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March 01, 2023
Did you know that nearly 90% of Americans have low omega-3 levels? If you ask most nutritionists or gym-goers the two most important supplements to take, you will most likely get multivitamins or fish oil supplements as the most popular answer.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a variety of polyunsaturated fat, or "healthy fat," that plays an important role in the body. Omega-3s are an essential nutrient, which means you need to get them from a food source or supplements because the body either doesn't produce enough or any at all. In this article, we will review the 11 best omega-3 supplements and teach you about the wide range of health benefits.
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When choosing which omega-3 supplement is the best, we are looking at a variety of factors, including quality, price, fish oil source, and testing transparency. The best overall omega-3 supplement on the market today is Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega.
Nordic Naturals sets the industry standard when it comes to testing and transparency, with all of its products containing a certificate of analysis (COA). The COA is issued by a third party and provides details on the purity, quality, and strength of supplements. Nordic Naturals is also a certified member of Friends of the Sea, an organization that confirms seafood is sourced from sustainable fisheries and aquacultures. This product contains a high concentration of omega-3 fish oils to help you meet the daily recommended dose for a healthy heart, as suggested by the American Heart Association (AHA), as well as to support brain, eyes, mood, and immune health.
Each serving contains an omega-3 blend featuring 650 mg of EPA, 450 mg of DHA, and 180 mg of other omegas for a total of 1280 mg per serving. They source all of the omegas naturally from fresh, wild-caught fish, including sardines and anchovies. All of the omega-3 concentrates are in the triglyceride molecular form (the natural form) for optimal absorption rates. It also contains natural lemon flavors to help avoid the dreaded fishy burps. Nordic Naturals is committed to sustainable and clean products, as they are non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free. They are also free of any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The product comes in a variety of sizes, with the smallest size being a one-month supply of 60 soft gels, with two soft gels per serving.
Transparent Labs Krill Oil is a type of omega-3 supplement that is extracted from Antarctic krill, which are small, shrimp-like crustaceans. The omega-3 fatty acids in Krill oil contain highly concentrated amounts of DHA and EPA that have a wide range of health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, cholesterol, and risk of chronic disease.
While fish oil is attached to triglycerides, krill oil is attached to phospholipids, which makes them more recognizable by the body and easier on the stomach. Compared to fish oil, Krill oil research has been shown to enhance glucose metabolism in your liver, promote lipid metabolism, help regulate the mitochondrial respiratory chain, and decrease cholesterol synthesis. The presence of antioxidants and higher bioavailability makes it preferred to fish oil by many, despite fish oil having a higher concentration of DHA and EPA.
Each serving contains 1,000 mg of their patented Superba Krill Oil blend, which contains 400 mg of phospholipids, 80 mcg of the antioxidant astaxanthin, and 220 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. The highly absorbable omega-3 fatty acid blend contains 120 mg of EPA and 55 mg of DHA. The 400 mg of phospholipids are water-soluble, which makes them easier on the stomach and absorbed faster by the body.
Astaxanthin is considered the most stable carotenoid and has multiple health benefits, such as improved cholesterol, reduced inflammation, and aid in eye health. Transparent Labs products are third-party tested, clinically dosed formulas that contain natural and grass-fed ingredients. There are no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives.
Athletes require the proper support to recover efficiently and pure supplements free of banned substances. The best omega-3 supplement for athletes is Klean Omega by Klean Athlete. Klean Athlete is a supplement manufacturer that focuses on producing clean supplements safe for athletes of all levels, all with the NSF Certified for Sport certification. This means the products have been third-party tested and do not contain any banned or illegal substances. There are over 200 professional sports teams and over 100 colleges in North America that use Klean Athlete, making it the top choice of coaches.
Athletes train harder than your average gym-goer, which means they put more strain on their muscles, joints, heart, and lungs. Klean Omega can help support athletes in all seasons with cardiovascular, neurological, vision, and joint health. Each serving of one softgel features a 1,250 mg Marine Triglyceride Concentrate blend derived from sardines and anchovies that contains 500 mg of EPA and 250 mg of DHA.
