This page will give you information to find the best fish oil supplement that is right for you.
Besides considering the objective measurements in purity, omega 3 concentration and freshness, you also need to consider if you’re into the liquid, but fishy and effective form, or you’re into the more easy-to-swallow capsules form.
The choice is yours and we hope you will be better equipped to make a decision to find the very best fish oil supplement possible for you.
If you want to deep dive into the complete guide on how to find the best supplement, just continue reading. If you are here to quickly get our verdict on the best brands of fish oil supplements today, just jump right to our fish oil review section to see our top recommendations.
The Taste Bud Challenge of Fishy Fish Oil
Fish oil has long been taken in its natural form, usually given in a giant spoon that seems way too big to fit in your mouth.
Most of us can remember being forced to swallow the fishy stuff when we were sick or run down, and our mothers would remind us “It’s good for you, Johnny (or Suzy).”
What we all felt like telling our mothers was, “Just because it’s good for me doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste terrible.”
Fish oil alone is often quite foul tasting, and you may find that your repressed childhood memories prevent you from swallowing fish oil no matter how good it is.
However, thanks to the advancement of modern medicine, you no longer need to suck down giant spoonfuls of the stuff. You will find that there are dozens of different fish oil supplements that you can take, and these supplements are made to be palatable.
Whether you enjoy the fish oil capsules with their delicious gel exterior or the fish oil pills that you can swallow without constantly gagging and wishing you were dead, you will find that these supplements will be much tastier than the fish oil you once were forced to “enjoy”.
Fortunately, the Fish Oils Today Are Less Fishy
Even the fish oil liquid sold today is no longer as terrible as it once was. The process of obtaining the fish oil is much more advanced, and you will find that the fishy taste is mostly gone from the fish oil liquid.
While it is by no means pleasant to suck down a spoonful or two of plain oil, you will find that the pain is nowhere near as bad as it was when you were young. Still, you can enjoy the delicious fish oil supplements that will improve your health greatly.
What is in Fish Oil Supplement?
The main ingredient in fish oil supplement: fish oil.
Not really that much of a surprise, is it?
You will find that most of the fish oil supplements that you can purchase will either be in the form of fish oil capsules that are filled with fish oil, or pills made from the oil.
Both have their pros and cons, but you will find that pretty much any form of fish oil will provide you with a dose of Omega 3 that will benefit you greatly.
Fish oil supplements usually contain some form of processed or refined fish oil, and that is actually a good thing.
The reason for this is that the fish in the sea often come in contact with a lot of pollution and toxins in the water, and consuming their oil without refining would mean that you would end up ingesting all that sea garbage.
The Best Fish Oil Supplement is Refined, Purified and Toxin-free
By refining and processing the fish oil that goes into the best fish oil supplement, you will find that your body can remain healthier and toxin-free as much as possible.
The purification process used to make the fish oil capsules, fish oil pills, fish oil liquid, and other fish oil products (homemade fish oil cakes, fish oil milkshakes, and fish oil sandwiches) ensures that all the mercury that fish contains is removed.
Mercury is poisonous if consumed in high quantities, so the purification process ensures that you remain un-poisoned when you take the fish oil supplement. The process also ensures that more Omega 3 is present in the supplements, thus providing your body with all the Omega 3 it needs to stay young and beautiful.
How You Find the Best Fish Oil Supplement
Finding the best fish oil supplement is important, as you want to be sure that you get one that is fresh, purified, and as low in damaging metals (like mercury and Thrash Metal) and toxins (caused by oil spills, water pollution, and too many people peeing in the ocean) as possible.
Seeing as how manufacturers are not required to include the contents of the fish oil supplement inside the products, there is often no way to know which is the best without doing some research first.
However, if you are going to start looking into fish oil liquids, pills, or supplements, here are some things to look for to ensure that you get the best fish oil supplement:
Tip 1 in Finding the Best Fish Oil Supplement: Get a Certificate of Analysis
The Certificate of Analysis is the legal document that tells you exactly what is in the fish oil, and you should try to get your hands on this document as much as possible.
