MENU
ConsumerLab.com Answers

Question:
Is echium oil a good alternative to fish oil? I am allergic to fish.

Answer:
Echium oil, a plant oil, does not contain the EPA or DHA found in fish oil, but it does contain other omega-3 fatty acids which can be converted into EPA in your body. Interestingly, one clinical study found echium oil to have a heart health benefit not seen with fish oil. We've included more information about echium oil in our Product Review of Flaxseed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Oil, and Black Currant Oil Supplements: Sources of ALA and GLA (Omega-3 and -6 Fatty Acids) >>

You may also want to consider algal oil, which provides both EPA and DHA, and, like echium oil, is plant-based. More info about these, plus our tests of popular omega-3 supplements, are found in the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review (Including Krill, Algae, Calamari, Green-lipped Mussel Oil) >>

Become a Member
INSTANT ACCESS TO REVIEW OVER 1000 PRODUCTS!


Also see these related CL Answers:



Is it better to take fish oil, flaxseed oil -- or both? >>

Is it true that fish oil supplements may contain soy? I'm allergic! >>

What is the difference between fish oil and krill oil? Is one better than the other? >>



See other recent and popular questions >>
Comments
Add Comment

ann9725   May 23, 2016
I have had a problem with high cholesterol and am allergic to Statin drugs as they give me Rabdomiosis symptoms. Nordic Naturals came out with a new product that is near if not exact to prescription level of EPA/DHA when taking 2 get caps. It is called "Ultimate Omega 2X". After retesting my Cholesterol, my HDL went up very well, and my LDL, Triglycerides, and Total Cholesterol went significantly down. I ma closer to normal than I have been in years. This is something that taking Nordic Naturals "EPA Xtra" could not do and I did not change my diet.


ConsumerLab.com   May 24, 2016
Hi Ann - Thank you for noting your experience. We will consider testing this product in a future Fish Oil Review. You may also want to see our answer to this question: "Which supplements can help keep my heart healthy? Are there any to avoid?" (https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/_/supplements_for_heart_health/).

You can find more information about prescription fish oil vs. supplements in the "What to Consider When Using" section of our Fish Oil Review: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/omega3/#prescription

Greg661   April 13, 2015
Recently in December 2014, a new dietary oil containing the richest effective combined omega-3+6 fatty acid content from a single plant source achieved FDA GRAS review status with no objections. The oil is from the plant Buglossoides arvensis and will be available commercially under the trademark Ahiflower Oil starting in the latter half of 2015 in the US. I am the General Manager for Ahiflower oil's global launch. Ahiflower oil contains 18-20% omega-3 stearidonic acid (SDA) vs. 11-12% typically found in echium oil. For vegetarians seeking a higher EPA conversion benefit from an all-natural plant-derived source, Ahiflower oil is converted to EPA up to 3-4 times more efficiently than flaxseed oil (human clinical trial results presented at Experimental Biology Symposium 2015 on 31 March 2015). This is due to Ahiflower seed oil containing the highest commercially-available SDA content from any non-GM plant, about 60% higher than echium oil.

ConsumerLab.com   April 13, 2015
Thank you for providing this information, Greg. [Note to readers: ConsumerLab.com has verified the information provided in the comment above about Ahiflower oil, stearidonic acid content and the other plant sources mentioned.]

Kay658   April 12, 2015
RE: TAKING FISH OIL IN SPITE OF FISH ALLERGY
I am intersted in alternative to fish oil, as I too have a fish allergy. I break out in huge hives pn my face and neck as soon as I eat only a few small bits of from eating only a couple of bites of most fish. However, multiple physicians have assured me that fish oil (in capsules or as oil) will not cause that allergic response. They say it is the fish protein that causes allergic reactions, and they stress that fish oil itself does NOT contain fish proteins. Nonetheless, while fish oil capsules do not give me hivves, they do cause me to have stomach cramps and nausea. The only exception is Carlson(brand) Fish Oil capsules, which my doctor told me to keep in the freezer and take them frozen. Freezing the capsules does help eliminate the cramping, nausea, and other side effects. .

Denise9720   May 22, 2016
HELLO
I an a practicing allergist and I will agree. Fish oil SHOULD NOT CONTAIN the parvomysin (mainly) protein that induces the IGE mediated allergic response (often manifest as hives and swelling as you note after eating fish meat).

ConsumerLab.com   May 24, 2016
Hi Denise - That is correct, as fish oil is made of purified fats, it should be devoid of the proteins which you would otherwise get from eating fish (which is mostly protein). In fact, a small study among fish-allergic patients administered fish oil supplements found that none had a reaction to the supplements, as noted in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/omega3/#cautions). However, there is at least one case report of a person having an anaphylactic reaction to an omega-3-6-9 supplement, which is also discussed in the same section of the Review.

Robert9722   May 22, 2016
You may want to experiment with various brands. Distillation and purification processes vary with the manufacturer and sometimes even within brand names across different product lines. I had a minor but clear and persistent allergic response to all fish oils I tried taking until trial and error led me to a Life Extension product to which I have no allergic response. I am not suggesting that the LEF product will prove to be your solution, only that you may find one.

Lois657   April 12, 2015
I highly recommend Yes Ultimate EFAs. Where all the other fatty acid supplements actually inflamed my joints, the Yes supplements turned me around. It also rid me of eczema as well.

This CL Answer initially posted on 4/11/2015. Last updated 8/3/2017.

Add 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.
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:

Add 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.
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:

Edit Comment...

You can modify your comment below. Please be aware the comment will have to approve the changes before they will be shown:
Comment:
THANK YOU FOR SUCCESSFULLY UPDATING YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!

PLEASE BE AWARE that the email address is now your sign-in email address, replacing any previous username. Your password has not changed.

If you do not receive our newsletter at this new address within one week, please contact support@consumerlab.com or call us during business hours at 914-722-9149 ext. 2#

ConsumerLab.com Customer Support

THANK YOU FOR SUCCESSFULLY RESUBSCRIBING TO THE NEWSLETTER!

If you do not receive our newsletter within one week, please contact support@consumerlab.com or call us during business hours at 914-722-9149 ext. 2#

ConsumerLab.com Customer Support