ConsumerLab.com Answers  

Is Fish Oil Safe?

Question:
Is fish oil safe? Is it contaminated with mercury and PCBs?
Is Fish Oil Safe? -- fish oil capsules up close
Answer:
ConsumerLab.com's tests of fish oil supplements have found none to contain mercury and most, although not all, to have only trace levels of PCBs (which can't be fully avoided since PCBs are found in water everywhere). A serving of fish meat is likely to contain far more contamination than a fish oil supplement. However, we have found some supplements to contain less fish oil than listed and some to be spoiled. In addition, the enteric coatings on some supplements have not worked properly.

Clinical studies have shown fish oil to be safe, but it is recommended that you get no more than 2 grams (2,000 mg) of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) from fish oil supplements per day.

For details, including our test results and comparisons of fish oil supplements and dosage recommendations, see our Fish Oil Supplements Review.


See other recent and popular questions >>
COMMENTS

Lida18711   December 9, 2019
Fish oil supplements (EPA and DHA) do seem to lessen my arthritis knee pain. However, the effect is not as long lasting as I would like. How many grams is it safe for me to take? I would like to split the dosage so that I can take them at least twice a day. I use supplements from very reliable sources. I am hoping that I can take 4 grams total....2 grams of EPA and 2 Grams of DHA. Could you please advise?

ConsumerLab.com   December 9, 2019
Hi Lida -- Fish oil can help with rheumatoid arthritis, as discussed in our Fish Oil Review at https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/fish_oil_supplements_review/omega3/#arthritis . You probably don't need to take a dose as high as what you mentioned, though, which is a dose similar to what is taken to lower triglyceride levels from highly concentrated fish oil sold as prescription medicine or supplements. The reason why concentrated fish oil is used is to avoid taking larger amounts of regular fish oil which has a lower concentration of EPA and DHA. You need about 3 times as much regular fish oil to get the same amounts of EPA and DHA in very highly concentrated fish oil. So to get 4 grams of EPA and DHA combined, you would need to take about 12 large softgels daily of regular fish oil. This could cause bleeding issues.

You can see our Top Picks for highly concentrated fish oil supplements in our Fish Oil Review at https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/fish_oil_supplements_review/omega3/#toppicks

Lida18713   December 9, 2019
I use Carlson elite gems DPA and same for DHA. Each capsule contains 1 gram so essentially I am taking just Two capsules to get 2 grams.

ConsumerLab.com   December 9, 2019
Right. It has a high concentration, although not quite as a high as prescription fish oils and certain supplements that we list in our report as "very" high concentration.

Lida18715   December 9, 2019
Sorry that should have read EPA

Lida18716   December 10, 2019
That should have said EPA

harold jitschak17530   February 10, 2019
In know that fis oil as a supplement is highly promoted , realizing the contamination of many kinds of fish.
I know that a lot is published about the benefit of fish oil, but there are also publications which doubt these benefits.
Anyhow: fish oil is a "drug" as it is distilled oil from the fish and the meat of the fish is not consumed and I suppose one can't even guess what the difference is between whole fish [in ideal clean circumstances] and a part of the fish [just the oil]
The future may teach us, like happened with so many extracted products.
If you have more information about this issue then please publish this for our readers. Thanks


Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted, nor will comments that exceed 2,500 characters.
For your privacy, only your first name (from your account) followed by a random number will appear with your comment. Your last name and email address will not be displayed.
Comment:

Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted, nor will comments that exceed 2,500 characters.
For your privacy, only your first name (from your account) followed by a random number will appear with your comment. Your last name and email address will not be displayed.
Comment:

You can modify your comment below. Please be aware the comment will have to approve the changes before they will be shown:
Comment:

Your edit has been submitted and is being reviewed by ConsumerLab.com prior to publication.
This CL Answer initially posted on 3/14/2012. Last updated 10/16/2019.
ConsumerLab.com members may submit questions to CLAnswers@ConsumerLab.com. We read all questions and try to answer those of popular interest.

 

   BECOME A MEMBER
JOIN NOW

SPECIAL
Coronavirus and Supplements
Coronavirus & Supplements
Note: We are continuously updating this information as evidence comes in.


Product Reviews

ENCYCLOPEDIA
In addition to our product reviews our encyclopedia covers the following:

Herbs & Supplements

Conditions

Drug Interactions

Alternative Therapies

MEMBER TESTIMONIALS


Follow us on...
facebook twitter
 
 
Join |  Sign In
   
Join Us on Facebook! Join Us on Instagram! Join Us on Twitter! Join Us on YouTube! Join Us on YouTube!
Product Reviews
Brands Tested
Health Conditions
Encyclopedia
CL Answers
Clinical Updates
News
Recalls & Warnings
Recommended Intakes
Where to Buy Products
Testing Program
How Products Were Tested
Quality Certification Program
Join CL Today
Testimonials
Join Free Newsletter
Group Subscriptions
Gift Membership
About Us
The CL Seal
CL Survey
Privacy Policy
Sitemap
Contact Us/Help

©2020 ConsumerLab.com, LLC. All rights reserved. A single copy of a report may be printed for personal use by the subscriber. It is otherwise unlawful to print, download, store or distribute content from this site without permission.
ConsumerLab.com name and flask logo are both registered trademarks of ConsumerLab.com, LLC. This site is intended for informational purposes only and not to provide medical advice.