The Best Omega-3 Supplements For Vegans, Sustainability and More

Help combat inflammation and boost your overall health with the right Omega-3 supplement.

Expert Verified By: Dina R. D’Alessandro, MS, RDN
We receive free products to review and may receive commissions on purchases made through our links. See our disclosure page for details.

It’s hard to discount the benefits of omega-3 supplements — be it from fish oil, krill oil, or mussels. These healthy fats may help reduce certain types of inflammation, bolster brain function, and aid with fat loss. However, there are a handful of factors to consider — dosage, specific types of fats, and sourcing ratio. It’s a lot to think about for such a simple supplement.

Suggested daily consumption for EPA and DHA fats is at least 250 to 500 milligrams combined, though many supplements go above and beyond, offering around two whole grams of these fatty acids. The ideal ratio of EPA to DHA fats is up to the individual. Since EPAs may have a closer link to inflammation and DHAs may have a closer link to mental health, you’ll want to look for a ratio adjusted accordingly to suit your personal goals. 

To help streamline your decision-making process, we’ve analyzed dozens of products to take the guesswork out of choosing an omega-3 supplement and narrowed down our picks based on lifestyle, types of diet, and sustainability. We also break down the benefits of omega-3s and answer some common questions below. 

Best Omega-3 Supplements

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. None of these supplements are meant to treat or cure any disease. If you feel you may be deficient in a particular nutrient or nutrients, please seek out a medical professional.

Best Omega-3 Supplements Video Review

Check out our full video review on the best omega-3 supplements on the market today for a deeper look at their ingredients, as well as both their pros and cons.  

Best Omega-3 Supplement Overall

Fish oil is one of the most common omega-3 supplements since it typically contains abundant amounts of EPA and DHA fats. This pick has a particularly high dose of these omega-3 fatty acids. 

Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil contains one of the higher doses of omega-3 fatty acids we’ve seen across the market. It has 3,000mg of fish oil, which includes 1,100mg of EPAs and 900mg of DHAs. While there are some omega-3 supplements that can contain more, most have over 1,000mg of fish oil less than this supp. Plus, you only need to take two softgels for a full dose here. And there’s no need to worry about fishy burps, as this fish oil has been purified to help eliminate bad odors and tastes. However, these softgels are fairly large, so anyone who struggles to swallow big pills may want to opt for a smaller capsule supplement. 

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Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil

Kaged Muscle delivers 3,000 milligrams of omega-3 fats (1,100mg of EPA and 900mg of DHA), which is one of the highest doses across the market. Plus, it's quick-absorbing and doesn't produce fish burps. 

Who Should Buy Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Those who want a high dose of EPA and DHA fats will like the numbers in this product. 
  • Anyone concerned about fish burps will appreciate the purification process here that gets rid of this undesirable side effect. 
  • If you prefer to get your omega-3’s from fish oil (versus krill oil or a vegan alternative), this is one of the best fish oil supplements we’ve tried. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Folks who prefer to take their omega-3’s in liquid form will want to steer clear of these softgels. 
  • Vegans and vegetarian. This product contains fish and gelatin, so it’s not a vegan-friendly supplement. 

Omega-3 supplements may not be super fancy, but they can be an impactful addition to your supplement cabinet. This formula from Kaged Muscle boasts 3,000mg of fish oil, and doesn’t have any fishy aftertaste. 

Best Krill Oil

Compared to fish, healthy fats may be more bioavailable in krill oil to better support brain function and muscle growth

Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil

An alternative form of fish oil, krill oil contains omega-3 fatty acids from krill. And Transparent Labs puts some serious work into sourcing their krill oil — it’s sourced only from Euphausia Superba, which is an Antarctic krill species that’s rich in both EPA and DHA fats. Their softgels contain 1,000mg of krill oil, which has 120mg of EPAs and 55mg of DHAs. Their krill oil also includes astaxanthin, an antioxidant that may help support eye health and inflammation. Krill oil presents in its most natural form (called phospholipids), which means this product may also absorb better than many general fish oils.

Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil
Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil
Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil

This oil is extracted from Antarctic krill, which is rich in the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. It is designed to avoid any fishy aftertaste, contains no mercury, and 80 micrograms of the antioxidant astaxanthin.

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil

  • Those who want their EPA and DHA from krill oil, which is thought to be more bioavailable due to its natural phospholipid form. 
  • People who want a dose of astaxanthin, as well, which may help with eye health and inflammation. 
  • Anyone looking for an average dose of krill oil — Transparent Labs doesn’t over- or under-do their dosage. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil

  • Those who would rather take an omega-3 supplement sourced from fish. 
  • Customers looking for a higher dose of fatty acids — there are fish oils that boast higher EPAs and DHAs than this product does. 

If you prefer krill oil to fish oil, this product may absorb better. Plus, it comes with a dose of astaxanthin, which can help reduce inflammation.

Best Omega-3 Fish Oil

If you’re looking for a fish oil with a high dose of omega-3 fatty acids that doesn’t come with any fishy burps, this pick has you covered. 

Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

Each two-softgel serving of Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil contains 3,000 milligrams of fish oil — including 1,100mg of EPA fats and 900mg of DHA fats. Kaged puts their fish oil through a purification process that can help eliminate the typical fishy burps you can taste with other omega-3 supplements. Plus, this fish oil comes from sustainably sourced, wild-caught fish. However, the softgels are made from gelatin, which typically comes from cattle, so pescatarians may want to be aware of this. 

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Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil

Kaged Muscle delivers 3,000 milligrams of omega-3 fats (1,100mg of EPA and 900mg of DHA), which is one of the highest doses across the market. Plus, it's quick-absorbing and doesn't produce fish burps. 

Who Should Buy Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Customers who value sustainable sourcing will appreciate that this product is sustainably sourced from wild-caught fish. 
  • Folks who want a high dosage of omega-3 fatty acids. This product contains 3,000mg. 
  • People who don’t like fishy burps. The purification process here can help eliminate them completely. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Vegetarians or vegans — this supplement is made from fish and gelatin. 
  • If you don’t do well with large pills, you are probably better off finding a supplement that offers smaller softgels. 

Kaged offers a high-quality, high-dose fish oil that is produced from sustainably-sourced fish, and purified to help get rid of foul-tasting fishy burps that you may find in some fish oil products. 

Best Sustainably-Sourced Omega-3

If you’re concerned about sustainable fishing, some supplements are transparent about their sourcing — like this pick, which sourced their krill sustainably from the Antarctic region. 

Kori Krill Oil

Kori Krill Oil uses krill that are sustainably sourced from the Southern Ocean to make their omega-3 supplement. Their eco-harvesting technology utilizes a submerged water vacuum that’s protected by a fine mesh net to keep anything but krill from entering. The product has received a stewardship certification from Friends of the Sea, which confirms that no endangered species are caught during operations and harm doesn’t come to the ecosystem. It has also been third-party tested for quality and purity by Labdoor.

All that aside, this is a pretty standard omega-3 supplement, offering up to 1,200mg of krill oil with 250mg fatty acids (though the specific breakdown of EPAs and DHAs is not listed). This product comes in 400mg, 600mg, and 1,200mg capsules, so you can adjust your dosing and pill size to your personal preference.  

Kori Krill Oill
Kori Krill Oill
Kori Krill Oill

This product is sustainably sourced from the Southern Ocean, and offers  1,200mg of krill oil with 250mg fatty acids. You can buy this krill oil in 400mg, 600mg, and 1,200mg capsules.