These omega-3 fatty acids are in the triglyceride form, which maximizes absorption to support musculoskeletal recovery, healthy body composition, and lean muscle mass. One bottle has 60 softgels that come in a natural orange flavor in a fish gelatin capsule. The Klean Athlete website offers free shipping, a free full-sized product on orders over $65, and a 15% off coupon when you sign up for their newsletter.
Finding the perfect supplement for your body can be quite difficult, especially for vegans. The best vegan omega-3 supplement is Future Kind+ Algae Omega-3. Future Kind+ is a vegan supplement manufacturer created by two Australian vegan nutritionists that focuses on clean and sustainable consumables.
All of their products are made in the United States at FDA-regulated facilities and are third-party tested for purity, quality, and contaminants. They use eco-friendly glass bottles and carbon-neutral shipment methods, showing their dedication to sustainability. It also supports a good cause, with every order helping rescue abused farm animals.
This product uses sustainably sourced vegan omega-3s that are derived from algae, which is where the fish get it from. By going directly to the source the fish get it from, there is no risk of mercury or microplastics. The vegan omega-3 fatty acids will help support memory, and healthy joints, help improve mood and promote eye health. This pollutant-free alga is loaded with plant-based omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Each serving size of one softgel contains 500 mg of an Algae Oil blend that features 20 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and 275 mg total of omega-3 fatty acids, with 75 mg of EPA and 150 mg of DHA. The once-daily softgels are orange-scented and easy to swallow, making them effortless to take. It is non-GMO and free of nearly all allergens, including animal products, sugar, gluten, wheat, yeast, nuts, soy, salt, and artificial colors or preservatives. One bottle contains 60 softgels, which is good for a two-month supply.
Finding a great product that comes in an easy-to-swallow softgel can be difficult. The best softgel omega-3 supplement is Nootropics Depot Omega-3 Fish Oil. Nootropics Depot produces several dietary supplements and nootropic compounds in capsule and powder form. Their products have undergone extensive testing for purity and quality by both in-house and third-party testers.
This product features a concentrated amount of omega-3 fatty acids derived from tuna or anchovies in South African, Columbian, or Peruvian waters. It comes in the ethyl ester concentrate form, which reduces triglyceride production, inhibits the release of fatty acids, and increases fatty acid metabolism. Each serving of one capsule has 750 mg in the Total Omega-3 blend, which features 325 mg of EPA and 325 mg of DHA, as well as 100 mg of other omega-3s. It also has 50 mg of omega-6s and 10 mg of omega-9s, giving it a nicely balanced blend.
What makes these softgels unique is their perfect balance of 35% DHA and 35% EPA. These triple-strength softgels are concentrated through a process called molecular distillation, which results in a significantly cleaner omega-3 fatty acid. The softgels also contain mixed tocopherol to preserve freshness, gelatin, glycerin, and purified water.
They offer a 60-count bottle, which is a two-month supply, or a 180-count super-size bottle. They are non-GMO and USDA-certified organic. It is manufactured in a certified Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) facility, which is enforced by the FDA. Each product comes with third-party lab results that show testing for purity, identity, strength, heavy metals, and microbial content.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning on becoming pregnant, you want to trust that your supplements are safe. The best omega-3 supplement for pregnancy is Ritual Essential Prenatal Multivitamin. Ritual Essential manufactures high-quality vegan supplements that use traceable ingredients safe for pregnant women.
Ritual Essential Prenatal Multivitamin is packed with 12 key nutrients and vitamins, including 350 mg of omega-3 DHA. It also contains folate, choline, iodine, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, biotin, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, iron, Vitamin K2, boron, and magnesium. The omega-3 DHA, combined with the other vitamins, provides the perfect prenatal multivitamin that helps neural tube support, brain health, blood-building, and bone support.
It contains 350 mg of DHA, which is derived from plant-based whole microalgae. This vegan-friendly form of omega-3 fatty acids helps support heart health and is better for the environment. Ritual uses its trademarked "smart capsule," a delayed-release capsule that is designed to dissolve in the small intestine, an ideal place for nutrients to be absorbed. Ritual prides itself on using the highest quality ingredients that are vegan-friendly.
They are also gluten-free, allergen-free, non-GMO, and free of any fillers or artificial colorants. They include detailed information on the source of their ingredients and are third-party lab tested. They offer free shipping and a money-back guarantee, but you do need to sign up for a free subscription to be able to order.