You can usually find the number of the manufacturer on the side of the bottle, and you can call them to ask for the Certificate to be faxed to you. The companies that are selling legitimate products will usually be more than compliant with this request, but the ones that are selling less than the best fish oil supplement will often give you some answer to reassure you without actually sending you the proof.
Tip 2 in Finding the Best Fish Oil Supplement: Consider Third Party-Tested Products
Many of the best fish oil supplement products will have been tested by the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) organization, and you can find the analysis of each product on the organization’s website.
The higher the IFOS rating, the more likely the fish oil will be to be high quality. The rating is given for the Omega 3 content, passing the tests, and containing low oxidation, PCB, and dioxin levels.
There are other organizations that also test fish oil, but you will find that IFOS has the highest standards and thus ensure the best quality.
Tip 3 in Finding the Best Fish Oil Supplement: Buy the Right Fish Oil
There are many fish in the sea, and fish oil can be made from any of the swimmers.
However, you may find that mackerel, sardines, and anchovies make the best fish oil (though probably not the tastiest).
The reason for this is that they are smaller, and thus they consume less plankton that has been exposed to pollution. Their lifespan is also shorter, meaning that they are exposed to less pollution as well.
Tip 4 in Finding the Best Fish Oil Supplement: Consider Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil
Many people talk about pure fish oil as being the best, but you may find that pharmaceutical grade fish oil is better for you.
Pharmaceutical grade of fish oil means that the oil is purer, has a higher Omega 3 content, and is much safer to consume.
The oil is a lot more expensive and stronger, but you will find that this type of supplement is usually the best fish oil supplement on the market.
What is Ultra Refined Fish Oil?
Ultra refined fish oil is like the Superman of fish oils (or so the fish oil salespeople tell us).
Ultra refined fish oil is usually included in the best fish oil supplement that you can find, and the process of making the ultra refined fish oil takes purification a whole new step.
When you get ‘normal’ high quality fish oil, this is usually considered health-food grade fish oil.
The process ensures that the fish oil is made to be as healthy as possible, contain as much Omega 3 as possible, and usually taste as awful as possible – which is why this level of fish oil is usually packaged in delicious gel capsules.
With ultra refined fish oil, the process is taken a step further:
- The process of true molecular distillation removes all man-made pollutants from the fish
- The winterization process helps to remove any saturated fats (bad for your health!)
- The purification process actually removes much of the fishy taste from the fish oil
- The fish oil is analyzed and tested by an independent laboratory
This ensures that the fish oil capsules that are produced using the ultra refined fish oil are much more potent, as they contain twice the Omega 3 fatty acids that health-food grade fish oil contains.
It is also a lot safer, as the purified oil contains a lot less harmful toxins and chemicals than health-food grade oil.
There is less risk of PCB, dioxin, and mercury getting into your body with the (incredibly expensive) ultra refined fish oil.
Practical Shopping Tips to Finding Best Omega 3 Supplements
There are hundreds of Omega 3 supplements, such as the Omega3 fish oil pills, capsules, and liquid oil.
It can be hard to know which the best fish oil supplement is, as there is a lot of marketing hype surrounding each one.
All of the products that you can find will claim to be “the best fish oil supplement”, but it can be hard to know which the best is.
If you want the best fish oil supplement, here are some things to look for in Omega 3 supplements:
- 1. Look for the products that use the freshest fish oil.
Rancid oil is often used for fish oil supplements, but rancid fish oil can cause serious problems.
Fresh fish oil should always be used for the best Omega3 fish oil supplements, and you will find that the companies that catch their own fish and process their own oils will usually use the freshest oils.
- 2. Look for the best fish oil supplement with the highest purity and cleanliness levels.
The purer the fish oil, the more likely it will be to be free of toxins and metals. For example, fish from the North Sea may contain far more contaminants naturally than fish from near New Zealand.
Make sure that the purification process decontaminates the fish oil as much as possible, and read the Certificate of Analysis to ensure that the ingredients are as pure and clean as possible.
- 3. Don’t only by according to the price.
The cheapest products are likely to be contaminated and less safe for you, but the most expensive ones may not always be the best either.
It is important that you do research into which Omega3 fish oil supplement is the best fish oil supplement, as that will help you to know which the best is.
