Initially Posted: 11/10/2018 | Last Updated: 09/11/2020

Alphabetical list of fish oil, krill oil, algal oil, calamari oil, and sea buckthorn oil supplements compared in this review

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GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil

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Ortho Molecular Products OrthOmega

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OmegaBrite

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USANA Biomega

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Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega

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Dr. Sinatra Omega Q Plus

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Ovega-3

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ChildLife Pure DHA

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Coromega Max

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CVS Health Extra Strength 100% Pure Omega-3 Krill Oil

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Designs for Health OmegAvail TG1000

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Deva Non-Fish Vegan Omega-3 DHA

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Dr. Tobias Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil

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InnovixLabs Pharma-Grade Omega-3

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Kirkland Signature [Costco] Fish Oil

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Life Extension Super Omega-3 EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans & Olive Fruit Extract

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Minami Garden of Life Platinum Omega-3 Fish Oil - Orange Flavor

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New Chapter Sea Buckthorn Force

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Nutrifi Omega-Q

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Schiff MegaRed Extra Strength 500 mg Omega-3 Krill Oil

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Solgar Triple Strength Omega 3

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Spring Valley [Walmart] Fish Oil

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Spring Valley [Walmart] Maximum Care Omega-3

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Sundown Naturals Omega 3-6-9

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Vital Pet Life Premium Essential Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil

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Webber Naturals Triple Strength Omega-3

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WHC UnoCardio 1000

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Whole Foods Market Prenatal DHA

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Wiley's Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil Prenatal DHA

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Zesty Paws Omega Bites With AlaskOmega

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Summary

  • Does it help? Taking a supplement with EPA and DHA from fish oil (or other source, such as krill oil or algae) offers a wide range of potential benefits for mental health, treating inflammatory disease, maintaining muscle, and even cancer prevention (see What It Does). As far as cardiovascular and cognitive (and memory) benefits, eating fish at least twice a week may do you more good than taking a fish oil supplement, although, if you eat fish, be aware that some types can be high in mercury -- see Getting EPA and DHA from Food).
  • How much to take? Different amounts of EPA and DHA have been used for different purposes. A general daily dose is about 300 to 500 mg of EPA and DHA, while some treatments (such as for high triglycerides) involve doses as high as 4,000 mg per day (see What to Consider When Using - Dosage). Focus on the amounts of EPA and DHA in a product rather than the amount of total oil, since the concentration of EPA and DHA in oils ranges from about 33% to 85% (see the comparison chart and second column of the table below for amounts of EPA and DHA and concentration levels). If you need a high daily dose, dividing the dose over the course of the day may reduce any unpleasant aftertaste. Taking fish oil with a meal containing other fats may improve absorption.
  • Which form? Fish oil in supplements is generally first processed to purify it. This often involves modifying its chemical form. While all forms can help raise EPA and DHA levels and do so equally well if taken with a high-fat meal, if not taken with a high-fat meal the "re-esterified triglyceride" form may be the best absorbed, with up to 76% greater absorption than from the more common "ethyl ester" form (see ConsumerTips -- Forms of Fish Oil). You can check the form of each product in the second column of the table below.
  • Which brand? Choose a supplement listed as Approved by ConsumerLab.com in the table below because not all supplements contain their listed ingredients and are properly labeled, and some may be contaminated or rancid. If you need a high dose, it may be more convenient to pick one with a higher concentration (see the second column of the table) so that you can take fewer and/or smaller pills or other units. Compare prices to save money (see last column of the table). To save time, see our Top Picks — these are Approved products that offer exceptional value. You'll see that you can get high-quality supplements for just pennies a day. Be mindful of added ingredients, like vitamins, so you don't unintentionally exceed tolerable intake limits for these. Store oils out of heat and light — refrigeration is a good idea (see Keep It Fresh).
  • Compare to prescription omega-3 drugs Some supplements have similarly high amounts and concentrations of EPA and DHA as found in prescription omega-3 drugs like Vascepa and Lovaza, but at lower cost. See how they compare.
  • Don't overdo it! Although generally safe, high amounts of EPA and DHA may suppress the immune system. It's best to limit daily intake of EPA and DHA from supplements to no more than 2 grams, unless medically indicated. Fish oil may also thin the blood and slightly lower blood pressure. See Concerns and Cautions for more information.
You must be a member to get the full test results for fish oil and other marine oil pills and liquid supplements along with ConsumerLab.com's recommendations and quality ratings. You will get results for 30 supplements, including 18 supplements selected for testing by ConsumerLab.com, and 12 others that passed the same testing through our voluntary, Quality Certification Program. 

In this comprehensive review, you'll discover:
  • Which fish oil and omega-3 and omega-7 supplements failed or passed testing and why. 
  • The latest information on benefits of fish oil and omega-3s and -7s, as well as what they cannot do.
  • Direct comparisons (including amounts of EPA, DHA, and DPA, as well as palmitoleic acid and total omega-7s) and quality ratings for fish, krill, algal, calamari, and sea buckthorn oil supplements -- including those for pregnant women, other adults, children, and pets.
  • Comparisons with prescription fish oils Vascepa and Lovaza.
  • Which products provide the best value and which are most concentrated (so you can take fewer or smaller pills) including softgels, liquids, and enteric-coated pills.
  • Differences in the forms of fish oil in each product: natural triglyceride, ethyl ester, re-esterified triglyceride, and phospholipid. 
  • The dose of the omega-3s (EPA and DHA) and omega-7s (palmitoleic acid) for specific uses -- and how much is too much.
  • Side-effects and cautions with supplements made with fish oil, krill oil and other marine oils. 
[Also see CL's Canned Tuna and Salmon Review]

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