Fish oil supplements contains high concentrations of key compounds called omega-3 fatty acids, which help improve heart health, blood pressure and lower overall systemic inflammation.
It’s important to know:
- Fish oil supplements help to improve brain health and prevent the onset of age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
- Fish oil supplements can encourage better blood flow in the body, helping improve cardiovascular health.
- Fish oil supplements help improve the strength of your nails and hair by lowering overall inflammation.
Best Overall Fish Oil: OmegaWell Fish Oil
Best Liquid Fish Oil: Carlson Fish Oil
Best Omega 3 Fish Oil: Micro Ingredients Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil
Best Fish Oil for Men: Legion Athletics Triton Fish Oil Capsules
Best Fish Oil for Women: Nature Made Fish Oil
Best Fish Oil for Children: Wiley’s Finest Easy Swallow Minis
Best Fish Oil for Kids: Nuzena Optima Omega-3 Capsules
1. OmegaWell Fish Oil
OmegaWell Fish Oil does practically everything right, from including all the major fish oil supplement ingredients to being easy to swallow.
It’s our top choice because it’s easy to take, provides tons of benefits, and can be purchased for an affordable price.
2. Nuzena Optima
Nuzena Optima capsules are another good choice, featuring a full spectrum of omega-3 acids and a 100% satisfaction guarantee if you are unsatisfied for any reason.
3. Legion Athletics Triton Fish Oil
These omega-3 fish oil capsules contain massive doses of omega 3 fatty acids, at 2400mg per serving, making it ideal for active people.
4. SFH Super Omega 3 Fish Oil
This liquid fish oil features highly concentrated servings of up to 3500 mg, while still tasting pretty good.
5. Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega-3 Fish Oil
Another liquid fish oil, this option is better for kids due to it’s amazing taste and high quality ingredients.
6. Mav Nutrition Omega 3 Fish Oil
Mav Nutrition omega 3 fish oil features a hefty dose of 3600 mg of omega-3 fatty acids in every fish oil capsule and a soft lemon flavor.
7. Wiley’s Finest Easy Swallow Minis
These miniature capsules that are extremely easy to take: a perfect fit for children and adults who don’t normally relish taking supplements.
8. Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Softgels
The pickiest adults will love these fish oil softgels, which come with a noticeable but tasteful lemon flavor and more DHA and EPA for additional health benefits.
9. Nature Made Fish Oil
These fish oil pills contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and other key compounds for health, and are also easy to swallow.
10. Megared Omega-3 Fish Oil
These fish oil pills are a good choice for kids because they only have 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per serving, which is appropriate since kids have smaller bodies and need less of the compounds in the first place.
Best Liquid Fish Oil (Winner)
1. Carlson Fish Oil
Liquid Fish oil can be easier to take since you can mix it into your food; this is a great example, as it has a light natural lemon flavor that’s perfect for combining with dishes.
It took the top spot as the best liquid fish oil for providing a full range of omega-3 fatty acids and an antioxidant blend for better health benefits.
Best Omega 3 Fish Oil (Winner)
1. Micro Ingredients Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil
If you want high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, look no further as micro ingredients provides up to 3750 mg per serving, making it one of the strongest fish oil supplement you can find.
It took the top spot as the best omega 3 fish oil for providing a massive dose of omega 3 fatty acids per serving, which can significantly improve cardiovascular health.
Best Fish Oil for Men (Winner)
1. Legion Athletics Triton Fish Oil Capsules
Legion’s fish oil is a top choice for guys, featuring Vitamin E, lemon oil, and enough omega-3 fatty acids to bolster athletic performance and reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
It took the top spot as the best fish oil for men for checking all the boxes, and more.
Best Fish Oil for Women (Winner)
1. OmegaWell Fish Oil
OmegaWell fish oil supplements come in easy to swallow softgels and are very affordable.
It takes the top spot as the best fish oil for women, for providing an extremely high quality product, packed with powerful anti-inflammatory agents.
Best Fish Oil for Kids (Winner)
1. Wiley’s Finest Easy Swallow Minis
Wiley’s finest minis are a great choice for kids who are traditionally finicky when it comes to taking their vitamins and other supplements.
It takes the top spot as the best fish oil for kids simply because the high quality softgels are so easy to swallow
Best Fish Oil for Pregnancy (Winner)
1. Nuzena Optima
Women who are pregnant will appreciate these fish oil pills, which come with extra DHA and EPA for holistic health benefits.
Nuzena Optima takes the top spot as the best fish oil for pregnancy for including a strong, but calming lemon flavor that helps avoid any GI distress.
Who Should Use Fish Oil?
Fish oil can and should be used by anyone who wants to benefit from health improvements that such oil can provide. Most people don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their regular diets, making it that much more important – especially in the Western world, where the traditional diet is devoid of omega 3 fatty acids.
