I've tried a number of fish oil supplements, all of which make me nauseous. What is the best non-fish alternative? I am primarily interested in getting EPA.
Although there are a number of other marine sources of EPA, they tend to provide more DHA than EPA. These include oil from krill, algae, and squid. However, in our experience, all of these can, like fish oil, have a "marine" odor and taste. Seed oils, like flaxseed
, contain another omega-3 fatty acid, ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) and a very small percentage of this may be converted to DHA and EPA in the body, but not in sufficient quantity to produce the same effects as oils that contain DHA and EPA.
This pretty much leads you back to fish oil as the best source of EPA. If it appears to make you nauseous, here are a few things to try assuming eating fish itself is not an option for you:
- Take your fish oil in smaller, divided doses, with a meal not on an empty stomach.
- Refrigerate your fish oil (even softgels). This will reduce the taste/aftertaste and help keep it from becoming rancid which, itself, can contribute to nausea. Be sure your fish oil is not already rancid when you buy it this is one of many things for which ConsumerLab.com tests fish/marine oil supplements.
- Try an enteric-coated fish oil, as this is less likely to cause a fishy burp of aftertaste. A theoretical downside of these, however, is that absorption of the oil might be reduced as there is less opportunity for it to be broken down into smaller and more absorbable droplets in the stomach. You might also consider formulations with added flavors, such as lemon.
Hopefully one or more of these approaches will help you. ConsumerLab.com has tested, reviewed, and compared all types of fish and marine oils noted above, including enteric-coated supplements, which you can find in the Fish and Other Marine Oil Review >>
This CL Answer initially posted on 1/27/2015.
Last updated 8/4/2017.