- 4. Look for the DHA.
DHA is the most important thing you can find in fish oil, and it is important that you find a fish oil supplement that contains as much DHA as possible. While the average fish oil supplements contain roughly 12% DHA, you should look for the ones that have a higher DHA content to ensure maximum health benefits.
Using these tips can help you to find the best Omega 3 supplements for you, and you can receive the maximum benefits from the best fish oil supplement that your research has led you to.
Fish Oil Capsules or Fish Oil Tablets and Fish Oil Pills:
Find out Which Are Right for You
Many people find that the fish oil liquid tastes kind of fishy (yes, pun intended), and the mercury taste in the fish tends to distract them from the health benefits (they just can’t get over how weird it tastes).
The capsules, while having the delicious gel exterior, still contain lots of fish oil, but many find that the fish oil just tastes strange. If you are one of these people, you may find that taking the fish oil pills may be the best idea for you.
The fish oil tablets are usually the cheapest of the fish oil supplements, and they contain ingredients that hold the tablet together.
These ingredients have about as much health benefits as glue, and you will find that these supplements will usually do about as much to improve your health as licking a can of tuna will.
The good thing about these tablets is that they have a very long shelf life, meaning that they will last a lot longer than the fish oil that can go rancid.
If you are going to purchase fish oil pills or fish oil tablets as an alternative to the oily capsules or liquid, make sure that you get the best ones possible.
Compare the contents of the fish oil tablets with the capsules, as that will help you to be certain that you are getting the right ingredients in your body. While they are cheaper, they are very likely not better for you in any way.
Fish Oil Capsules or Liquid Fish Oil? Depends on Your Fear of Fishiness
The question has been posed: Is liquid fish oil better than the fish oil capsules?
The answer to that question is: It’s up to you!
Some people find that the fish oil capsules are much more enjoyable, as the gel capsules help to mask the taste of the fish oil.
Ultra refined fish oil can also be used in these capsules, and the strong taste is masked by the capsules.
If you are more worried about the taste of the product than about the health benefits of it, you will find that the capsules are the best choice. However, consider that the gel of the capsules is probably made from pork or beef.
Liquid fish oil is easier for the body to absorb than the gel capsules, and many health experts recommend this liquid instead of the gel capsules in order for it to be easier on your stomach.
However, it is important that you keep in mind that there will be absolutely nothing to distract you from the fact that you are swallowing a giant spoonful of oil (or at least it seems giant), and it may taste pretty awful.
You can mix it with some form of juice or serve it with food, but rest assured that it isn’t going to taste great.
What’s the Big Deal about Xtend-Life’s Fish Oil?
We pretty much all know that the fatty acid Omega 3 in fish oil is healthy for our body, however, most of us probably also feel that we are playing a bit of a Russian roulette when we buy fish oil: Is it really ‘clean’ enough or does it do more damage than good?
Well, looking into Xtend-Life’s fish oil there are several cleanness and purity parameters that we find compelling and quite reassuring.
The first thing is the location – the fish (Hoki, a fat white fish) are caught in the Southern Ocean near the coast of New Zealand. So what’s so good about that? Well, the currents there apparently prevent potentially polluted streams from the Northern hemisphere from entering these waters. Thus these waters are considered exceptionally clean.
Another important thing to consider is the testing of chemicals and heavy metals – how is it done? Who is doing it? Besides extensively testing their products and ingredients delivered by their suppliers, Xtend-Life also has a third party (a laboratory owned by the New Zealand Government) doing additional testing which adds substantial credibility to their products.
And last, when it comes to cleanness and purity, there are no flavoring or additives hiding if the fish oil has gone bad. So you get, what you get. It’s transparent in that way.
Besides making you feel safe and unharmed, you also want the product to deliver – otherwise what’s the point? Here Xtend-Life also scores on the most important parameter, DHA: their fish oil has a high DHA content, which is the most important Omega 3 oil you want when looking to reap the benefits of fish oil: it helps maintain optimal heart health, reduces inflammation, beats the bad cholesterol, boosts mental capabilities etc.
So basically we consider Xtend-Life a high quality fish oil with their high level of purity and testing standards and DHA effectiveness.