People with blood thinning or blood pressure issues should be careful when supplementing wiht fish oil, as it may cause issues. As long as toxin levels are certified low, it is generally seen as safe for children and pregnant women.
High-percentage of EPA and DHA: Many fish oils provide high doses of oil with low doses of omega 3 fatty acids to cut costs. Unfortunately, this leads to you missing out on a lot of the benefits that are attributed with fish oil. For our rankings, we ideally wanted products that contained at least 60% omega-3 fatty acids – which is why our top choice, OmegaWell, contained 70%.
Sourced from small cold-water fish: Large, predatory fish are large sources of fish oil, but often provide low quality. Not because of the oil, but because of the mercury and toxin build-up form them eating so much other fish – also known as biomagnification. As such, we preferred products that only sourced from his that were small, limiting the toxin build-up that would normally be passed on to you, the consumer.
Sustainable fishing practices: Overfishing is a massive issue and no something we want to promote in our products. Every product on our list, adheres to some sort of sustainable fishing method, ensuring a healthy future for both the fish and the underwater ecosystems.
Fish oil supplements can help balance out a western diet full of omega 6 fatty acids. Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are important in a balanced diet, but Western diets usually have too much of the latter and not enough of the former. Fish oils present a viable way to get enough Omega-3 fatty acid for regular body health and a plethora of additional health benefits.
There’s considerable evidence that the optimal diet with which human beings evolved had a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids of about 1. In other words, the two fatty acids were equal. Normal Western diets now have a ratio of about 15 to 1 or 16.7 to 1, meaning we eat far too many omega-6 fatty acids.
Thus, even without taking into account all the extra health benefits that are at least somewhat supported by scientific studies, having fish oil as a regular part of your diet is crucial for daily health. You can get enough omega-3 fatty acids from either eating the right food products or from taking fish oil supplements. For many in the population, the latter option is more achievable given their diets or palettes (1).
Fish oil can provide antioxidant-like benefits, making them excellent as sports supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids perform a number of crucial biological functions in the human body. For instance, they’re thought to be responsible for several cellular functions like structural maintenance, signaling, and membrane fluidity. Additional benefits include the regulation of the nervous system and blood pressure. All of these are important for athletes and regular folks alike.
A 2019 review of available literature highlighted the importance of these types of molecules in our diet and their potential health benefits to sports players. The study noted that those who had an appropriate amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets performed better in their respective sports and suffered fewer health complications as a result of strenuous physical activity. While the review did mention that the omega-3 fatty acids were not the sole miracle molecules that produced great performance, they did play a crucial role, nonetheless (2).
Fish oil can have positive effects when it comes to the look and health of your skin. The fatty acids in fish oil can provide several biological benefits to your skin cells, such as the improvement of your skin barrier function, the inhibition of UV -induced inflammation and hyperpigmentation, and the reduction of dry skin. Furthermore, some evidence suggests that fish oils can accelerate skin wound healing and prevent skin cancer development.
The 2018 review of the available literature summarized various applications of fish oil on both the skin and an oral supplement form. The scientists who performed the review found that fish oil as a treatment for various skin disorders may be a potential way forward for advances in the cosmetic and dermatological fields (3).
Fish oil can help to prevent both primary and secondary causes of cardiovascular disease. The myriad helpful effects of fish oil, including anti-inflammatory properties, reduction in plaque formation, and much more likely have reverberating effects in the body. In essence, it’s likely that fish oil provides several small benefits that lower the likelihood of cardiovascular disease developing later as a result of long-term damage or dysfunction.
A 2011 study of fish oil and fatty acids in the human body found that the underlying mechanisms of fish oil’s effects in certain sectors of the body, like plaque formation, provided several serious benefits to human health. Later reductions in known primary and secondary causes of cardiovascular disease were associated with the application of fish oil (4).
Fish oil may have possible beneficial events in regard to preventing cognitive decline. Because the full role of omega-3 fatty acids and their purpose in the human body is not fully understood, supplementary benefits, like a reduction in cognitive decline and a reduction in depressive disorders in select populations, are a possible benefit ascribable to these supplements.
A 2019 systematic review of evidence from several scientists in the biological field found that high DHA fish oils had broad implications for human mental and physical health. DHA, a type of component found in certain types of fish oils, have notable effects when it comes to slowing the rate of cognitive decline.
This may also provide ancillary benefits for individuals who are already prone to certain depressive disorders or other neurological conditions. The evidence isn’t fully clear, but it is noticeable. Note that these mental health benefits were more specific to high DHA fish oils than all fish oils, period (5).
Fish oil can help improve mental health. There is some evidence to suggest that fish oil may have mild but helpful effects on those currently suffering from depression. Fish oil contains several helpful polyunsaturated fatty acids, the mechanisms of which can induce antidepressant effects in some members of the population.
The fatty acids may produce direct effects on certain membrane properties and provide anti-inflammatory assistance. All of this can potentially combine for helpful antidepressant effects, especially when used in conjunction with other treatment types.
