Natural Factors Maximum Triple Strength RxOmega-3
  • Nature Made Fish Oil
  • New Chapter WholeMega
  • Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega
  • NOW Omega-3
  • NutriGold Triglyceride Omega-3 Gold
  • NutriGold Triple Strength Omega-3 Gold
  • Ocean Blue Minicaps
  • Omega Infusion Shot
  • Omega XL
  • OmegaBrite
  • Omega-Caps
  • Ovega-3
  • Pure Alaska Omega
  • Rexall Omega-3
  • Schiff MegaRed Omega-3 Krill Oil
  • Simply Right (Sam’s Club) Triple Strength Fish Oil
  • Solgar Omega 3
  • Source Naturals EPA-DHA
  • Spectrum Essentials Prenatal DHA
  • Trader Joe’s Omega-3
  • TwinLab Omega-3
  • Up & Up (Target) Adult Gummy Omega-3
  • USANA Biomega
  • Vitacost Mega EFA
  • VitalOils 1000
  • Vitamin Shoppe Omega 3 Fish Oil 800/500
  • Xtendlife Omega 3/DHA Fish Oil Premium

Since 1999, ConsumerLab.com has been a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Membership to ConsumerLab.com is available online, providing immediate access to reviews of more than 1,000 products from over 400 brands. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.

2 thoughts on “Which fish oil supplement is the best?

  • Peter Zieg

    Did ConsumerLab say which were the four that they did not approve? The one I am current using, Nature’s Bounty, isn’t listed.

  • Pete,

    I think you can view the entire report by paying a small fee. It would cost less than a bottle of fish oil, and help you select a product that passed testing.

    Blessings.

    Walt

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