One of the primary reasons people use fish oil and omega-3 supplements is for heart health. The best omega-3 supplement for heart health is Life Extension Super Omega-3. Super Omega-3 is a blend of EPA and DHA fatty acids, olive polyphenols, and sesame lignans to promote heart health, brain health, and overall immune support.
Life Extension brings over 40 years of experience and research to deliver premium, scientifically-validated formulations. Their products are third-party tested, and each comes with a certificate of analysis. It is also certified by International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS), which evaluates the potency and quality of fish oil products. The IFOS gave this product a 5-star rating, which is the highest possible rating. They also offer a full money-back guarantee for one year, ensuring you are satisfied with their product.
This product uses a fully sustainable source of omega-3 concentrate derived from Chilean anchovies off the South Pacific. This cold water fish oil is processed within hours of being caught on the coast of Chile for maximum freshness. Each serving contains 2,000 mg of their Pure+ Wild Fish Oil Concentrate blend, which contains 500 mg of DHA and 700 mg of EPA to support cardiovascular health, cognitive health, maintain cholesterol levels, and several other benefits. This product is especially great for heart health due to the added olive extract and sesame lignans.
The 300 mg of olive extract is loaded with heart-healthy polyphenols, which is the equivalent of four tablespoons of extra olive oil. It also contains sesame lignans, which have antioxidant properties and microbial properties to protect the fish from spoiling by peroxidation. Each serving size is two softgels that have natural lemon flavors, although some people complain of a fishy taste. It also comes in enteric-coated softgels and easy-to-swallow softgels, so there is an option for everyone. The product is non-GMO, gluten-free, and third-party verified.
Just like women require special supplements, there are also supplements designed specifically for men. The best omega-3 product for men is Kaged Omega-3. This product is extra strength to provide men with enough omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy joints, heart, and brain. Kaged uses omega-3s derived from 100% wild-caught anchovies in the South Pacific off the coast of Chile. This area is one of the best fishing grounds in the world, and going there ensures they are ethically stored and properly processed. Wild-caught is much better because fish factory farms contain a toxic mix of sewage and antibiotics.
Their formula has superior absorption by using premium triglyceride oil. Triglycerides are much closer to the natural form found in fish, so they are easier to digest and more highly absorbable. Research shows a 90% absorption rate compared to 60% of ethyl ester fish oil. Each serving of two softgels contains a 3,000 mg Total Fish Oil blend, with 1,100 mg of EPA and 900 mg of DHA. The only other ingredients are gelatin, glycerin, and purified water.
They use a patented two-step process to purify and clarify the oil, so there are no unpleasant side effects like a fishy smell or burps. The oil is cleaned and purified to minimize heavy metals and has extremely low oxidation values. It is virtually clear and odorless, making it easier than ever to take. Kaged is certified by all of the leading international organizations for fish oil, including Friends of the Sea.
The best omega-3 supplement for non-pregnant women is OLLY Ultra Women's Multi + Omega-3. OLLY is a well-known company that specializes in supplements for women and gummy vitamins. All of their products are gluten-free and made in an FDA-approved facility. This product provides essential vitamins and minerals to support immune, skeletal, brain, nervous, and eye function, among other benefits. Each serving of two softgels contains 300 mg of omega-3 fatty acids in addition to the other vitamins and minerals.
The omega-3s are derived from anchovies and sardines. Some of the other nutrients it contains include vitamin B12, which is essential for cellular energy, and antioxidants to help protect against free radical damage. It is a complete multivitamin that includes biotin, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B2, iodine, zinc, and several others.
Their premium softgels are easy to swallow and have a tiny bit of mint and lemon scent. They are sugar-free, gluten-free, and contain no artificial flavors or colors. It comes in a one-month supply of 60-count, 90-count, or 130-count bottles. They also offer a Softgels - Ultra Strength option, which also contains vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc.
We already saw Nordic Naturals win the best overall omega-3 supplement, and they are back with the best liquid fish oil supplement in Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Liquid. This doctor-recommended formula has a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids to support heart, eye, brain, and immune health packed into liquid form.