Who Should Buy Kori Krill Oil

  • People concerned with sustainability. This product sources their krill from the Antarctic using technology to ensure no other organisms are harmed.
  • Those who don’t want unnecessary extras — this product has been third-party tested for purity.
  • Buyers on a budget — this product is fairly inexpensive compared to some of its competitors.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kori Krill Oil

  • Anyone who’s looking for a higher dose of fatty acids — you can find much higher serving sizes of EPA and DHA fats out there. 

For those concerned with sustainability, this omega-3 supplement is sourced from a specific region that isn’t very industrialized, and uses technology to ensure the ecosystem is not harmed in the process.

Best Omega-3 Without Fish

If you’ve spent hours combing the internet for the best omega-3 supplements, then there’s a good chance you’ve come across krill oil. If you haven’t, it’s worth knowing about its potential advantages.

Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil

One of the benefits of krill oil is that it may actually be better than fish oil at lowering bad cholesterol. Contrary to fish oil, krill oil’s omega-3s come in their most natural, phospholipid form, which may enable better absorption and smoother digestion, meaning no fishy aftertaste. In comparison, fish oil only supplies omega-3s in the form of triglycerides, which aren’t digested as well as phospholipids. This particular krill oil is sourced from Antarctic krill, and contains 1,000mg of krill oil, including 120mgof EPAs and 55mg of DHAs. Plus, it includes 80mcg of astaxanthin, which can help with eye health and inflammation. 

Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil
Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil
Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil

This oil is extracted from Antarctic krill, which is rich in the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. It is designed to avoid any fishy aftertaste, contains no mercury, and 80 micrograms of the antioxidant astaxanthin.

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil

  • Anyone who prefers krill oil over fish oil for its easier-to-digest phospholipid form.
  • People who value a transparent label — Transparent Labs lists all its ingredients on its label, so you don’t have to question what’s in your supplement.
  • If you’re especially concerned with inflammation, the astaxanthin here may be able to help. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil

  • Vegans who prefer a product made from plant-based sources like algae. 
  • Buyers looking for a huge dose of omega-3 fatty acids — this product only contains 120mg of EPA and 55mg DHA fatty acids.

Sourced from Antarctic krill, this product comes with 1,000mg of krill oil, can potentially digest better than regular fish oil, and contains a dose of astaxanthin, as well. 

Best Omega-3 for No Burps

What goes down may come back up when it comes to fish oil. Many who have taken an omega-3 supplement, specifically a fish oil pill, may have experienced fishy burps. Since they might be gross for some, we sought out the best burp-friendly omega-3 pill.

Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil goes through a two-step process of purification and clarification to help rid the oil of any fishy smells or tastes. It also has one of the highest doses of omega-3 fatty acids on the market — 3,000mg of fish oil, which includes 1,100mg of EPAs, and 900mg of DHAs. Though the softgels are fairly large, you need only take two per day for a full dose. Plus, Kaged makes this product from sustainably sourced, wild-caught fish. And with 30 servings per container, you’re spending less than one dollar per dose. 

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Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil
Kaged Muscle Omega-3 Fish Oil

Kaged Muscle delivers 3,000 milligrams of omega-3 fats (1,100mg of EPA and 900mg of DHA), which is one of the highest doses across the market. Plus, it's quick-absorbing and doesn't produce fish burps. 

Who Should Buy Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • People who are looking for an omega-3 supplement with a greatly reduced likelihood of unpleasant smells and burps — this supplement has gone through purification to eliminate this potential side effect of fish oil.
  • Customers who want a particularly high dose of omega-3 fatty acids — this product has 1,100mg of EPAs and 900mg of DHAs.
  • If you’re concerned about where your fish are coming from, you can rest assured that this product is sustainably sourced from wild-caught fish. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • People who want additional ingredients or nutrients in their fish oil pills may want to look elsewhere.
  • Those who don’t like taking large pills can find smaller softgels on the market. 
  • If you prefer a liquid omega-3 supplement, you’ll want to avoid this softgel product. 

Assuming you don’t like fish burps (we won’t judge you if you do), you’ll love this formula that was designed to tamp down on fishy aftertaste.