The 2017 review of certain clinical trials surrounding the use of fish oil in the treatment of depression found some evidence to suggest that certain types of fish oil, when applied correctly and that certain periods in a patient’s mental illness cycle, can have positive side effects. However, the review did note that different trials had significantly varying designs and methodologies, making it difficult to track down the exact causes of the benefits (6).
Fish oil may even extend benefits to those suffering from certain types of dementia. There is some evidence to suggest that those who maintain a high ratio of omega-3 fatty acids, and specifically those from fishery products, have a lower risk of cognitive decline than others. This is evidence is further supported by increased cognitive function in total brain volume and the hippocampal region.
A 2019 review of several studies and clinical trials found that there were many beneficial effects of dietary supplements with fish oil. Although the underlying biomechanical mechanisms that cause neurological disorders are not fully understood, the researchers are hopeful that fish oil will continue to play a small but important role in the treatment of disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The effects were notably more pronounced when used in conjunction with other treatment efforts (7).
Fish oil can be helpful in treating arthritic pain, especially compared to other pain treatment methods like ibuprofen. In fact, omega-3 fish oil supplements are safer than other types of pain treatments when it comes to back pain or nonsurgical neck pain.
A 2006 study involving 250 patients found that when they were studied over an average of 75 days on fish oil supplements, the majority experienced an overall improvement in their pain when they took fish oil supplements as compared to prescription NSAID medications for pain. The researchers also noted that those involved in the study would voluntarily continue to take fish oil as there were no significant side effects reported (8).
Fish oil supplements can have beneficial effects on bone health. There is some evidence to suggest that fish oil, particularly because it provides enough omega-3 fatty acids for proper bodily function, can help bone marrow inflammatory markers and signaling pathways. In essence, fish oil may be able to help bones maintain themselves better and over a longer stretch of time. Thus, it serves as a preventative measure against bone loss.
A 2019 study involving 12-month-old mice fed with certain types of safflower oil found that the group with a higher concentration of fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids had much better overall bone health than the other group. The supplemented group also had better bone maturation as they aged, meaning the mice of the first group were healthier than those who did not receive as much of a boost from the fish oil (9).
Fish oil can help if you suffer from hypertension. There is some evidence to suggest that daily doses of certain types of compounds found in fish oil supplements, like DHA and EPA, can significantly reduce your blood pressure and help you with both hypertension while also lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease.
2016, a double-blind and placebo-controlled trial involving 312 healthy men and women had them consume a certain control oil or fish oil. The experiment was conducted for eight weeks. The group that received the fish oil treatment had gradual but meaningful blood pressure reductions. The scientists noted that this does not necessarily mean lower risk for cardiovascular disease for an individual but could be meaningful at the population level (10).
Fish oil can help prevent heart disease and cardiovascular disease that originates from your heart’s major arteries. There is a direct and inverse association between omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and your risk for cardiovascular disease of a certain type. A 2012 review of 16 eligible studies involving 901 participants produced a meta-analysis. The results found that supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids improved endothelial function in affected subjects.
The endothelium, being a thin membrane inside the heart and blood vessels, is responsible for releasing certain substances that can control blood clotting and assist with immune system function. The subjects who received fish oil supplements had better heart and arterial health as a result (11).
Fish oil supplements, when taken in conjunction with regular exercise, is extremely effective at lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and improving metabolic health. In fact, there’s lots of evidence to suggest that both effects compound upon one another, so it’s best to do both instead of sticking with one or the other.
A 2007 study involving several overweight volunteers with high blood pressure, cholesterol or other health deficiencies found that when randomly assigned to groups with different treatments, those who received both fish oil supplements and who participated in aerobic exercise routines have the best improvement. That group had reduced body fat, better cardiovascular and metabolic health, and more (12).
Pregnant women may also want to take fish oil supplements, as there are several studies that suggest both human newborns and nonhuman primates need lots of DHA for proper growth, particularly during the early years. Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are needed for virtually all cell operation, so it’s no surprise that newborns can benefit from mothers that eat enough fish oil for both of them.
In 1991 review of several studies, which primarily reviewed the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in human growth and cellular health, discovered that newborns whose mothers had enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diets had better health overall than those who did not. While this is not directly related to fish oil, fish oil supplements can provide a boost to critical fatty acids like these. Thus, the researchers suggest that mothers who don’t have a diet with enough fish or seafood may wish to take fish oil supplements instead (13).
All in all, fish oil supplements can be a valuable part of your diet and health. These supplements can make up for a key deficiency that the traditional Western diet lacks these days due to food manufacturing processes and nutritional oversights.
Men, women, and children may all need different types of fish oil and different concentrations of the omega-3 fatty acids, so make sure to choose the one that looks like it’ll fit your lifestyle and dietary needs the best.
For Besthealth.org’s #1 recommended fish oil, click here.