All of the omega-3s are derived from fresh, wild-caught anchovies and sardines. The omega-3 fish oil concentrates are in the triglyceride molecular form, or the natural form found in fish, for optimal absorption and digestion. The liquid has lemon oil for a great, natural taste, so you can take it straight or mix it into a drink. One four-fluid-ounce bottle holds 24 servings, with each serving equal to one teaspoon. Each serving has 2,840 mg of their Total Omega-3s blend, which has 1,460 mg of EPA, 1,010 mg of DHA, and 370 mg of other omega-3. It also comes in an eight-ounce bottle.
All Nordic Naturals products are non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free and contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. All of their products are third-party tested and come with a certificate of analysis (COA).
The best omega-3 gummy supplement is Kori Multi-Benefit Omega-3. Kori Pure Arctic Krill Oil is a manufacturer that produces a range of krill omega-3 products. Kori products deliver omega-3 fatty acids in their most natural phospholipid form for superior absorption. Regular fish oil products can lose phospholipids in processing, which causes them to lose nutrients as well. This is the first product of its kind, combining omega-3s with a delicious natural citrus flavor.
The omega-3 fatty acids come from krill oil, which mixes natural phospholipids and triglycerides, just like in a fish diet. The krill are certified sustainable from Antarctica and have come from the number one global supplier of krill oil for seven years straight. Each serving of two gummies contains 125 mg of krill oil, which has 30 mg of EPA plus DHA.
Krill oil also contains a nice amount of choline, which is another essential nutrient that supports the brain and nervous system health. Lastly, it has astaxanthin, which is a naturally occurring antioxidant that helps with preservation and color. The only downside is that it contains glucose syrup and sugar, with three grams of total sugar per serving. The bottle comes in a two-month supply in a 60-count bottle, which is 120 gummies. The product is non-GMO and contains no artificial colors or flavors.
An omega-3 supplement is any product that contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are a set of polyunsaturated fat not produced by the body, so we must acquire them through food and supplementation. The three main types of omega-3s are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and ALA. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the most prevailing omega-3 in the diet and is found mainly in plants such as flax seeds, vegetable oil, and nuts. ALA converts into EPA and DHA in the body but is inefficient, so we require it from outside sources. The primary types you will find in omega-3 supplements are EPA and DHA, which are found naturally in fatty fish. These two types are more important because they have much greater health benefits than ALA.
Omega-3 fatty acids have a wide span of health benefits, including improving heart health, boosting brain health, improving skin condition, supporting cardiovascular health, and supporting eye health, among others.
Perhaps the most important benefit of taking omega-3s is its ability to improve heart health. Several different studies have been done and concluded that omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduce the risk of sudden death caused by heart disease. They can greatly reduce the risk by reducing the most common risks associated with heart disease, including high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and factors that contribute to the coagulation of blood. The American Heart Association recommends roughly 1,000 mg daily of omega-3s DHA and EPA for heart health.¹
Omega-3 supplements have been shown to positively affect cognitive health in ways such as elevating mood and improving memory. Several products advertise their omega-3 supplement for cognitive health and mental clarity. One study sought to determine the effects of omega-3s on brain health in older adults that were stroke- and dementia-free. There were 2,138 subjects with an average age of 46 years old who had various cognitive markers measured through an MRI. They found that higher omega-3 fatty acid concentrations are related to better brain structure and cognitive function in middle-aged people free of dementia. Their results were consistent with claims that omega-3s can boost brain health.²
One benefit of omega-3s that you may not be aware of is their ability to improve skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids can improve skin health in multiple ways, including protecting it against sun damage, reducing the severity of acne, and guarding against dry, cracked, or itchy skin. One study that supported this was conducted on patients with moderate plaque psoriasis, which is when the skin gets red, scaly patches. Fifteen subjects were given a topical cream for the control group, while the other fifteen took the topical cream with omega-3 fatty acids. While both groups showed improvement, there was significantly better progress in the omega-3 fatty acid group. They concluded that omega-3s help improve psoriasis and likely other skin conditions.³