Best Vegan Omega-3 Supplement

Yes, you can get omega-3s from plants, but the only way to get the important (and absorbable) omega-3 fatty acids from non-animal sources is to go to the same source the fish get theirs: algae.

Freshfield Vegan Omega-3

What makes this product stand out is that it’s vegan and contains DPA (an elongated version of EPA that can potentially be more effective at reducing inflammation) and DHA, which are sourced from algae — not fish. Most vegan omega-3 pills don’t contain these fats. The fact that these are vegan also means there’s a lower risk of contamination from mercury, which is primarily found in fish.

These contain 225mg DHA and 35mg DPA, and though the bottle may seem a little more expensive than other fish oils, it’s because you are getting 180 servings per bottle. You only need to take one pill per serving, and since this product is sourced from algae, that pill is less likely to cause those unwanted fish burps you typically find with fish oils. 

Freshfield Vegan Omega-3
Freshfield Vegan Omega-3
Freshfield Vegan Omega-3

These vegan capsules contain 225mg DHA and 35mg DPA, and though the bottle may seem a little more expensive than other fish oils, it’s because you are getting 180 servings per bottle. That could provide up to a six-month supply of omega-3. 

Who Should Buy Freshfield Vegan Omega-3

  • Those who want a vegan omega-3 that contains omega-3 fatty acids. This is remarkably rare in vegan omega-3’s.
  • Anyone concerned about mercury and heavy metals in animal-based omega-3s — since this product is vegan, there’s a lower risk of contamination. 
  • Folks who don’t like to take a lot of pills will appreciate that this supplement only requires one per serving. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Freshfield Vegan Omega-3  

  • Customers who are looking for a higher dose of fatty acids. While we do like this supplement for its vegan DPA and DHA, it doesn’t provide as much of these fatty acids as some other products on this list. 
  • People who prefer to get their omega-3s from animal sources like fish or krill.

The capsules used to deliver heart-healthy omega-3s are usually made from fish or meat-based gelatin. This product has a plant-based capsule and the oil is derived from algae — not fish.

Why Take Omega-3 Supplements?

A wide variety of effects have been ascribed to omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Here’s a breakdown of their core benefits. 

Inflammation

Taking in plenty of EPA and DHA appears to be a way to help reduce inflammation. Some research suggests that fish oil supplements can be valuable for reducing joint pain associated with inflammatory conditions like arthritis. One study published in The Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that fish oil supplements helped reduce (though not eliminate) the need for anti-inflammatory drugs among people with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. (2)(3)

Antarctic Krill
I. Noyan Yilmaz/Shutterstock

Managing inflammation isn’t just for people with chronic conditions, though. Chronic inflammation has been linked to everything from heart disease to diabetes to cancer. Reducing it where possible could be in everyone’s interest. Folks who work out regularly experience more inflammation than the average person. Some research suggests that one to two grams of omega-3s per day helped to “counteract exercise-induced inflammation” following strength training. (4)(5)

Mental Health

There’s decent evidence to suggest that keeping your omega-3 intake relatively high can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and improve cognition among those already suffering from some forms of cognitive impairment. (6)(7)

Some contest these links — it’s a little less concrete than the anti-inflammatory effects — but there’s even an argument to be made that the anti-inflammatory effects can play a role in treating depression. (8)(9) More research is needed, but fish oil, especially fish oil that’s made up of over 60 percent EPA, has been seen to reduce both depression and anxiety in some research. (10)(11)

Heart Health

Evidence is a little mixed, but a few studies have shown omega-3s (especially DHA) to reduce triglycerides. (12)(13)(14)(15) Positive effects have also been seen in patients with high blood pressure, though it doesn’t seem to be as effective at lowering the pressure of folks with regular blood pressure. (16)(17)(18)(19)(20)

It’s equally as important to keep your omega-6 intake low as it is to keep your omega-3 up. While the latter is usually found in naturally raised fish and meat, the former is high in processed seed oils and fried foods and more natural foods like chicken and nuts. Research suggests that a 1:4 or even 1:2 ratio is ideal for reducing the risk of heart disease and some cancers, but the average person eats closer to 1:10 or even 1:25 in some studies. (21)

Unless your diet is very Paleo (which we mean to say natural) and loaded with fish, you should take omega-3 supplements and reduce your consumption of fried and processed food to improve your omega-3 to -6 ratio.

