The Best Fish Oils For Responsible Sourcing, High Dosage, Omega-3s, and More

Check out our stand out picks for fish oils on the market.

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If you’re trying to increase your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, we don’t blame you. It’s one of the most popular wellness supplements on the market, with the industry valued at an astounding $30 billion. Often used as a “natural” remedy that could potentially reduce inflammation, fish oil is so popular that countless brands have produced their own takes on the product.

Some value sustainability, others affordability, others just don’t want something that contains pork. We’ve explored dozens of different options so you can land on the best for your needs.

Best Fish Oil 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. Individual needs for vitamins and minerals will vary.

Best Fish Oil

This fish oil supplement is sustainably sourced, provides transparency in sourcing, goes down well, and doesn’t come back up fishy. Most importantly, it packs a serious punch of omega-3s.

Kaged Muscle Omega-3

Each two-soft gel serving boasts 2,000 milligrams of EPA and DHA fats — specifically, 1,100mg of EPA and 900mg of DHA. Kaged Muscle’s formula absorbs more quickly, they claim, compared to their competitors. It’s also sourced from 100% wild-caught fish and boasts certifications from Origin, Friend of the Sea, Safe, and Informed Sport — so you know this product is both ethical and third-party tested for purity. 

Kaged Muscle Omega-3
Kaged Muscle Omega-3
Kaged Muscle Omega-3

Kaged Muscle delivers 3,000 milligrams of omega-3 fats (1,100mg of EPA and 900mg of DHA), which is quick-absorbing and doesn't produce fish burps.

Who Should Buy Kaged Muscle Omega-3

  • Customers who value quality insurance. This product boasts a litany of certifications.
  • Folks who want a high dosage of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • People who want a quick-absorbing formula.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Muscle Omega-3

  • Pescatarians. This capsule is made from fish gelatin.
  • Anyone who would prefer to obtain omega-3s from a source other than fish.

Kaged Muscle’s formula is sustainably-source, meticulously tested for purity and quality, absorbs quickly, and is designed to minimize unwanted “fish burps.”

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Best Krill Oil

Krill oil supplements are loaded with omega-3s, are thought to be more easily absorbed, and are packed with antioxidants. 

Transparent Labs Core Series Krill Oil

Extracted from Antarctic krill, Transparent Labs CoreSeries Krill Oil contains no mercury, is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, and made to be easier on the stomach when compared to most fish oils. The Omega-3 content was strong enough that this product also topped our list of best Omega-3 supplements.

Transparent Labs foregoes the use of any artificial sweeteners, colorings, and preservatives. They are compatible with gluten-free diets and are non-GMO.

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 Core Series Krill Oil

  • Anyone looking to supplement their Omega-3 intake.
  • Those averse to fishy flavors.
  • People aiming to avoid any artificial additives.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Core Series Krill Oil

  • Consumers who are concerned about sustainability (this product is not certified).
  • People with a limited budget for supplements.

Despite not being certified, this krill oil is still tested to ensure that it does not contain a single trace of heavy metals. The purity of the product combined with the content of Omega-3 earns it a place atop our list and is likely the best option for consumers looking specifically for krill oil.

[Related: The Best Types Of Supplements For Performance, Weight Loss, And Health]

Highest Dose Fish Oil

If you’re looking to really pack in the omega-3s — because maybe you don’t get enough from your diet — here is the pick that we suggest.

Nutrigold Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil

Nutrigold Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil, which offers 2.6 grams of omega-3s per serving, has the stamp of approval from a few prestigious organizations: The International Fish Oil Standards™ (IFOS) — which is measures purity and quality — the Marine Stewardship Council, the World Health Organization, the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED), and Consumerlabs.

Nutrigold Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil
Nutrigold Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil
Nutrigold Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil

Nutrigold delivers more Omega 3 than practically any other reputable product, plus it has certifications from IFOS, the MSC, and meets standards from the World Health Organization, GOED, and Consumerlabs.

Who Should Buy Nutrigold Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Those who want as much omega-3 as possible; this has the most potent dosage we’ve seen. (Relative to the quality, anyway.)
  • People concerned with sustainability; this is certified by IFOS and the Marine Stewardship Council and meets the standards of GOED and ConsumerLabs.
  • Folks with allergies; this has been third-party verified to be free from gluten, milk, peanut, shellfish, and soy.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Nutrigold Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Those who don’t eat beef; while it’s certified kosher, the capsules are nonetheless made with bovine gelatin.

While it’s free from allergens like gluten, milk, peanut, shellfish, and soy,  vegetarians and vegans should steer clear as the gelatin used in this product is meat-based.

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Most Responsibly Sourced Fish Oil

If you’re environmentally conscious, you want to pick a supplement that meets rigorous testing standards and sources its oil from fish that aren’t endangered. 

Sports Research Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil

Sports Research Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil has certifications from the International Fish Oil Standards, the Marine Stewardship Council, and NSF International. This supplement is also tested to make sure there are no genetically modified organisms. Each single-softgel serving provides 1250 milligrams of wild Alaska pollock fish oil concentrate. 

The fish oil is extracted from pollock trimmings immediately after a catch to better ensure freshness. That freshness and all of those certifications bump up the price tag, and the pills are a little large (which is a minor detail, but one that’s important to some folks). 

Sports Research Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil
Sports Research Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil
Sports Research Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil

Sports Research has many certificationsn: 5 stars from the the International Fish Oil Standards, certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, certified by NSF International, and its oxidation is tested to ensure freshness.