While we touched on how omega-3 fatty acids improve heart health, they also support cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular disease is an all-encompassing term that includes all types of diseases that affect the blood vessels or heart, including coronary heart disease (clogged arteries), stroke, and congenital heart disease. To be clear, all heart diseases are cardiovascular diseases, but not all cardiovascular diseases are heart diseases. The American Heart Association recommends you regularly consume fish, ideally two servings a week, or 750-1,000 mg of an omega-3 supplement containing EPA and DHA daily for an equivalent dose, to prevent cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown taking this amount daily can have anti-inflammatory, vasodilating, antiarrhythmic, antihypertensive, and lowering triacylglycerol levels effects that help prevent coronary heart disease.⁴
Another great benefit of omega-3 fatty acids that many people may not realize is their ability to support eye health. Some studies have been inconsistent, but several studies have tried to find how omega-3s can help support eye health, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and dry eye disease (DED). A review was done on 11 random controlled trials specifically related to dry eye disease. One of the studies used 105 patients and showed a 17-point reduction using omega-3s compared to placebo on the 100-point Ocular Surface Disease Index. Other experiments also showed a significant improvement when taking omega-3s, although there is a need for more research.⁵
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health (NCCIH), omega-3 supplements typically produce very mild side effects, if any. Some of the side effects of taking fish oil supplements include bad breath, bad-smelling sweat, bad taste, headache, and gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, nausea, and diarrhea. Some studies have linked higher blood levels of long-chain omega-3s with a higher risk of prostate cancer. On the other hand, diets high in seafood have been linked to lower rates of prostate cancer deaths, and other studies show no association between dietary omega-3s and prostate cancer.If you take medicine for blood clotting or are allergic to fish, you should avoid fish oil.⁶
Not all fish oil supplements are the same, so there are a few key things to look for when shopping for fish oil brands.
A general rule of thumb is the fewer ingredients, the better. The first ingredient should be the source of omega-3s, such as purified fish oil. Most products are made as softgels, which are usually made of gelatin, glycerin, and water. Some brands may contain additional antioxidants or vitamins. Most will have some type of natural flavor to help kill the dreaded fish taste. Try avoiding products with extra sugars or unnecessary preservatives.
An important thing to consider when purchasing a supplement is the source of the main ingredient or omega-3 fatty acids in this case. Most brands use omega-3s derived from fish oil, which is typically from sardines or anchovies, and are in the triglyceride form. Another form of fish oil is cod liver oil, which, as the name implies, is taken from the liver of codfish. There is also krill oil, which comes from krill and is attached to phospholipids. The least common is algae-derived omega-3 fatty acids, which are vegan-friendly.
Most doctors recommend a dosage of at least 250-500 mg daily, up to 1,000 mg or more, with no side effects. The product should contain both EPA and DHA, with the ratio varying between brands. Some believe the ideal ratio should be 35% each of both EPA and DHA, but most brands have slightly different amounts.
When searching for products, the most important thing to look for is third-party testing to guarantee purity and quality. Some companies will include the lab results with the product or post them online. Also, look for the certified Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) stamp, which guarantees it meets the regulations for manufacturing supplements.
Since products come in all different forms and sizes, the best way to compare the price of products is by price per serving.
There are hundreds of reviews online between Amazon and various blogs or forums. Take advantage of other people's experiences to find which product is best for your body.
Yes, it is recommended to take it daily! Most doctors and health organizations recommend at least 250-500 mg daily of DHA/EPA omega-3 supplements, with 1,000 mg daily ideal for heart health.
Omega-3 supplements are good for reducing inflammation, heart health, lowering cholesterol, eye health, joint pain, skin health, brain function, and overall immune system support.
You should consult a doctor or medical professional before starting any supplement, particularly people taking blood thinner. Some people who should not take omega-3s include people taking blood-thinner medicines, people with fish allergies, people with liver disease, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
While levels of omega-3s will immediately rise in the body once you start taking a supplement, it may take a few months before you see noticeable effects. You will start to notice an improvement in mood and a sharpening of your memory, among other cognitive benefits.
Along with a multivitamin, omega-3 supplements are one of the top supplements you can take for overall health. Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve heart health, reduce inflammation, improve vision, help improve the skin, and improve cognitive abilities, among several other benefits. We recommend Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega as the best omega-3 supplement available on the market today.
Looking more Omega-3 rich supplements? Make sure to check out our post that covers the Best Krill Oil Supplements on the market.
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September 21, 2023
September 21, 2023
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