[Related: Should You Eat Fat After a Workout?]

How We Decided the Best Omega-3 Supplements

So how did we land on this list? Below are the criteria we used to make sure we’re landing on the cream (or oil) of the crop.

Dosage

There’s no official recommended intake, but the World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services suggest a minimum of 250 to 500 milligrams of omega-3s per day. It’s important to note that many of these studies used two to four grams per day to achieve their effects. Studies vary a lot in the dosages — one found that 14 grams of fish oil per day for five weeks helped improve some inflammation markers among post-menopausal people. (22) But as mentioned, the closest thing to a recommendation we’ve got is 250 to 500 milligrams per day of a combination of EPA and DHA. Our favorite supplement delivered a solid 2.5 grams, but we didn’t penalize too harshly for lower amounts. 

EPA/DHA Ratio

EPA is a little more closely linked with inflammation, and DHA has a closer tie with mental health. They’re usually dosed on par. That said, we didn’t penalize if the dosages weren’t the same. While some limited research suggests going heavier on EPA if you want to tamp down inflammation, we suggest determining your individual preferences when choosing an EPA and DHA balance. (23)

Third-Party Testing

There are several third-party testers and regulatory bodies that producers of omega-3 supplements can employ.

  • The most popular is probably The International Fish Oil Standards™ (IFOSS), which awarded five stars to our best overall pick. The Ontario-based organization focuses on three main categories: the label accuracy or the number of active ingredients claimed on the label; the presence of contaminants like mercury and radiation, which they state can outweigh the beneficial health effects of fish oil; and the stability or how quickly the product is likely to degrade. IFOS is the only organization that tests fish oil products by batch and lot number to make sure they have the right components, don’t contain contaminants, and are stable and fresh for consumption.
  • Another prominent organization is the Marine Stewardship Council, a global nonprofit organization that focuses on sustainability. The MSC works with fisheries, grocery stores, restaurants, and supplement companies to improve fishing practices, combat fraud, and promote transparency — to ensure that generations can enjoy seafood. Every fishery is independently assessed to figure out the impact on wild fish populations. They also track the supply chain to ensure all of their certified fish oil can be traced back to an approved fishery.
Fishing boat out to sea
EPG_EuroPhotoGraphics/Shutterstock
  • Friend of the Sea also approved some of the supplements we looked at. A project of the World Sustainability Organization, Friend of the Sea carries out yearly audits onsite by independent international certification bodies. Their requirements include waste and energy management, social accountability, no significant impact on the seabed, and not affecting animals deemed “overexploited” by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization.
  • Labdoor is another highly regarded company that emphasizes label accuracy. An approval from Labdoor is highly valued in all areas of nutritional supplements — the completely independent company purchases products off of retail shelves and online sites and then sends samples to an FDA-registered laboratory for chemical analysis.

Sourcing

Particularly for fish-based omega-3s, responsible sourcing can be a priority for some consumers. This is where the certifications from IFOSS, Marine Stewardship Council, and Friend of the Sea come into play.

Freshness

Nobody wants rancid fish oil. Besides following the guidelines we outline below, we give extra points to products that freeze their product soon after harvesting, helping to maintain freshness.

Additives

We’re not of the mind that omega-3 supplements should have only omega-3s and nothing else at all. Some additives can be useful — rosemary or oregano extract, for instance, appears to help inhibit their oxidation. (24) Tocopherols also appear to help protect against contaminants. (25)

fish oil dose
Farion_O/Shutterstock

Therefore, we prefer omega-3s with ingredients like these, water, and glycerin (to maintain the capsules’ shape).