Who Should Buy Sports Research Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Those who value transparency; it’s certified by IFOS, Marine Stewardship Council, and NSF International.
  • People who avoid farmed fish; this is from wild Alaskan pollock.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Sports Research Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil

  • Folks who have issues swallowing large pills
  • People who aren’t necessarily concerned about sustainability and therefore won’t want to pay more.

The fish oil is extracted from pollock trimmings immediately after a catch to better ensure freshness. That freshness and all of those certifications bump up the price tag, and the pills are a little large (which is a minor detail, but one that’s important to some folks). 

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What Are the Benefits of Fish Oil?

Fish oil supplements are intended to help increase your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids. A relatively high intake of Omega-3s and a low intake of Omega-6 — which is very high in processed seed oils and fried foods — is associated with a range of benefits.

Reduced inflammation

Perhaps the most celebrated and research-backed benefit, a range of studies have associated fish oil supplements and/or a high intake of Omega-3s with reduced joint pain from arthritis as well as exercise-induced inflammation from strength training. (1)(2)(3)(4)

Inflammation is linked to scores of maladies, though, from heart disease to diabetes, so reducing inflammation is likely a good idea even for those who aren’t in pain. (Plenty of fruits, vegetables, and sleep also appear to help. Chat with a doctor if you’re concerned.)

Heart Health

Evidence is a little mixed, but some research has seen the kinds of Omega-3s found in fish to reduce triglycerides and high blood pressure. (5)(6)(7)(8) (9)(10)(11)(12)(13)

[Related: Nutrition For Bulking: 10 Tips For Intelligent Muscle Gain]

Mental Health

Possibly because of the effects on inflammation, keeping your Omega-3s relatively high might reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and potentially even play a role in treating depression and anxiety. (14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19) More research is needed, though.

Can I Take Vegan Omega-3 Supplements?

There are three kinds of Omega-3s: EPA, DHA, and ALA. (More correctly, they’re eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid.)

Fish and animals contain the first two, the third is found in seeds, nuts, some eggs, and some other plant fats.

When people say things like walnuts or flaxseed are high in Omega-3, they’re talking about ALA. But the body needs to convert ALA to EPA and DHA to use it, and the majority of it is lost in that process — some studies suggest as much as 90 percent of it. (20)(21)

A solution might be to just eat ten times more ALA than EPA or DHA, but another option is to get algae-based Omega-3 supplements. These supplements contain EPA and DHA (it’s where the fish get it from), but they do wind up pretty pricey.

What To Consider Before Buying

There’s no official recommendation for dosage, but the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests at least 250 to 500 milligrams of Omega-3 per day. That said, many of the previously cited studies were using daily doses of two to four grams.

It seems just as important to keep Omega-6 low as it is to keep Omega-3 high. Some research suggests a ratio of one gram of Omega-3 for every four grams of Omega-6 is ideal, but the average person eats closer to 1:10 or even 1:25 in some studies. (22) You can lower your Omega-6 intake by avoiding fried foods and limiting nuts and seeds.

The best food sources of Omega-3s are, in this order, mackerel (5.1 grams of Omega-3 per 100 grams), salmon (2.3 grams), anchovies (2.1 grams), herring (1.7 grams), sardines (1.4 grams), and oysters (0.7 grams). Make sure you speak to your physician before embarking on a new supplement regimen.

[Related: The Lifter’s Guide To Magnesium: What This Nutrient Does For Strength]

Wrapping Up

By now you should be armed with all the information you need to pick the best fish oil supplement for your needs. Just remember to chat with your physician before making any changes to your diet or supplement regimen.

References

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Shei RJ, et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the optimization of physical performance. Mil Med. 2014 Nov;179(11 Suppl):144-56.
5. Wei MY, et al. Effects of eicosapentaenoic acid versus docosahexaenoic acid on serum lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2011 Dec;13(6):474-83.
6. Annuzzi G, et al. A controlled study on the effects of n-3 fatty acids on lipid and glucose metabolism in non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients. Atherosclerosis. 1991 Mar;87(1):65-73.
7. Boberg M, et al. Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids reduces triglycerides but increases PAI-1 in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Eur J Clin Invest. 1992 Oct;22(10):645-50.
8. Davidson MH, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of adding prescription omega-3 fatty acids 4 g/d to simvastatin 40 mg/d in hypertriglyceridemic patients: an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Clin Ther. 2007 Jul;29(7):1354-67.
9. Axelrod L, et al. Effects of a small quantity of omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular risk factors in NIDDM. A randomized, prospective, double-blind, controlled study. Diabetes Care. 1994 Jan;17(1):37-44.
10. Simão AN, et al. Blood pressure decrease with ingestion of a soya product (kinako) or fish oil in women with the metabolic syndrome: role of adiponectin and nitric oxide. Br J Nutr. 2012 Oct 28;108(8):1435-42.
11. Russo GL. Dietary n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: from biochemistry to clinical implications in cardiovascular prevention. Biochem Pharmacol. 2009 Mar 15;77(6):937-46.
12. Ramel A, et al. Moderate consumption of fatty fish reduces diastolic blood pressure in overweight and obese European young adults during energy restriction. Nutrition. 2010 Feb;26(2):168-74.
13. Campbell F, et al. A systematic review of fish-oil supplements for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2013 Feb;20(1):107-20.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. Grosso G, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids and depression: scientific evidence and biological mechanisms. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2014;2014:313570.
18. 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.
19. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et al. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2011 Nov;25(8):1725-34.
20. Davis BC, et al. Achieving optimal essential fatty acid status in vegetarians: current knowledge and practical implications. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;78(3 Suppl):640S-646S.
21. Gerster H. Can adults adequately convert alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3)? Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1998;68(3):159-73.
22. Simopoulos AP. The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;56(8):365-79.