What is so great about Norwegian Fish Oil?
Fish oil comes from fish (as everyone knows), but where do the fish come from? The ocean (I can’t believe I had to tell you that ;-)
The ocean, unfortunately, is full of chemicals and pollution, and the toxins and metals in the ocean that are dumped there by man often cause the fish oil made from the fish to be polluted.
As mentioned above, pure fish oil that is as free of toxins as possible is the best-selling stuff, and this is one of the reasons that the Norwegian fish oil is such a hit.
The fish that are used to make Norwegian fish oil are caught in the ocean off the coast of Norway, where the water is deep and cold. In these waters, there is only a small amount of pollution, and there are nowhere near as many toxins.
However, the real secret lies in the plankton. Plankton are the source of Omega 3, and the water around Norway contain more than enough plankton to feed the fish.
The fish oil thus contains more Omega 3 than any other form of oil, and it is for this reason that the Norwegian fish oil is considered some of the best fish oil in the world.
What is Spring Valley Fish Oil?
Everyone has seen the Spring Valley brand of vitamins and supplements, but Spring Valley also sells fish oil as well.
There are many great things about the Spring Valley fish oil:
- 1. The MEG-3 fish oil is considered to be one of the best fish oil supplement options on the market. It complies with international, U.S., and Canada standards, and it is one of the purest supplements that you can find.
- 2. Spring Valley fish oil comes with one key ingredient: a label. That’s right, the bottle containing the fish oil supplements come with a label that tell you exactly how much EPA and DHA is contained in the 1000 mg fish oil capsules (180 and 120 milligrams, respectively). This means that you can rest assured that this is some of the best pure fish oil on the market.
- 3. The capsules have enteric coating that reduces the risk of “fish burps”. Many people notice that their burps are fairly “fishy” when taking the supplements, but this enteric coating helps to eliminate this problem and even improve digestion.
- 4. The products come in a range of sizes and prices. Spring Valley fish oil supplements come in all qualities and costs, making it easy for you to get the one you want.
- 5. There is a wide variety of fish oils sold. You can choose the very pure fish oil, the 1000 mg tablets, the 1200 mg tablets, or even the tablets that have the enteric coating. The variety of choices make it easy for shoppers to choose the product that is their heart’s desire.
Nature Made fish oil is another brand of high quality supplements, and you may find that between Spring Valley and Nature Made fish oil you can find exactly what you are looking for.
What is Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil?
“Pharmaceutical grade fish oil” is not actually an official term or one used by the FDA, but is only used to indicate the Omega 3 content of the best fish oil supplement.
The average fish oil contains roughly 18% EPA and 12% DHA, but the best fish oil supplement products that are considered pharmaceutical grade fish oil contains as much as 30 to 40 percent EPA and 20 to 24 percent DPA.
All these numbers mean is that there is up to 60% Omega 3 contained in this pharmaceutical grade fish oil, thus making it much more effective.
Which is the Best Fish Oil Supplement?
Choosing the best fish oil supplement boils down to five factors.
- 1. Purity – The purer the oil, the less toxins it will contain.
- 2. Freshness – Rancid fish oil is often used in fish oil supplements, and these supplements are guaranteed to cause digestive problems. The fresher the fish oil is, the better.
- 3. Potency – The more DHA and EPA the fish oil supplement contains, the more effective it will be.
- 4. Formulation – There are three fish oil formulas, 1) natural triglyceride oils that are actually squeezed from the fish, which are easier to digest but lacking in fatty acid; 2) esters that are made by adding alcohol to fish oil, which helps to concentrate the fatty acids and purify the fish oil; 3) synthetic triglycerides that are made by turning the fish oil into esters to concentrate the fatty acids and remove any harmful particles before being reconverted into triglycerides once more.
- 5. Added Nutrients – Certain fish oil supplements also contain fish liver oil, vitamins, and other nutrients added.
Besides these ‘objective’ factors, finding the best fish oil supplement for you is also ‘subejctive’ in terms of ‘how much fishiness you can handle?’ as the liquid form is fishier but also considered of higher quality than the fish oil capsules and fish oil pills.
The choice is yours to make!
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