[How to Count Macros for Weight Loss, Muscle Gain, and Maintenance]

Best Omega-3 Food Sources 

Outside of fish, algae is another great source — and, excuse us if we’re wrong, we doubt you’re eating it by the bowlful. So, it’s back to fish. That said, not every type of fish has the same amount of omega-3s. Per one hundred grams, these are the animals that are highest in omega-3 according to Nutritiondata:

  • Mackerel: 5,134 milligrams
  • Salmon: 2,260 milligrams
  • Anchovies: 2,113 milligrams
  • Herring: 1,729 milligrams
  • Sardines: 1,480 milligrams
  • Oysters: 672 milligrams
  • Halibut: 669 milligrams

Do Vegan Omega-3s Work?

Vegans will have a tougher time meeting their omega-3 requirements through food alone. Algae is really the only significant vegan source of EPA and DHA, which is why it’s the base of the vegan product we recommend. But all the other plant-based foods that are frequently touted as good sources of omega-3, such as chia, walnuts, and flaxseeds, are not.

Most vegan omega-3s are alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. The problem with ALA is that the body needs to convert it to EPA and DHA, and it’s estimated that about 90 percent of it is lost in the process. (26) Plus, if you’re eating a lot of omega-6, it appears to make it even harder for the body to make this conversion. (27)

Basically, you need to consume 10 times the amount of ALA to get roughly the same amount of EPA and DHA. That said, really high amounts of ALA have been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. (28) It’s also been linked to lower risks of heart disease and diabetes, but doubling down on ALA might be an iffy strategy. (29)

Does Fish Oil Go Bad?

Fish oil expires. It’s animal fat, after all, and it can go rancid and lose its effectiveness. In fact, polyunsaturated fatty acids are highly prone to oxidative degeneration. According to a 2015 paper in the Journal of Nutritional Science, fish oil supplements are the most prone to degradation. (30) One study even looked at 171 supplements from 49 brands in Canada and found that 50 percent exceeded limits for at least one measure of oxidation. (31)

The risk of oxidation is affected by exposure to oxygen and light, temperature, antioxidant content, and the presence of water and heavy minerals. To minimize risks, it’s smart to keep your fish oil in the fridge. The expiration date should be printed on your bottle, and while that date is meant to undershoot the expiration and take into account that many people might not store them well, it probably refers to when the gels will expire if left unopened.

Plate of raw salmon filets
nadianb/Shutterstock

[Related: The 5 Best Men’s Multivitamins Reviewed in 2021]

Here some tips to help you keep your omega-3 supplements fresh:

  • Buy them one month at a time, so you’re not stockpiling older supplements.
  • Once they’re open, start taking them every day.
  • Check to ensure the oil is clear, not cloudy.
  • The coating should be springy, not soft.
  • If they smell bad, don’t take them.

When Should I Take Omega-3’s?

You can take your fish oil supplement at any time of day, but it’s recommended that you take it with a meal. The fats in fish oil can absorb better when you eat it with other fats. If you don’t eat a lot of fats at breakfast, wait until lunch or dinner. The time of day isn’t as important as the foods you’re eating with your fish oil. (32)

If you consume fish oil on an empty stomach, however, it’s possible that your fish oil won’t absorb properly, and it’s also possible you’ll feel a bit of heartburn after consumption.

How Much Do Omega-3’s Cost?

Omega-3 supplements can be fairly inexpensive depending on aspects like brand, source, dosage, taste, and sustainability. To know exactly what you’re getting for your money, you’ll want to weigh the cost of the container against the number of servings total within that container. Typically, this number can range anywhere from $0.50 per serving to $2.00 per serving. 

Omega-3 products that are sustainably sourced, that have a higher dosage of fatty acids, or that don’t cause an undesirable fishy aftertaste are generally going to be more expensive. More basic products that may have a lower dosage, may not list sustainability practices, or may cause that fishy aftertaste tend to be less expensive in comparison.

What to Know Before You Buy Omega-3 Supplements

Before you click that ‘purchase’ button, it’s worth running through this quick checklist, so you really know what you’re after.

Buy the Right Dosage

As we’ve mentioned, there’s no official recommendation for how much omega-3 you should consume in a day, but most aim for at least one gram. Base your EPA to DHA ratio on the potential effects you’re after — if you’re more concerned with inflammation, opt for a product higher in EPAs; if you’re more concerned with brain health, opt for a product higher in DHAs. 

Consider the Rest of Your Diet

Research suggests that the efficacy of taking more omega-3 relies in part on your omega-6 intake, which is prevalent in processed oils, fried foods, and most plant fats. Try to eat more fat from wild-caught seafood, grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, coconut, chia, and olive oil.

Decide if Sustainability Matters

If sustainability is a personal priority, look for one of the aforementioned certifications or choose sources such as krill oil and algae, which have less impact on the environment. 

Speak With a Physician

Before making any changes to your diet or supplement regimen, visit a doctor to determine if it’s the right move for you and what other measures you could and should be taking for your overall health.

Final Word

No matter if your priority is purity, the environment, or adhering to a plant-based diet, we have an omega-3 supplement on this list that can suit your needs. Before you decide which of these picks is right for you, make sure you’re considering your proper dosages, personal goals, and priorities. We’ve done the hard work of weighing the countless competing supplements on the market, so all you need to do is measure this list against your considerations, and you should be able to find your match. After you buy, just remember to keep ’em in the fridge.

FAQS

How much omega-3 should I take?

There’s no one definitive answer. Definitely check with your doctor to determine if you should be taking omega-3s and, if so, what dose is right for you. That said, look for a supplement that offers at least one gram.

What organizations should I look for on labels if I'm concerned about sustainability?

  • The International Fish Oil Standards™
  • Marine Stewardship Council.
  • Friends of the Sea.
  • Labdoor (this isn’t a sustainability site, but it’s great to reference for purity and quality).

Do omega-3s only come from fish?

Nope. Fish are a fine choice, but omega-2 supplements can also be produce from krill, mussels, and even algae, which is a great choice for vegans.

References

  1. Koto T, et al. Eicosapentaenoic acid is anti-inflammatory in preventing choroidal neovascularization in mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 Sep;48(9):4328-34.
  2. Maroon JC, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. Surg Neurol. 2006 Apr;65(4):326-31.
  3. Rajaei E, et al. The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Patients With Active Rheumatoid Arthritis Receiving DMARDs Therapy: Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. Glob J Health Sci. 2015 Nov 3;8(7):18-25.
  4. Jouris KB, et al. The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on the Inflammatory Response to eccentric strength exercise. J Sports Sci Med. 2011 Sep 1;10(3):432-8.
  5. Shei RJ, et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the optimization of physical performance. Mil Med. 2014 Nov;179(11 Suppl):144-56.
  6. Mazereeuw G, et al. Effects of ω-3 fatty acids on cognitive performance: a meta-analysis. Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Jul;33(7):1482.e17-29.
  7. Cederholm T, et al. ω-3 fatty acids in the prevention of cognitive decline in humans. Adv Nutr. 2013 Nov 6;4(6):672-6.
  8. Sarris J, et al. Omega-3 for bipolar disorder: meta-analyses of use in mania and bipolar depression. J Clin Psychiatry. 2012 Jan;73(1):81-6.
  9. Grosso G, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids and depression: scientific evidence and biological mechanisms. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2014;2014:313570.
  10. Sublette ME, et al. Meta-analysis of the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in clinical trials in depression. J Clin Psychiatry. 2011 Dec;72(12):1577-84.
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